The Rice Breeding Innovations (RBI) department of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in collaboration with national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) partners, develops and deploys innovative breeding strategies, tools, and technologies to sustainably enhance the genetic potential of rice for higher yield and its ability to tolerate pest and diseases infestations, soil and environmental stresses due to drought, salinity, and sodicity, and lower temperatures while improving its grain and nutritional qualities resulting to delivery of improved varieties and products to farmers, consumers, and other end-users in a fast and effective manner.

RBI has been actively engaged in the modernization of IRRI's breeding programs to meet the needs of farmers and consumers. To that end, it has been engaged in the development of market segments and product concepts, development of relative maturity system, product management, development of multilocation testing networks in collaboration with NARES partners. It utilizes a unified breeding strategy, dubbed as 'OneRice,' for standardization, utilizing genomic selections and predictions, and reducing breeding cycle time through Rapid Generation Advancement. Underpinning these are pre-breeding activities such as deployment of major native genes into elite materials, disease resistance stewardship, making marker-assisted selection (MAS) more reliable, digitization of data through proprietary databases, and intellectual property records.

The RBI Program Management team ensures communications, delivery of project outcomes, and fulfillment of reporting requirements. The Department conducts all its activities in compliance with IRRI’s policies and procedures to ensure minimal environmental footprint. The Rice Breeding Risk management team works with staff and liaises with the IRRI risk management team to ensure a safe working environment and implementation of safety compliance and mitigation strategies. All seeds are transferred nationally and internationally through  “safe seed transfer” processes and procedures by testing them rigorously at the Seed Health Unit based at IRRI prior to subjecting them for inspections and certification for phytosanitary and quarantine requirements. All seeds are only sent through FAO-developed Standard Material Transfer Agreement and IRRI’s Material Transfer Agreements to comply with CGIAR Intellectual Property policies and procedures.

Latest News

IRRI, USAID, and Bayer launch global DSR initiative “Scale Direct” for Asia and Africa smallholder farmers

09 March 2023, India - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Bayer agreed to support and co-invest in a four-year project “Scale Direct” that aims to accelerate the global efforts of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on direct seeded rice (DSR) research and development for smallholder farmers in Asia and Africa. The Project got Launched through a ceremonial event hosted at IRRI South Asia Regional Centre, Varanasi on 9th March , 2023.

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ZES successfully completes its Annual Management Review

The Zeigler Experiment Station (ZES) conducted its annual management review last February 21. Part of the quality management system, this annual review aimed to evaluate the accomplishments of ZES vis-a-vis its quality objectives for 2022 and identify issues related to the delivery of its services.

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Research Support group concludes Strategy Formulation and Risk Management Workshop

Engr. Princess Dela Cruz, Product Development and Varietal Replacement-Breeding Operations Manager, facilitated a Strategy Formulation and Risk Management workshop at IRRI HQ last March 7, 2023. The workshop was attended by PDVR-BOU (ZES/CCO/ISL) Research Managers and Supervisors. Joie Ramos, RBI Risk Management Lead, also attended the workshop and briefly discussed the risks identified for the BO Unit during the RBI risk management workshop.

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Researchers and technicians complete Data Collection training

To prepare researchers and technicians for data collection in the field, the RBI Data Management (DM) team initiated a refresher training on the EBS Data Collection tool and the Field Book mobile application last 8-9 March 2023 at the IKS Network Commons. The training aimed to provide the researchers and technicians with a review of the data collection process done in the EBS.

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