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% 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/ 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.


John Smith
Program Manager, Research and Innovation
0437 179 359

Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia

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

This Five Year Plan has been developed by AgriFutures Australia and industry stakeholders to outline the AgriFutures Rice Program research, development and extension (RD&E) goals and objectives until 2021/22.

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Rice Extension

Rice Extension is funded by rice growers and the Australian Government through AgriFutures Australia. Rice Extension supports the adoption of innovation and research and development outcomes in the Australian rice industry.

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Latest News and Events


Women in rice and cotton unite to explore common industry issues

Seventy women from the rice and cotton industries united for the Food and Fibre with Flair event in Griffith, NSW on 19 June 2018. The event fostered discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing women in agriculture and inspired participants to develop their leadership skills and tackle common industry issues head on.


Food and Fibre with Flair collaboration connecting women in rice and cotton

Rice Extension’s Women in Rice are joining forces with Wincott - Women in Cotton to bring Food and Fibre with Flair to Griffith on Tuesday, 19 June 2018. The event will unite women in the rice and cotton industries, and promote education and empowerment for women in rural communities.


Local Business and Technology Forums offer expert advice for rice and irrigation businesses

Rice Extension, in conjunction with industry sponsors, are hosting a series of Business and Technology Forums across the Riverina to promote good on-farm decision making in light of new technology developments in the industry.


New rice variety maximising grower returns

A new rice variety called Viand offers growers up to 10 per cent water-use efficiency gains on existing varieties. The variety highlights how cutting edge research and innovation can make real and positive on-farm impacts in our rural industries.