Breeding programs are informed by several factors including but not limited to varying agro-ecologies, maturity, farming practices, biotic and abiotic stresses, market needs and trends, and consumer preferences. The large number of targets for rice breeders dilutes the focus on key parameters. In addition, different geographies may have similar targets which lead to duplication of efforts.
Target market segments, their sizes, and impact possibilities due to interventions must be clearly identified to maximize return on investment in research and deployment of rice varieties. A clear understanding of market segments and impact potential will allow determining resource requirements and weights for target market segments.
IRRI established baseline data by summarizing data from all rice-growing areas on growing methods, ecosystems, their sizes, producer and consumer preferences, and trait requirements. Current requirements and future trends in the rice value chain for the determination of breeding targets were accounted for. A clear understanding of commonalities and differences of breeding targets across target geographies were also established.
The table below summarizes market segments of rice globally and IRRI's active breeding pipelines. This is the basis of the product concepts that are being developed by IRRI and its partners.