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Rice defies its reputation as a thirsty crop

The latest from Rice Today, the magazine of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Two new sister lines of rice are defying rice’s reputation as a thirsty crop as they demonstrate their improved productivity in drought-prone regions of India and the Philippines.

Rice Today’s July-September 2009 edition features the development of drought-tolerant rice and other research the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its collaborators are doing to curb the devastating effects of drought.

With some degree of water shortages predicted to affect 15-20 million hectares of irrigated rice within 25 years, smart crop management and even genetically modified rice may also play a role in helping farmers cope with the crisis.

Rice Today continues to uncover major developments in rice production worldwide. In Uganda rice production has increased 2.5 times from 2004 to 2008 through government initiatives, private investment, and farmer support.

Across the other side of the planet rice production, consumption, and prospects in Latin America are being explored. Rice is being promoted to consumers in Mexico and Central America and in Brazil production is improving.

In light of further boosting production, IRRI takes a look at some practical solutions to help reduce grain losses and improve grain quality during postharvest. Between 15-20% of rice grains are often lost at this stage because of unsuitable drying techniques, pests, and other factors.

As IRRI approaches its 50th anniversary, Rice Today looks at the Institute’s greatest challenges. We gathered the views of former IRRI directors general, senior staff, and associates, in this issue’s Pioneer Interviews section. From using biotechnology and finding IRRI’s niche as our partners improve their capacity, to addressing climate change and funding needs, their insights indicate how IRRI can achieve its aims in the coming years.

Capacity-building programs remain high on the agenda with the Rice Knowledge Bank making inroads across many major rice-growing countries, providing them with a free and reliable repository of best-practice information.

All of these, plus the latest news, views, and books, are available now in Rice Today (July-September, 2009). Subscribers’ copies are now being mailed. To subscribe to Rice Today’s electronic newsletter, which includes links to the full content of the magazine, contact l.columbres@cgiar.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Sophie Clayton, IRRI (Philippines): +63 2 580 5600 (ext 2204), +63 917 552 6082 or s.clayton@cgiar.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sophie Clayton | EurekAlert!
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