<i>Submergence tolerant rice variety to be released this yr</i>
The first ever submergence tolerant rice BR-11-sub-1 jointly developed by the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is expected to be released this year.
"The variety of rice would be released this year, if we could complete the experiment of the variety of rice successfully", Director (research) of BRRI Dr MA Salam told BSS in an exclusive interview.
He said the work for innovating submergence tolerant variety was started with joint initiative of the BRRI and the IRRI in 2005-06 in order to develop submergence tolerant rice by transplanting submergence gene to BR-11 dhan.
The evaluation team of the National Seed Board will go at field level experiment on the variety this year and they will submit the report to the technical committee for releasing the variety.
Referring to the field level experiment of BR-11-sub-1, director general of Seed Wing of the Ministry of Agriculture Anwar Faruque said it was very effective last year and the variety will be formally released this year, if the field level experiments are completed successfully.
He said, "We have already distributed the seed of the variety at farmer levels this year and we expect it will be leased in December next."
The newly developed BR-11-sub-1 looks exactly like BR-11, Dr Salam said adding the production rate, lifetime and height between BR-11 and BR-11-sub-1 is same.
He said the average production rate of both the varieties is five metric tons per hectare.
He said BR-11 is cultivated in about 40 percent land among the total rice cultivation in the country during Aman season. But nearly 80 percent of cultivated BR-11 rice got damaged, in a submerged condition, he added.
According to the study, the newly developed submerged variety can survive maximum 18 days after inundation of water, said Dr Salam adding but it depends on quality of water, temperature as well as environment.
He said the longevity of the submerged rice plants would increase if the water is clean, but in case of muddy water its longevity would decrease.
The BRRI along with a numbers of private organisations would work to produce seeds for field level cultivation of the variety.
A total of 70 'baby trials' would be taken place for producing seeds this year, he said adding 'mother trial' would also be carried out for seed production.