IRRI launches rice projects to combat poverty in south Asia
A three-year plan to sustain food security and combat poverty and malnutrition in south Asia next century has been launched by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Total demand for cereals in Asia will jump 30% by 2010, while per capita availability of water is expected to decline by 40-60% in most of the regions countries.
The plan consists of seven new research programmes and 31 projects. These focus on maintaining global food security, improving management of natural resources essential for food production, and conserving the environment.
The IRRI said it would work more closely with farmers groups and national governments agricultural research programmes.
It is working on new high-yielding rice varieties which it believes will raise yields by 20-30% and be ready within five years.