Thursday, November 24, 2016

CIAT celebrates the 50th anniversary of IR8

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of rice variety IR8 is very timely for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and its partners in Latin America. The variety’s release impacted the evolution of rice breeding programs, the development of rice varieties that have been released since then, and agronomic crop management.

CIAT will mark the IR8 anniversary on 28 November at its headquarters in Cali, Colombia. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) initially introduced IR8 in the Philippines and India, but it was rapidly adopted by thousands of farmers around the world, including Latin America.  Short stature, early maturity, and high-capacity performance were the defining characteristics of IR8 that allowed the production of rice to quadruple.

In 1966, the same year that IR8 was released in the Philippines, IRRI breeder Peter Jennings sent 100 kilos of seed to Jorge Ruiz Quiroga, then manager of the National Federation of Rice Growers of Colombia (FEDEARROZ). He was responsible for expanding the use of IR8 by farmers affiliated with the Federation. IR8 had a great impact on rice production in Colombia and, subsequently, in other tropical countries of Central and South America as well as the temperate regions of the continent’s Southern Cone. This was the beginning of the first Green Revolution in Latin America.

By 1967, CIAT had been established in Colombia and an inter-institutional collaboration with the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) and FEDEARROZ was established. By the end of the 1980s, all irrigated and rainfed areas were sown to semidwarf varieties derived from IR8, such as Cica 4 and 8, Oryzica 1, Oryzica Llanos 4 and 5, Metica 1, and Oryzica Caribbean 8, among others.

CIAT’s  celebration, to be held in conjunction with Fondo Latinoamericano para Arroz de Riego (FLAR) and FEDEARROZ, will include presentations and discussions on the importance and impact of IR8 in Colombia and Latin America (click on the image above for more details).  Additionally, there will be a discussion on the future of rice research in Latin America and the opportunities offered by new biotechnological tools and conventional technologies that could lead to the continent’s second Green Revolution in rice.

To join the event beginning at 10 a.m. local time (3 p.m. GMT) on 28 November (Monday) via live streaming, follow these instructions:

To join the meeting from your computer or phone, go

  • Enter your name and click the button "Join as Guest"
  • Install the application. Follow the instructions.
  • Select "Computer Audio & Video"
  • Click the blue button "I'm Ready"

Learn more about IRRI ( or follow us on social media and networks (all links down the right column).

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