Hopes Grow for Hybrid Rice to Feed Developing World

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Science  21 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5465, pp. 429
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5465.429

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LOS BAÑOS, THE PHILIPPINES-- A growing number of researchers hope that hybrid rice will help feed the billions of people who rely on the crop, as evidenced by the capacity crowd at an international conference here this month marking the 40th anniversary of the International Rice Research Institute. Three decades of effort has produced hybrid rice varieties and commercially viable methods of producing the hybrid seed. But the hybrid rice so far is inferior in quality to current varieties, and growing it requires changes in farm management, including the purchase of new seeds for each growing season and closer monitoring of fertilizers.