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Agrobiodiversity / / CIAT and Colombian scientists on framing country’s rice demands

CIAT and Colombian scientists on framing country’s rice demands

The Colombian committee for rice productivity, science and technology gathered at CIAT’s headquarters in mid-June to discuss the national rice agenda for research. The idea is to focus on how to make the country’s rice sector more productive and competitive.

The committee which comprises CIAT with other rice scientists from FEDEARROZ, ICA, CORPOICA, ACOSEMILLAS, Ministry of Agriculture together with traders, millers and farmers’ organizations lists the priorities to overcome the yield constraints experience in recent years such as those due to changing weather patterns and increasing pest and disease outbreaks.

Accomplishing the demands

Keeping in harmony to strengthen the nation’s rice research agenda, the committee decided to strengthen the research in the following four areas:

(1)  Development of new cultivars those are tolerant to various biotic & abiotic stresses with higher yield potential and preserving genetic diversity

(2) Developing strategies for closing the yield gap through technology transfer and better agronomic practices

(3) Development  of improved technologies for better pest and disease management strategies to control the Blast, Rice Hoja blanca virus, panicle blight and other pests and diseases

(4) Develop strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation

Edgar Torres, leader of CIAT’s Rice Program, said that the CIAT contributions are mainly in genetic improvement, diseases management as well as capacity building. For example, CIAT can contribute with gene discovery for important traits like drought, NUE etc., development of markers for marker assisted selection and incorporation of these genes into elite lines. We also could contribute in crop modeling and better understanding of changing weather patterns on crop physiology. At the same time with “high throughput phenotyping” – the use of rapid, simple and quantitative methods to understand plant growth and development – that could help improves yield potential and stress tolerance in rice.

Torres also said that. “We are exploring the possibility to seek donor support from the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and CORPOICA and prioritize these four major objectives.”

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  • Reinhardt Howeler: Thanks, Keith. It was a pleasure writing this book as it brought back so many good memories of working with cassava, both in Latin America and in Asia. I was lucky that the Nippon Foundation suggested that I write this book and financed its publication. They also wanted a simplified version for farmers and extension workers that could be translated into various languages. The English version of this new book is now going to press in Hanoi, while the Khmer and Vietnamese translations are also ready for printing and the Thai and Chinese translations are still being worked on. In case you are interested in the English version, let me know. My email address is still And let me know where you are working now and what you are doing. Reinhardt
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