Rice research pays off big

December 17, 2005

Rice research leading to new and improved varieties resulted in some in farmers being lifted from poverty in China and India, a study shows.

Rice production grew by 170 percent, from 199 million tons in 1961 to 540 million tons in 2000, mostly because of the research resulting in improved rice varieties. This yield improvement not only helped millions avoid starvation but also saved thousands of acres of fragile natural habitats from falling under the plow to create new rice fields.

"The results indicate that rice varietal improvement research has contributed tremendously to increases in rice production, accounting for 14 (percent) to 24 percent of the total production value over the last two decades in both countries," says lead author, Dr. Shenggen Fan, of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute.

"Rice research has also helped reduce large numbers of rural poor and IRRI played a crucial role in these successes."

The findings are published in the journal Agricultural Economics.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Photosynthesis gene can help crops grow in adverse conditions

Related Stories

Photosynthesis gene can help crops grow in adverse conditions

September 18, 2015

A gene that helps plants to remain healthy during times of stress has been identified by researchers at Oxford University. Its presence helps plants to tolerate environmental pressures like drought—and it could help create ...

Enhancing rice production during climate change in Malaysia

September 1, 2015

A Malaysian rice variety gives higher yields with less fertilizer compared to two other varieties grown in Southeast Asia. This could be key to increasing food security in times of climate change, according to a recent analysis ...

Sequencing of barley genome achieves new milestone

August 25, 2015

Barley, a widely grown cereal grain commonly used to make beer and other alcoholic beverages, possesses a large and highly repetitive genome that is difficult to fully sequence. Now a team led by scientists at the University ...

Recommended for you

Climate scientist hits out at IPCC projections

October 13, 2015

As a new chairman is appointed to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) a University of Manchester climate expert has said headline projections from the organisation about future warming are 'wildly over optimistic.'

The culinary habits of the Stonehenge builders

October 13, 2015

A team of archaeologists at the University of York have revealed new insights into cuisine choices and eating habits at Durrington Walls – a Late Neolithic monument and settlement site thought to be the residence for the ...

A particle purely made of nuclear force

October 13, 2015

Scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have calculated that the meson f0(1710) could be a very special particle – the long-sought-after glueball, a particle composed of pure force.

Dead comets and near-earth encounters

October 13, 2015

Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are asteroids or comets whose orbits sometimes bring them close to the Earth, thereby posing a potentially threat. The asteroid that struck Chelyabinsk last year was an NEO about 40 meters in diameter. ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.