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Farmers’ income up, says IRRI

Manila, Philippines – An Australian study has become a source of pride for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) since it claimed Asian farmers harvested an extra $1.46 billion through the use of rice varities the institute had developed.

The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) assessed the impact of IRRI’s research on improving rice varietal yield between 1985 and 2009 and found that it did boost rice yields by up to 13 percent.

“This means farmers are now harvesting more rice per hectare, which not only lifts them out of poverty, but it is contributing towards the world-wide challenge of feeding the estimated global population of nine billion people in 2050,” said Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.

“Ensuring an ample and affordable supply of Asia’s staple crop is critical to reducing poverty and increasing regional stability,” he added. (Marvyn N. Benaning)