The Technical Management Committee (TMC) of CWARice agreed during their 3rd annual meeting in Kazakhstan to hold the 2nd Batch of 10-day Rice Breeding course on 20-30 July 2015, CWARice, Rasht, Iran through IDB funding and in collaboration with Rice Research Institute of Iran (RRII). This course held with participation of rice experts and practitioners from Iran, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan.
The number of rice breeders has decreased over the years, and those that remain need to combine their traditional breeding skills with new pre-breeding concepts and precision tools afforded by advances in rice genomics and information technology. Meanwhile, breeding varieties that are adoptable by farmers remains a major challenge, along with the dwindling funds for breeding research. Therefore, investments in rice breeding research and training need to be made now to develop new technologies and train a cadre of rice scientists and extension workers who can bring new technologies to rice farmers in Central-West Asia, ensuring food security and increased income through increasing the productivity of rice systems as well as enhancing their resilience to climate change and climatic extremes.
Rice breeders are faced with increasing pressure to produce varieties that are adopted by farmers, but funds for agricultural research are declining in many countries. Breeders must maximize impact with limited resources. CWARice offered this training course to help breeders redesign their programs for increased efficiency and effectiveness in CWA countries.
The course used selection theory to help breeders assess the usefulness of new tools including:
- Marker-aided selection
- Participatory methods
- Statistical methods to analyze data from multi-location yield trials
- New experimental designs for the control of field variability
The closing ceremony of the 10-day Rice Breeding course held on Thursday 30 July 2015. This ceremony was broadcasted by provincial channel of Guilan, Baran, at 8 O'clock nightly news.