BASF inaugurated a new Rice Knowledge Center at its Agricultural Research Station in Bay, Laguna, Philippines. The new facility centralizes BASF’s global expertise in rice cultivation, and supports the delivery of enhanced agronomic and technical support to farmers seeking to increase productivity more sustainably.
“Rice is the staple food of more than half the world’s population, and farmers have an extraordinary challenge to meet growing demand for rice, while minimizing the impact to the environment,” said Gustavo Palerosi Carneiro, Senior Vice President, Crop Protection, Asia Pacific, BASF. “The new BASF Rice Knowledge Center will enable us to share the latest technologies and best practices with growers, so that we can drive further innovation in rice production.”
BASF’s global network of crop protection experts and technical representatives will be able to leverage the Rice Knowledge Center when providing training, advice and support to growers. Demonstration plots and field trials at the new center will also complement the work of BASF research sites around the region.
“The opening of the new center supports BASF’s recent introduction of new solutions for rice growers in Asia Pacific, such as Seltima™, a highly effective fungicide that is safe for the aquatic environment of rice paddies, and Xemco®, an innovative insecticide for many common rice pests,” said Dr. Edson Begliomini, BASF’s regional head for Research & Development. “Through this centralized platform, we can foster deeper relationships and collaboration with the rice industry, local government, and academia. Together, we will address common challenges facing today’s rice growers around the region.”
Ninety percent of rice worldwide is grown and consumed in Asia. In the near future, BASF will introduce the Clearfield™ and Provisia™ production systems for direct seeded rice in major rice growing countries across the region. These solutions combine conventionally-bred herbicide-tolerant hybrid seeds with a purpose-designed herbicide. Compared to traditional transplanted rice farming, direct seeding rice requires less water and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The Clearfield system is already in use by rice farmers in over 10 countries around the world, including Malaysia.
To help speed the adoption of these technologies, BASF has entered into several cooperation agreements with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to introduce herbicide-tolerant rice seeds to more farmers in Asia. BASF will also become a founding member of a new multi-party research consortium led by IRRI on the mechanized and precise direct seeding of rice. This and future partnerships will be coordinated by the new Rice Knowledge Center.