Friday, December 1, 2023

Nepal’s stakeholders choose new rice varieties during the Farmer’s Field Day

Scientists and farmers in Nepal have identified promising new rice varieties that could significantly boost rice productivity and production in the country's diverse agroecologies. These new varieties, which were evaluated through participatory rice variety evaluation  through varietal cafeteria  conducted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), offer the potential to address Nepal's growing food security needs.

The varietal cafeterias  were conducted in two locations – Khajura, Banke District in the Western Region, and Belchapi, Dhanusha District in the Central Region on 20 October and 30 October 2023, respectively.  A total of 23 rice varieties were evaluated, including three recently released varieties (Hardinath-4, Hardinath-5, and Hardinath-6), 18 potential pipeline varieties, and two local checks (Sarju-52 and Sona Mansuli). Participants at the field days, which were attended by farmers and other stakeholders such as extension agents, researchers, seed entrepreneurs, and seed companies, evaluated the varieties based on various agronomic traits, including yield, growth duration, grain quality, and disease resistance.

Results of the participatory varietal evaluation trials revealed that several promising new varieties emerged, with Hardinath-6, BRRI Dhan 72, IR18R1119, BRRI Dhan 74, and Hardinath-5 being identified as the top five best-performing varieties in the Western Region. In the Central Region, the top five best-performing varieties were Hardinath-6, BRRI Dhan 72, Hardinath-5, Hardinath-4, and Sona Mansuli. These results suggest that these varieties have the potential to thrive in the diverse agro-ecological conditions of Nepal.

The identification of these promising new rice varieties marks a significant step forward in Nepal's efforts to enhance rice productivity and food security. The promotion of these varieties through sustainable local seed systems will ensure that farmers have timely access to quality seeds, enabling them to maximize their crop yields and improve their livelihoods.

IRRI and NARC are committed to supporting the further development and promotion of these promising new rice varieties. These efforts will contribute to Nepal's goal of achieving rice self-sufficiency and ensuring food security for its growing population.


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