Aerobic Rice (ARB6)

Aerobic Rice is ready for wide-scale adoption. This is a certain solution (at least in part) to the century old Cauvery water problem facing the States of Tamil Nadu & Karnataka. This could address problems of other interstate water disputes too. This technology package saves water, labor, fertilizers used for cultivation.

Special features

Unlike the conventional varieties that have shorter roots, the long roots of aerobic rice, almost thrice the length of conventional types at about 30 cm, help better absorption of water and facilitates better air circulation.

As a result, the process of methanogenesis (emission of methane through decomposition of organic) is prevented. This is because soil bacteria decompose organic matter under aerobic conditions.

Normally, methane is produced during flooded rice cultivation by the anaerobic (without oxygen) decomposition of organic matter in the soil. It is estimated that paddy cultivation accounts for 20-25 per cent of the methane gases emitted in the atmosphere.

Developed over a period of six years using the hybridisation process, the aerobic rice is a result of cross-breeding of local variety and IR64 procured from International Rice Research Institute Philippines, Mr Shashidhar said.

Saves water

Aerobic rice requires almost half the water needed to grow conventional varieties, said Mr Shashidhar. As against 5,000 litres of water required to produce one kg of conventional rice, the aerobic rice requires between 2,000-2,500 litres, Mr Shashidhar said adding the crop could also be grown in low rainfall areas.

As part of a participatory plant breeding exercise along with farmers, UAS, currently, is undertaking trials of different varieties of aerobic rice at six different locations across the country in Bangalore, Chhattisgarh, Cuttack, Faizabad, Coimbatore and Hazaribagh.

The yield is about 55 quintals per hectares, on par with the traditional varieties, but saves labour costs as this variety does not need transplanting like conventional variety and could be sown directly, he said. UAS has developed about six different types of aerobic rice, which taste like the conventional types.

"We are also looking at developing aromatic rice on these lines," he said adding the aerobic rice does not require pesticides.

Aerobic Rice Advantage

1 Puddling, leveling, raising nursery & transplanting, not required -Saves labour and water.

2 Very less methane emission and Eutrification - Eco-friendly.

3 Lesser incidence of pests and diseases- Cost effective.

4 Well ventilated plants in wider spaced rows - Saves seeds.

5 No standing water during the crop - Saves Water.

6 Inter or mixed cropping with pulses, vegetables, oilseeds possible - Improves soil health.

Rice variety: ARB-6

Varietal Features
Parentage Budda / IR64
Year of release 2009
Duration (days) 120 Days
Plant stature Medium Height
Seed yield (kg/ha) 40 Q/Ac
Grain type Medium Slender
Aroma Non Aromatic
High Milling (%) 83.25 %
High HRR (%) 80.20 %