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Rice Research Programme


  • NCRP has organized following events since its commencement in 1977.

                a.    Annual planning meetings = 31

                b.    Seminars/workshops = 10

                c.    Travelling seminars = 9

  • A high yielding and short duration rice variety (SHAHKAR) with good quality and comparatively resistant to insect pests and diseases was developed jointly by Rice Program, NARC and Rice Research Institute, Dokri. The variety has been approved by Sindh Seed Council for general cultivation in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.


High yielding coarse rice variety SHAHKAR

  • Rice Programme has acquired so far, more than 22,500 lines from IRRI, Philippines through the INGER net work and distributed among the collaborators in public as well as in the private sector and 12 rice varieties have developed out of this material. In addition, several lines have been used in crosses as parents.

  • NCRP through the joint efforts of its units has so far developed 23 rice varieties and 54 hybrids. The varieties/hybrids are high yielding with desirable grain quality (Tables 1 & 2). Using somaclonal variation, one Basmati variety was developed and fifteen salt tolerant Basmati lines were identified. Rice varieties developed through conventional and innovative approaches are available for cultivation in all the agro ecological zones of Pakistan. Due to shortage of water, emphasis is also being given to develop water efficient and drought tolerant rice varieties. In addition, the system has demonstrated and refined cost-effective method of zinc application to rice. Another important headway is development of cost effective pesticide reduction and environment friendly IPM technology. The programme has been successful in developing techniques to study insect-host interactions under physico-chemical plant stresses. Similarly, determined the effect of salinity, nutrient deficiency and temperature stresses on insect-host interactions. Salinity induced susceptibility in rice plant against whitebacked planthopper a major pest of rice in Pakistan.

  • Hybridization of different basmati rice varieties has been done to study combining ability and to identify heterotic combinations. Fifteen CMS plants have been identified from segregating populations of commercial rice hybrids. These plants will be utilized for the development of indigenous CMS lines.

Indigenous hybrid development


  • Twenty-nine rice hybrids received from Hubei Provincial Seed Group, China, and tested at Rice Research Institute, Dokri-Larkana. Eight were found promising with paddy yield of more than 100 maunds per acre. Identified sixteen CMS plants from the segregating population of commercial rice hybrids viz; RH-200, RH-205 and RH-225. Eight local varieties are being converted into CMS lines; there will be need for 5 backcrosses. These lines will be utilized for development of indigenous rice hybrids. Fertility restorer plants have been identified from segregating population of commercial rice hybrids. The purification of restorer lines is in progress to achieve homozygosity.

  • In Pakistan rice is mainly planted through contractual manual labour. Generally rice growers face the problem of labour shortage especially at the time of transplanting, which results into low plant population, which is one of the major factors of low rice productivity. To tackle with these problems, research and development activities were initiated on new rice establishment technologies such as raised bed planting, direct seeding of rice and testing of aerobic rice cultivation. These technologies have number of advantages over traditional method especially saving of water and labour. Alternate wetting and drying irrigation regime saved 33% water.

  • The Rice Program has developed water-saving rice production technologies (Aerobic & AWD) and disseminated these technologies on 20,000 impact acres in four districts of Punjab and Sindh provinces. The results at farmers’ fields showed 25-32 % water saving and 16-25 % yield increment over farmers’ traditional practice. Dry rice planting contributed an additional income of Rs. 32,250/ha to farmers. Technology is environment & farmer friendly, no drudgery operation, no emission of gases, and time saving of 7-10 days.The innovative resource-conserving water saving technologies are being disseminated in two provinces and it is estimated that if practiced on 0.7 mha (non-traditional rice area), monitory benefit would be as high as Rs.30 billion to rice farmers.


Direct seeded rice

  • A number of candidate rice varieties/hybrids were screened for the level of resistance against SB, WBPH and LF in the recent past. Of these, seven varieties and seven rice hybrids have been approved for general cultivation. Similarly, source of resistance against LF was identified in wild rice species (O. rufipogon and O. brachyantha) for the first time in Pakistan (Figure 6).

