Seed World

Corteva Agriscience and IRRI Partner to Develop Advanced Rice Technologies

Corteva Agriscience and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) today announced a multi-year framework agreement on collaborative rice research, deployment of new breeding technologies and development of breeding programs.

“Our shared goal for this partnership is to help rice farmers to become more productive and sustainable,” says Peter Ford, Corteva Agriscience’s president, Asia Pacific. “Our collaboration will allow us to offer farmers a broader suite of high-performing products and effective science-based innovations that will optimize yield and crop quality. Partnerships such as this create the power of scale and will drive positive change for rice farmers.”

Rice is the world‘s most important staple food, directly feeding more than any other crop. To meet the demand of a growing global population, rice production needs to dramatically increase by 25 percent over the next 25 years. Yet increased competition for dwindling resources such as land and water, unpredictable climates, farm labor shortages and lack of technical expertise are some of the issues threatening the future of rice.

The agreement provides both parties with access to advanced technologies, including IRRI’s germplasm, hybrid and inbred rice programs and Corteva Agriscience’s precision breeding technologies. The partnership seeks to improve the genetic outcomes of breeding programs, encourage sustainable rice cultivation, and develop new rice varieties which deliver higher yields and are more resilient against biotic and abiotic stresses.

Other areas of collaboration will include the development of holistic agronomic and crop protection programs to enhance the adoption of Direct Seeded Rice, a resource-efficient technology that overcomes limitations of traditional cultivation techniques and improves the productivity and profitability of rice farming.

“IRRI is committed to harnessing the best of agriculture innovations to build a sustainable and equitable global rice sector,” says Jacqueline Hughes, deputy director General for Research, IRRI. “We recognize the critical role private sector organizations, such as Corteva Agriscience, can play in achieving this goal and we welcome the opportunity to forge partnerships with businesses that share our vision.”

She went on further to explain, “IRRI’s technology platform, expertise, and genetic assets combined with Corteva Agriscience’s global expertise in breeding technologies, including their gene editing technology, means we can anticipate even greater innovations in our hybrid and inbred programs. We are excited about making these innovations available to smallholder farmers through our extensive national networks.”

The agreement was formalized at the 5th International Rice Congress (IRC) in Singapore, organized by IRRI. Corteva Agriscience is a platinum sponsor of the IRC.