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The rice varieties released by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Nepal Agricultural Research Institute are expected to help enhance and stabilize rice productivity in rainfed areas of Nepal.

21 January 2011: The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Nepal Agricultural Research Institute have released three new drought-tolerant rice varieties in Nepal.

The varieties, Sookha Dhan 1, 2 and 3, have demonstrated a yield of 0.8 to 1 ton per hectare greater than traditional varieties when faced with severe drought. Scientists expect these rice varieties to help enhance and stabilize rice productivity in rainfed areas. These relevant areas of rainfed agriculture are estimated to cover approximately 45% of Nepal’s rice growing regions. These rice varieties have also been released in India, under the name Sahbhagi dhan, and will soon be commercially released in Bangladesh. IRRI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [IRRI Press Release]