One of the biggest breakthroughs in modern agriculture is the breeding and adoption of hybrid rice seeds. Hybrid rice seeds are primarily produced by combing two variants of rice to obtain higher yield. Further, hybrid rice seeds also exhibit higher resistance to pests and have improved ability to withstand harsh climate conditions. Thus, hybrid rice seeds are widely used by farmers across the major rice producing nations in Asia including India, China, Philippines, Vietnam and more. However, one of the issues with hybrid crops is that the seeds are unable to produce plants with the same qualities. Thus, farmers have to invest in new seeds every year which puts significant financial burden on the farmers. Thus, there was a noteworthy increase in the number of research activities towards tackling the aforementioned problems put forward by hybrid rice seeds.
Scientific Breakthroughs Reduce Financial Burden on Farmers
As farmers were compelled to buy new hybrid rice seeds annually, farming with hybrid seeds proved to be an expensive process. However, in 2018, scientists struck gold when a technique to clone hybrid rice seeds was discovered. Scientists from France and the US modified a hybrid variant of Rice Japonica to enable the production of cloned seeds in some plants. Thus, owing to this step forward, farmers can re-plant the seeds from the hybrid plants in their farm and gain higher yields every year without having to purchase new hybrid rice seeds that are expensive. In addition, one of the researchers working on the project has expressed that the discovery has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural landscape in the future. In addition, this seed production approach enables the plant to clone itself without fertilization – which does not affect quality. Further, this technique is likely to be applicable for a range of other crops including, millets, corn, wheat and barley among others. The research team is focusing on maximizing the efficiency of this technique to ensure its adoption moves in an upward trajectory in the upcoming years.
Improving Food Security with Hybrid Rice Seeds
Natural disasters cause tremendous damage to human lives, infrastructure, agriculture, and various other verticals of life. In addition, natural disasters including, earthquakes, floods, pose as a constant threat to the production of rice and thus, food security is pivotal. Hybrid rice seeds have emerged as one of the most efficient methods to secure food for the future. In addition, as more than 50% of the global population relies on rice, a dent in its production cycle could affect the well-being of millions of people worldwide. Further, it is critical to ensure that the production of rate of rice is in sync with the growing rate of population. However, as the area of cultivable land is not accelerating at the required pace, food security is a growing concern. Hybrid rice seeds are expected to improve food security owing to an enhanced yield of nearly 15-20% in comparison with the traditional inbred rice variants. Another major factor that is likely to drive the prospects of hybrid rice seeds in the upcoming years is its capacity to withstand hostile weather conditions. Moreover, hybrid rice seeds are tolerant to floods, low-temperature, drought, and salinity among others. Thus, owing to the exceptional aforementioned properties of hybrid rice seeds, its adoption has witnessed a healthy growth in nations including, China, Vietnam, and India.
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