On 19 August 2013, the Rice Department made an announcement on four new certified rice varieties. Among the four certified varieties is blast-resistant glutinous rice, developed by Rice Gene Discovery Unit, in collaboration with various research partners, namely Kasetsart University, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna (RMUTL), and the Rice Department. Named RD18, this new variety is a cross between RD6 and Jao Hom Nil rice using molecular markers in the backcross breeding process.
RD18 is photosensitive and resistant to blast disease especially during the seedling stage. Suitable for rainfed lowland area in the upper north and northeast Thailand where blast disease is prevalent, it provides an average yield of 3.8 tonnes/hectare (609 kg/rai). RD18 maintains excellent grain and cooking qualities of RD6.
The Rice Department expects to have seeds of all certified varieties ready for distribution by the next growing season.