The Green Revolution technology, centered on high-yielding, disease- and insect-resistant rice varieties, has revolutionized rice production since the late 1960s. Many countries in the rice belt of Asia, which used to import large quantities of rice, have become self-sufficient and have some surpluses to export. As a result, rice prices on the international market and in the domestic markets of many countries have fallen, thus helping the purchasing power of weaker sections of these societies. The consequent improvement in food security has led to political stability and allowed the governments of the developing countries to pay more attention to the pressing needs of economic development.
Population growth is continuing at more than 2% annually in many developing rice-growing countries. The demand for rice is likely to exceed supply by the year 2000. To feed this growing population, the growth rate of rice production needs to accelerate further. For this we need varieties with higher yield potential, greater yield stability, shorter growth duration, and superior grain quality. Innovative breeding methods and the emerging techniques of biotechnology must supplement the conventional breeding methods in achieving the future rice breeding goals. Rice breeding today is an international effort, involving scientists worldwide.
KeywordsRice Variety Rice Production Harvest Index Amylose Content International Rice Research Institute
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