Suitable soil types, a warm climate, and availability of irrigation water make the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) in Western Australia’s East Kimberley ideal for growing rice.

Potential yields up to 14.3 tonnes per hectare have been demonstrated in this environment by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Among new crops trialled in the ORIA, rice has been demonstrated as a potentially high-return crop suitable for this region. Research is continuing at the department's Frank Wise Institute of Tropical Agriculture to identify suitable varieties and management practices for a profitable rice-based farming system.


  • Rice has been cultivated in many countries for thousands of years. It is a staple food for a significant proportion of the world's population and demand is growing.

  • Rice blast is the most important disease of rice worldwide and detection of the disease in 2010 halted the rice industry in its tracks in northern Western Australia.

  • Rice blast caused by fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, is generally considered the most important disease of rice worldwide because of its extensive distribution and destructiveness unde