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02 March 2024

Revolutionary rice plant could ease plight of world’s poor



An international team of scientists is developing a new rice plant that requires less fertiliser and water but could boost yields by up to 50 per cent for small scale farmers in Asia and Africa.

The Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute said on Wednesday the ambitious laboratory project, which may take a decade to complete, could ease hunger for a billion of the world’s poor.

It aims to convert photosynthesis – the process of capturing carbon dioxide and converting it into carbohydrates required for growth – to make a more efficient rice variety.

The institute has been helping farmers for decades to develop more resilient rice varieties that can withstand flooding and drought and increase yield.