Fu­ture of rice on agenda

Shepparton News - Country News - - DAIRY NEWS -

Sus­tain­abil­ity will be top of the agenda at the 2017 In­ter­na­tional Tem­per­ate Rice Con­fer­ence when it con­venes in Grif­fith on March 6.

The four-day event will bring to­gether lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional del­e­gates to dis­cuss the lat­est re­search, tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion in tem­per­ate rice pro­duc­tion.

In­ter­na­tional Rice Re­search In­sti­tute di­rec­tor gen­eral Matthew Morell will de­liver a key­note ad­dress.

He said the con­fer­ence was a chance to dis­cuss rice science’s role in sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals and shape the fu­ture of the in­dus­try.

‘‘There is no bet­ter time in his­tory to be an agri­cul­tural sci­en­tist,’’ Dr Mor­rell said.

‘‘The global rice sec­tor, for ex­am­ple, is fac­ing tremen­dous chal­lenges. To meet the world’s de­mand over the next 25 years we will have to pro­duce about 25 per cent more rice, but this will have to be pro­duced from less land, with less labour, with fewer in­puts.

‘‘Re­gard­less, I am op­ti­mistic that along with these sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges, come in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­ni­ties to shape an eq­ui­table and sus­tain­able rice sec­tor that can help sup­port a world of nine bil­lion peo­ple.’’

Steve Lin­scombe, Melissa Fitzger­ald and Russell Reinke will also de­liver key­note speeches.

Rice Re­search Aus­tralia man­ager and con­fer­ence or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee chair Russell Ford said the con­fer­ence was an op­por­tu­nity for the in­dus­try to re­flect on the past.

‘‘In the last 20 years, Aus­tralian grow­ers have be­come world lead­ers in wa­ter use ef­fi­ciency, pro­duc­tion ef­fi­ciency and en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment,’’ Mr Ford said.

‘‘Hav­ing the chance to show­case these achieve­ments to a global au­di­ence, and to also gain knowl­edge from the world-class sci­en­tists who will be in at­ten­dance, is an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for the Aus­tralian rice com­mu­nity to con­tinue im­prov­ing the fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity of our in­dus­try.’’ ■ The con­fer­ence runs from March 6 to 9 at Grif­fith in NSW. For more in­for­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter, visit: www.itr­con­fer­ence.com

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