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Pioneer to breed hybrid rice strains for Indian conditions
PIONEER Hi-Bred International Inc, an arm of the US agri-chemical firm DuPont, is planning to breed and introduce new hybrid rice varieties that can be cultivated in India.

Currently, Pioneer has introduced a hybrid rice under its own name and it is being cultivated in Korambe village in Jharkhand.

"Our company worked diligently to reach growers in remote areas of Jharkhand to help them understand the potential of the hybrid rice. These have been found to yield 15-20 per cent more than traditional rice strains and many farmers in Korambe village have now adopted it," said Mr Tom West, the company's Vice-President in charge of biotech Affairs.

He was speaking on a sideline press conference during BIO 2005 International convention here. In fact, hybrid rice varieties of the firm sell more than hybrid corn and it has resulted in Pioneer basing its rice research in India, according to Mr West.

"Pearl millet is another crop we are looking at to introduce new hybrid, while we are also looking at other crops," he said. The company sees the success of its hybrid in Jharkhand as a good breakthrough and "there is more in the pipeline".

"We want to breed new varieties of hybrid rice that can be cultivated in other States in India," Mr West said. "We also plan to take breeds cultivated in our Indian research facility to Thailand and Indonesia," he added.

Pioneer is looking at India on a long-term basis. "We are interested in biotechnology development of rice but that depends on Indian biotechnology laws and regulations. We would like to locate a rice biotechnology centre in India and we are ready to discuss all issues related to biotechnology," Mr West said.

Globally, too, Pioneer has a number of hybrid and genetically modified crops in the pipeline for commercial release. The most important among them, which are currently under various stages of field trial, will be a drought-tolerant corn and a soyabean variety that will not have any transfatty acids.
MGR Archive 24.6.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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