Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rice improvements will address global warming and drought

The Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will focus on problems of global warming and drought in the next 10 years of rice research.

IRRI is looking to breed new strains of higher-yielding rice that will need less water, handle higher temperatures, and fix nitogen in the soil as to require less fertilizer.

Rice field in Kolkata, India.
Rice field in Kolkata, India. AFP photo from Yahoo News.

Carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas, reduces rice yields. The institute has plans to reduce requirements for nitrogen fertilizer significantly.

Lately though, the IRRI has needed to devote efforts to fundraising after large donors like Japan and the United States cut funding to the research institute.

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