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What It Will Take to Feed 5.0 Billion Rice Consumers in 2030


What It Will Take to Feed 5.0 Billion Rice Consumers in 2030

Gurdev S Khush. Plant Mol Biol.


Major advances have occurred in rice production due to adoption of green revolution technology. Between 1966 and 2000, the population of densely populated low income countries grew by 90% but rice production increased by 130% from 257 million tons in 1966 to 600 million tons in 2000. However, the population of rice consuming countries continues to grow and it is estimated that we will have to produce 40 more rice in 2030. This increased demand will have to be met from less land, with less water, less labor and fewer chemicals. To meet the challenge of producing more rice from suitable lands we need rice varieties with higher yield potential and greater yield stability. Various strategies for increasing the rice yield potential being employed include: (1) conventional hybridization and selection procedures, (2) ideotype breeding, (3) hybrid breeding, (4) wide hybridization and (5) genetic engineering. Various conventional and biotechnology approach are being employed to develop durable resistance to diseases and insect and for tolerance to abiotic stresses. The availability of the rice genome sequence will now permit identification of the function of each of 60,000 rice genes through functional genomics. Once the function of a gene is identified, it will be possible to develop new rice varieties by introduction of the gene through traditional breeding in combination with marker aided selection or direct engineering of genes into rice varieties.

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