The Plate

Can a Rice Revolution Really Feed 9 Billion People?

This content is brought to you by the AXA Research Fund.

Dr. Rod A. Wing, AXA Chair on Genome Biology and Evolutionary Genomics, leads unprecedented research on how the key to solving world hunger could lie in a smarter grain of rice.

“When I think about the 9.6 billion people who will share our planet by 2050, one question rises to the top. How are we going to feed the world without destroying it? I’m convinced that rice will be the solution. But not the cultivated rice three billion people currently eat every day.

What if we could sift through 15 million years of rice evolution to develop a better, smarter variety? What traits could we combine to create rice that’s more nutritious, higher yielding, and less damaging to the environment? My research focuses on finding the way. What kind of data will let us do it? What will the ‘DNA’ of that perfect breed look like? And with the clock ticking on an ever-growing global population, how fast can we produce the rice that will save the world?”

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