Hybrid rice technology exploits the phenomenon of hybrid vigor and involves raising a commercial crop F1 seeds. This technology helped China to increase its rice production from 140 million tons in 1978 to 188 million tons in 1990.

Research at IRRI and in other countries indicates that hybrid rice technology offers opportunities for increasing rice varietal yields by 15-20% beyond those achievable with improved, semidwarf, inbred varieties.

Adoption and success of hybrid rice technology will depend largely on practical seed production technology; economical seed yields from hybrid rice plots; and efficient national seed production, processing, certification, and distribution programs in public and private sector.

Hybrid rice seed production technology involves specialized skills and requires a thorough understanding of various practices to minimize costs and maximize returns. This manual describes and illustrates the many steps involved in hybrid rice seed production for both beginning and experienced seed growers. It is based on experiments at IRRI and hybrid rice seed production experience in China. The authors have presented a complex topic in systematic, easy-to-understand terms that should appeal to trainers and growers alike. This manual was edited by W.H. Smith with the assistance of T. Rola.

Intially, the manual was designed for easy translation and inexpensive copublication in nonindustrialized countries. IRRI will give complimentary sets of the illustrations to cooperators who wish to translate the text and print local-language editions of the manual.