How we grow rice could fight food shortages: IRRI

The way we grow rice could help combat worldwide food shortages, says Australia's new board member on the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Professor Kaye Basford from The University of Queensland has been appointed to the IRRI Board of Trustees, joining 14 other members from 11 countries around the world including Germany, Japan, USA, Philippines, China and India.

She is the only Australian on the board.

Professor Basford said she was honoured by the appointment and would draw on her own research at the interface between quantitative genetics and biometry (applying statistical analysis to biological data) as it has led to major benefits in plant improvement programs.

“With new sustainable rice farming techniques, we can work with public and private sector to help improve the yield and quality of their rice in an environmentally sustainable way, and help governments formulate policy to improve the equitable supply of rice,” said Professor Basford.

“Our mission is to become a global leader in rice germplasm development, future production systems and education to alleviate poverty, hunger and malnutrition and make rice production more sustainable.”

Professor Basford succeeds Professor Beth Woods, DDG of Queensland Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Max Lu offered his congratulations to Professor Basford on her appointment to such a significant international research organisation.

In 1998, Professor Basford was awarded the highest possible accolade from the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology – the Australian Medal for Agriculture.

She was also awarded a Fellowship with the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering for having developed statistical methods that are used world-wide to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of crop breeding programs. 


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