Hidden Treasure

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In honor of the International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) 50 years of dedication to rice research and development, The Rice Trader (TRT) donated US$10,000 to IRRI during the TRT World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand, last 12-14 October. This amount is not much compared to the great wealth of others, but I am nonetheless glad to be able to give back to the Institute that has given so much to the world. 

In the next 50 years

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forward and what challenges lie ahead of us? The simple answer is to sustain the achievements seen in the last half a century, and even push for more ftentimes, in the midst of celebrating advancement to increase our food supply. The world’s and looking back at accomplishments, population will continue to grow dramatically. But, the we take a pause in life. It is as if one has amount of land used for food production is reaching finally reached the top of the mountain its maximum capacity, and so we must focus on using after an arduous climb, and takes time to sit down, land resources more efficiently, boosting yields, and rest, and reflect on the journey. reducing postharvest losses. Perhaps, this is the last hurrah Dr. Samarendu Mohanty (right) Needless to say, we need to receives the donation on behalf of this 50-year celebration. of IRRI from TRT’s President/CEO find new, better, and more And so, allow me to once again Jeremy Zwinger. sustainable ways to increase humbly honor those who our food supply, and at the have dedicated their careers same time keep prices in check to propel great revolutions in to ensure that everyone can agriculture. The time and effort still have access to food. Energy they have devoted to ensure is yet another factor that must we have food on our plate is be considered on the road commendable. It is because ahead as it will surely leave a of them that we—the rice trail, particularly in the cost industry and IRRI—now stand of fertilizers, a valued input to where we are, celebrating the THE RICE TRADER boost yields. many hard-won achievements in food production. Working diligently to make sure the world has So, what has occurred during the last 50 years? ample food supplies and remains safe from fears of Prior to 1960, we were still “mentally” moving away food shortages is a priority. One thing is certain: the from the devastation of World War II. At that time, challenges will be great. Nonetheless, we are also sure the world had a great sense of rebuilding lives and that some people will stand up to these challenges a renewed sense of hope for a better future. The knowing that their sacrifices today will be rewarded population then was around a staggering 3 billion much later—to the benefit of future generations. and questions abounded concerning how to push For me, quiet success outweighs the need for public for industrial and technological revolution, while at accolades. the same time sustaining agricultural growth to feed With this, I would like to end by wishing everyone the growing number of people. Political turmoil and a happy new year. May 2011 bring us more blessings— shifts in global power followed and brought about but, more importantly, that we understand the socioeconomic changes. Yet, in all of this, the world blessings that have already been bestowed upon us. had to look forward to the progression of the human race. Problems will always be there, but humans have been blessed with the ability to solve challenges. I believe that we will continue to triumph over more challenges in the future. In the next 50 years, what must we do as we move

Jeremy Zwinger Publisher
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* The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Rice Research Institute. Rice Today January-March 2011

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