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Commercial rice farming

Commercial rice farmers mostly use HYV or modern varieties. All of the rice growing countries of Asia have established national research centers (NARS) which perform adaptability trials on rice varieties released from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) or their own centers. Varieties are tested to determine their performance against the local agronomic factors. Countries like Thailand have developed products to satisfy their international export markets. In all cases, commercial farmers are keenly interested in new developments at IRRI and the NARs in production and post-production technologies that could improve their productivity and product quality.

The rice food system is shown as Figure 1 (attached). For many rice systems, there are two groups: the production sector composed of farmers and the post-production sector composed of processors and traders. The latter are entrepreneurs who invest in technology. The interests of the two sectors are different and sometimes conflict. Farmers depend on public sector research for their technologies; processors and traders depend on manufacturers for their technologies. In Asia, however the post-production sector cannot fully depend on private sector initiatives. Some institutions are unwilling to support R & D if the farmers are only beneficiary.

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