Thai research centre develops pest and temperature resistant rice variety

flood-resistant-riceThai farmers have lost about 12 per cent of their yields to planthoppers over the past eight harvest seasons. (Image source: IRRI/Wikimedia Commons)Thailand’s Pathum Thani Rice Research Center has developed a new rice variety that is resistant to pests and cold temperature

The new variety, called Pathum Thani 200 or Kor. Khor. 57, is a hybrid of Suphanburi 1 and IR 64 strains.

Pathum Thani Rice Research Center director Apichart Lawanprasert said that Pathum Thani 200 has taken more than a decade to develop and is suitable for growing not in regions with colder climate conditions.

The hybrid variety is resistant to brown planthopper, which damages rice at every stage of its development by feeding directly upon the plant and by transmitting viruses that destroy the plant.

Pathum Thani 200 is also ideal for making by-products such as rice flour.

At present, the rice department produces about 100,000 tonnes of rice seeds for Thai market every year.

However, the amount is far below the demand of 600,000 tonnes of rice seeds per year. The balance is filled by products from private companies offering high-priced hybrid rice seed, added the director.

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