The varietal improvement programmed is main task of rice division. It is undertaken through introduction, hybridization and selection of segregation, mutation and anther culture techniques for different ecosystem.
(1) creation of genetic variability,
(2) selection within variationsand
(3) evaluation of selected lines. Hybrid rice research is working for future need.
Rice research activities are working with not only regional research stations but also international institutions like FAO, IRRI and IAEA.
Irrigated lowland rice development
Irrigated area has potential yield. Cropping intensity increases along with the use of short-lived rice varieties. Therefore, the improvement for irrigated rice as well as summer rice is being carried out to develop high yielding, early maturing, photoperiod insensitivity and resistant to major pests and diseases.
Development of rainfed lowland rice
Rainfed area occupied with half of the total rice area. Yield of the rainfed lowland area varies in accordance with favorable conditions (stress and adverse soil). There are many varieties released for this environment. However, some are location specific. Hence varietal improvement program include to develop varieties with medium maturing, high yielding, good grain quality and resistance to major pests. (A total of rice varieties were released and more than 25 varieties were widely grown in the country).
Development of flood-prone rice
The yield of flood-prone area is very low at about 1-1.5 t/ha. There are different flooding pattern such as flash flood, gradually flood and stagnant flood. To meet the requirement for those 7 conditions development of rice for flood-prone ecosystem is being
(Up to now eight rice varieties were recommended as deepwater rice).