Rice in­dus­try’s start fea­tured in new video

Southern Riverina news - - RURAL OUTLOOK -

SunRice is show­cas­ing a new video that takes a spe­cial look back in time at the his­tory of the Aus­tralian rice in­dus­try and its deep con­nec­tion with Ja­pan.

Fea­tur­ing the fore­fa­ther of the Aus­tralian rice in­dus­try Is­aburo ‘Jo’ Taka­suka, the video doc­u­ments his pi­o­neer­ing ef­forts to grow rice in South Eastern Aus­tralia more than 110 years ago.

A for­mer Ja­pa­nese par­lia­men­tar­ian, Jo came to Aus­tralia in 1905 with his wife Ichiko and their two chil­dren. His story is one of in­no­va­tion, re­source­ful­ness and per­se­ver­ance.

Au­thor Mina Mat­su­daira helped to tell Jo’s story and why it had in­spired her to write a book about his life. As she ex­plains in the video: ‘‘In the Rive­rina we have hon­oured Jo’s pi­o­neer­ing achieve­ments. And in his home pre­fec­ture in Ja­pan he is also hon­oured to­day. It’s a bond that will al­ways ex­ist between Aus­tralia and Ja­pan.’’

The video also fea­tures rice breed­ing ex­pert Rus­sell Ford, who man­ages SunRice’s sub­sidiary Rice Re­search Aus­tralia Pty Ltd (RRAPL) based at ‘Old Coree’, Jer­ilderie.

Mr Ford and his team have been us­ing Ja­pa­nese seed in SunRice’s breed­ing pro­gram for many years, with pre­mium Aus­tra- lian grown Koshi­hikari a re­sult of their ef­forts.

‘‘I’ve been lucky enough to work with the Ja­pa­nese for over 23 years now and un­der­stand­ing their cul­ture and the way they treat the rice as al­most sa­cred is re­ally im­por­tant,’’ Mr Ford said.

‘‘And we’re work­ing with the Ja­pa­nese still to­day to keep learn­ing, keep mak­ing rice bet­ter, which is re­ally im­por­tant to me but it’s also im­por­tant to our team of agron­o­mists, our re­searchers and also our grow­ers.’’

You can watch the video at https:/ /youtu.be/aBNXWDS­jaSE.

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