Shortage of quality rice seed is one of the major problems faced by rice farmers and industry in Thailand. It directly affects the production and quality of rice grains entering the domestic and world market. Currently, only 40% of rice seed demand is met, leading to production problems such as low yield, inconsistent and low quality rice grains. The root causes of problems in rice seed production are present in various aspects, namely the access to elite lines and master seed, the lack of seed production knowledge among farmers, the shortage of inspectors to certify quality seed, the disconnection between producers and distributors and weak financial structure to support this production/distribution chain. Six agencies will therefore work to address these multi-faceted problems based on the strength and expertise of each party.
NSTDA’s prime role in this collaboration is to develop and transfer innovative technologies that will support and facilitate the production of quality rice seed. BIOTEC has played a key role in utilizing marker-assisted selection technique to develop new and improved rice varieties, notably flood-tolerant Homcholasit and blast-resistant glutinous Thanyasirin, which can be supplied to this system as well as providing training on seed production to farmers. As a research center on computer science and information technology, NECTEC aims to provide agriculture information services to farmers so that they can make use of IT to support and increase productivity at the farm level. GAP Seed Mobile Assessment System, developed by NECTEC, will allow the seed inspection to be done on-line, thus speed up the GAP seed certification process.
With this collaboration, rice agriculture in Thailand can be advanced, generating significant income for local rice farmers as well as increasing competitiveness of Thai rice industry in the world market.
Post on 5 June 2014