  • IPM technology was developed through which the pesticide use could be reduced up to 65%. In the rice IPM tactics, destruction of rice stubbles was a pertinent recommendation for the control of rice stem borers. With the introduction of zero-tillage in rice-based cropping system, it was not possible to destroy rice stubble. Investigations were carried out to develop IPM technology keeping in view the technological shifts and other changing scenario in the rice-based cropping system. Studies revealed that rice stubbles play an important role in the conservation of natural enemies, particularly population of predators was enhanced as stubbles create biodiversity in the system. Water management (alternate wetting/drying) also helps in minimizing the attack of insect pests.

  • Demonstrated pesticide reduction and environment friendly IPM technology on 5000 acres in rice growing areas of Punjab, which gave about Rs.1500/ per hectare additional income to the farmers. If this approach is applied in all the major rice growing areas of the country about Rs.3000 million additional income can be obtained by the farmers. In addition to monetary benefits, various ecological benefits such as conservation of natural enemies (parasitoids and predators), minimizing the problem of pesticide residues in rice grain and straw can also be achieved. Such approach will also drastically reduce the chances of resurgence and outbreak of pests and stability in the ecosystem may be enhanced, and above all environmental pollution can be reduced.

  • Soils in Pakistan are deficient in N, P and Zn. In certain areas, especially the tube well irrigated are also deficient in K. Efforts are being made to improve the nutrient status and health of soils through:

                a.    Inclusion of legumes in the rice-based cropping system

                b.    Balanced use of fertilizers

                c.    Use of organic fertilizers

                        --    Green manuring

                        --    Crop residues

                        --    Farmyard manure

                d.    Use of gypsum.

  • To improve the N use efficiency, emphasis is given on site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) and use of leaf colour chart (LCC) is being popularized among the farmers for the application of nitrogenous fertilizers.

  • Developed and demonstrated cost-effective method of Zinc application in rice. This technique saves Rs.500/ per hectare. The estimated benefit of this technique at national level is about rupees one billion annually.

  • Ascertained the efficient use of Potassium Nitrate as foliar application to rice after 40 and 60 days as compared to soil application. More than 10% incremental yield of rice is obtained with less cost suggesting rice crop can be successfully cultivated and handsome income can be achieved with the application of recommended doses of potassium nitrate.

  • Integrated use of potash nutrients may be promoted for obtaining maximum paddy yield as well as high net profit. Maximum paddy yield (4.72 t ha-1) was obtained with K2SO4 application @ 40Kg ha-1 in combination with FYM @ 5 t ha-1.

  • Use of Rock Phosphate as fertilizer produced maximum paddy yield (5.28 t ha-1) along with FYM @ 5 t ha-1 and EM @ 50 l ha-1 and residual effect on wheat crop produced (4.98 t ha-1) which was 33% and 44% more than that of no rock phosphate. Rock Phosphate can enhance soil health as well as crop productivity. In addition it can replace the costly P-fertilizers as a cheaper and easily available P source in the country without losing crop yields.

  • With the mechanization in the harvest and post-harvest operations in rice and wheat crops the problem of crop residues is becoming very serious. Farmers generally burn the crop residues, which is a big loss of nutrients and causes environmental pollution. Efforts are underway for the proper management of crop residues mainly through the use of suitable machinery. Traditional method of harvest and post-harvest especially in Sindh causes substantial quantitative and qualitative losses. These operations are being mechanized to minimize these losses and improve rice quality.

  • Impact of rice research is evident from substantial gains. It has been estimated that additional income from rice was about rupees 30 billion during 1999 over base year i.e., 1975. Through the cultivation of high yielding and comparatively short duration rice variety Basmati 385, rice growers earned Rs.1.7 billion over the traditional variety Basmati 370. The magnitude of additional income over Basmati 385 increased to Rs.17.6 billion with the cultivation of an extra long grain and high yielding rice variety, Super Basmati.

Although we have made substantial contributions in rice research and development but still there are many challenges ahead such as WTO, increasing competition in the international market, ever increasing cost of production, water shortage, labour scarcity due to urbanization and industrialization. The problems are complex and complicated and their solution lies in good planning, generation of new knowledge, development of cost-effective production technologies and development of viable marketing system. It is responsibility of all the stakeholders involved in rice production, research, development and trade to make efforts to enhance rice productivity.



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