Rice industry’s start featured in new video
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.