Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

As heavy rains continue to plunder Thailand, researchers have developed a new flood-resistant rice strain. The new strain, called Hom Le Noi, can grow in all climates, according to the chief of the team that developed it. The team is from the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

The team’s chief, Dr Theerayut Tuchinda, said that Hom Le Noi can also resist a number of natural threats. He said it can resist the brown planthopper, an invasive species that feeds on rice plants. It can also resist a bacterial leaf blight disease, he said.

Dr Theerayut said the new rice strain has been a long time in the making. He said the project began in 2013. The team selected the best rice strains grown in a laboratory, for farmers to grow across Thailand.

Dr Theerayut added that Hom Le Noi has a stable yield of about 900 kilograms per rai each year, depending on weather conditions.

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Rice exporters have said that Thailand needs new breeds of rice to compete in the global rice market. Earlier this month, the president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association said that he hadn’t seen Thailand develop any new rice breeds in 40 years.

Hopefully, Hom Le Noi will make farmers’ lives easier during floods, and help boost Thailand’s agriculture.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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