Thursday, February 13, 2014

New project aims to speed up rice breeding

A new project has been launched at IRRI that aims to make breeding programs for irrigated rice much more efficient and thus enhance genetic gain.

The new Transforming Rice Breeding Efficiency (TRB) Project makes use of modern breeding tools and approaches and will focus on IRRI’s breeding ‘pipelines’ for irrigated rice. Its activities will cover South and Southeast Asia and East and Southern Africa to help secure the food and income of resource-poor farmers in these regions.

Members of the TRB Project core team, led by Eero Nissila, head of IRRI’s breeding division, launched the project in a meeting attended by several colleagues at the IRRI headquarters on 5 February 2014.

Bas Bouman, director of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), said that “the project has good funding and a very short time frame to make rapid advances.”
The 5-year TRB project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and has as its key partners the national agricultural research systems, especially in Asia; NARS.

The members of the Project core team are Alice Laborte, Glenn Gregorio, Mike Thomson, Bert Collard, and Ed RedoƱa.

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