As per sources, it has been reported that sixty farmers participated in evaluating new salinity-tolerant rice varieties in a farmer’s field in Meikhtilar District, Mandalay to identify new high-yielding varieties rice. Under a research project conducted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in collaboration with the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) farmers also participated in selecting the best varieties for their fields while becoming aware of the sustainable adoption of improved varieties in stress-prone environments. Further, it has also been revealed that Myanmar has a predominantly agricultural economy based on rice production, with 32 percent of the total rice area composed of unfavorable low land areas. However, the salinity-affected rice-farming areas account for two percent of these unfavorable areas which is almost 110,000 ha spread across different states and regions.
In this matter, it has been described that the collaboration between IRRI and CURE with Myanmar’s Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) is to develop suitable rice varieties for these challenging areas has resulted in successfully developing and distributing to farmers, the seeds of three salinity-tolerant varieties mainly Sangnakhan Sin Thwe Latt, Pyi Myanmar Sein and Shwe Asean. Further, it has been stated that all the nine tested varieties out-yielded the check varieties, except for one variety, 11T 265. However among the tested varieties, IR11T 159 variety had the highest yield (5.1 tonnes/ha) of rice.
Under this programme, a demonstration trial was held in a rice field in Meikhtilar District, Mandalay to compare Pyi Myanmar Sein, a newly released salinity-tolerant variety with four farmer-preferred varieties. Among the five tested varieties, Pyi Myanmar Sein performed best and produced the highest yield (4.3 tonnes/ha) as revealed by the research team of the IRRI, a participatory varietal selection and seed multiplication each year will help to share information on new elite varieties with farmers and their capacity will be developed accordingly.