The AgriFutures Australia Rice Program aims to improve the profitability and sustainability of the Australian rice industry with a key focus on water use efficiency and varieties that deliver increased yield and improved eating quality.

Key components of the program

A key component of this program is rice variety breeding to further reduce demand for irrigation water and adapt to a climate that is hotter, drier and more variable.

About the industry

The Australian rice industry is a world leader in production efficiency, water use efficiency and environmental management.

Australia’s climate makes it ideal for the production of high quality medium grain rice and Australian growers produce more rice per hectare than anywhere else in the world. Australian rice achieves premium prices in world markets thanks to our research outcomes.

From paddock to plate, Australian grown rice uses 50 per cent less water than the global average. Water use per hectare continues to decline because of the industry’s commitment to developing high yielding rice varieties that use less water, and the use of world’s best management practices.

With the capacity to produce more than 1 million tonnes of rice per year, Australian growers play an important role in food security as rice sustains two-thirds of the world’s population.

There are around 1500 farm businesses growing rice in the Murrumbidgee Valley of NSW and the Murray Valley of NSW and Victoria.


The program is funded by statutory levies paid by industry participants which are matched dollar for dollar by the Australian Government.

RD&E plan

The Rice Industry R&D Plan 2016/17-2021/22 builds on previous five-year investment programs. A significant share of the RD&E that underpins the rice industry success has been managed by AgriFutures Australia since 1991. The Australian rice industry is strongly supportive of the RD&E program and its management by AgriFutures Australia.

The plan identifies four key objectives for RD&E:

  • rice breeding – varietal and quality improvement
  • development of an aerobic rice system
  • farm productivity – crop inputs, crop protection and the farming system
  • extension, communication and partnership development


Michael Beer
Program Manager, Research & Innovation
02 6923 6915
0429 566 730

Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia

Related Publications


Characterisation of rice blast races present in Australia


Agronomic options for profitable rice-based farming system in northern Australia


Rice Program Five Year RD&E Plan 2016/17 to 2021/22


Rice NIR and Remote Sensing

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Rice R&D Plan 2012-2017

The Australian rice industry is a world leader in production efficiency, water use efficiency and environmental management

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