Benefits of the development and dissemination of climate-smart rice: ex ante impact assessment of drought-tolerant rice in South Asia

  • Khondoker A. Mottaleb
  • Roderick M. Rejesus
  • MVR Murty
  • Samarendu Mohanty
  • Tao Li
Original Article


In the era of climate change, rice (Oryza sativa L.) production is increasingly affected by the rising frequency and severity of various abiotic stresses such as flood and drought. In some cases, 100 % yield loss can be attributed solely to these stresses. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop climate-smart rice that is more resilient to abiotic stresses. As the development and dissemination of climate-smart rice varieties entail costs, this article examines the net economic benefits of developing and disseminating successful drought-tolerant rice in South Asia where rice area prone to drought far outweighs area with other abiotic stresses. Drought causes major rice yield losses not only in South Asia but also in other parts of Asia and Africa. Using the ORYZA2000 (ORYZA model series were developed at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the early 1990s in collaboration with Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) and 16 national agricultural research and extension systems in Asia. ORYZA2000 is an update and integration of earlier versions of the ORYZA model. More detailed documentation of ORYZA2000 can be found in ( crop growth simulation model, we demonstrate that a successful drought-tolerant rice variety can provide yield gains in South Asia of a minimum of 1.71 % to a maximum of 8.96 % when there is no change in the climate and under different climate scenarios projected by Canadian General Circulation Models (CGCMs). Moreover, our economic analysis shows that the economic benefits from the successful development and dissemination of droughttolerant rice more than outweigh the research investments needed to develop a variety. Although the research, development, and dissemination of a climate-smart drought-tolerant rice variety in the South require USD 84 million, our economic model indicates that rice production will be higher by a minimum of 6 million tons worth USD 3.3 billion, and rice prices will be lower by a minimum of USD 72 per ton when a drought-tolerant variety is adopted in South Asia (as compared to the case without this new variety). This can lead to improved rice food security and better nutritional outcomes for the poor.


Climate change Drought tolerance Ex ante economic impact Rice varieties South Asia 

JEL Classification

C59 D01 Q25 



This study was made possible through the financial support provided by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Global Future for Agriculture (GFA) Project, led by IFPRI, and CCAFS (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security). The authors thank Murali Krishna Gumma, Scientist, Geographic Information System, International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Hyderabad 502324, India, and Harold Glenn Valera, Ex Assistant scientist, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines, for their input.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khondoker A. Mottaleb
    • 1
  • Roderick M. Rejesus
    • 2
  • MVR Murty
    • 3
  • Samarendu Mohanty
    • 3
  • Tao Li
    • 3
  1. 1.Socioeconomic ProgramInternational Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)TexcocoMexico
  2. 2.North Carolina State UniversityNorth CarolinaUSA
  3. 3.International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)Los BañosPhilippines

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