Monday, August 17, 2009

Drought Resistant Rice in India

In the eastern part of the Jharkhand state in India, farmers are testing out Sahbhagi dhan, which is a drought resistant strain of rice that can survive for up to 12 days without rain. The rice was developed by a team effort of scientists from the International Rice Research Institute in Manila and the Central Rainfed Upland Rice Research Station in Hazaribag.

Farmers began testing the rice in 2006 and have had positive results. It would provide needed relief to cultivators that have suffered a particularly difficult year. A farmer from Singrawan, Bijay Kumar Singh, explains, “We've already lost 60 percent of our crop because of poor rainfall. If the rains come now, we would be able to take 30-35 percent of our paddy crop.”

With these types of advances, developing countries can attain better food security and have the possibility of boosting their economies through agricultural exports.
--Jessica Milstead