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Monday, November 28, 2011

Miracle Rice Uses Less Water to Grow, Emits Less Methane

Great story from Eco Geek on the work being done at the University of Agriculture at Bangalore, India to cultivate rice that uses much less water, emits less methane and is packed with significantly more protein. What a potential innovation to bring to our global food supply.

The story:

"A new type of rice being cultivated by the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India has many advantages over typical rice varieties -- it requires less water to grow, it's higher in protein and it emits less methane over its life cycle.

This rice, which is not genetically modified but a hybrid crop, uses 60 percent less water than conventional rice crops. It only needs to be watered once a week even in arid climates and can go as long as 15 days without water.

From a nutritional standpoint, the rice has 14 to 15 percent protein compared to seven to eight percent in conventional rice. It also can be harvested more quickly with a similar yield to conventional rice, making it ideal for feeding the world's growing population.

So far, only about five percent of rice fields are using this new type of cultivation, but researchers are hopeful that as word spreads about this approach to rice, it will spread to more areas."

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