Rice, the staple food of almost half the world each day, is the world’s most important agricultural crop grown on six of the seven continents.
Charles Sturt University (CSU) has long been associated with rice research as a major partner in Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Rice Development, and today announced an alliance with the world’s leading rice research centre, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).See background information.
CSU is the first Australian university to work with IRRI and will assist them to provide research-based solutions for the development and growth of the vital food crop. The alliance will also allow increased educational opportunities for researchers and postgraduate students working in the area of rice production and sustainability in Australia and worldwide.
CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter said, “As the world’s foremost research institution on rice, IRRI is at the leading edge of research expertise and knowledge of this fundamental food crop”.
“This collaboration offers a tremendous plus to Charles Sturt University’s research strengths in the rice industry, and will give our researchers and postgraduate students access to the significant work of IRRI in global agricultural development and future food security.”
According to the Australia Rice Growers Association and IRRI, Australia produces over 1 million tonnes of rice annually and it’s estimated that 40 million people across the globe eat Australian rice everyday. Each year the domestic industry earns around $800 million in revenue, which includes nearly $500 million from value-added exports.
IRRI’s Director General Dr Robert S. Zeigler said he was delighted with the new partnership with CSU.
“We recognise CSU as one of Australia’s leading universities, especially in the area of agriculture. We’re confident that by working together we can make a real difference in the lives of the world’s billions of poor rice farmers and consumers.”
Dr Zeigler said he was especially pleased that IRRI could partner with a university in Australia with strong and established connections to rice research.
“We look for quality, experience and knowledge whenever we establish a new partnership and its clear that CSU has all three,” he said.