Seed Industry

Speed Breed Facility Inauguration Ceremony Marks Milestone at International Rice Research Institute

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23 August 2023, Philippines: The Speed Breed Facility (SBF) Inauguration Ceremony took place on 16 August at the Lloyd T. Evans Plant Growth Facility (PGF), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baños, Laguna. The event marks a significant milestone in rice breeding, as the facility aims to shorten the breeding cycle for increased efficiency and productivity.

Research Director and Head of the Rice Breeding Innovations Department, Dr. Hans Bhardwaj, talked about the overall goal of the SBF and how it aligns with the objective of reducing breeding cycle time to enhance genetic gains.

At the start of the ceremony, a vibrant performance from the Laguna State Polytechnic University Dance Troop was witnessed by guests. Following the dance, a traditional coconut chopping ceremony where guests were encouraged to pour fresh coconut juice in the vicinity of the structure was held. This signifies new beginnings, according to local culture. After the program, attendees were treated to a delicious coconut feast, a reflection of the local culture and culinary traditions.

Occupying a 587-square-meter area, the facility will feature a remarkable capacity of 120,000 plants. It will shorten the turnaround time for rapid generation advancement by targeting 4-5 generations in a year. Equipped with an advanced automated irrigation and control system and interconnected chambers, the SBF will ensure improved reliability, precision, quality, environmental consistency, and water efficiency in the breeding process. Additionally, the facility will prioritize sustainability by operating with solar power, furthering its commitment to eco-friendly practices.

The SBF is targeted to be completed in March 2024. As the facility becomes fully operational, it is expected to revolutionize the field of rice breeding by optimizing the breeding process and contributing to the development of innovative solutions for global food security.

It is a testament to the IRRI’s commitment to cutting-edge research and collaboration, solidifying its position in rice research.

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