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Crop Biotech Update

Fund Raising Campaign for Rice Research

November 27, 2009

A US$300 million fund-raising campaign organized by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was launched in Singapore to support rice research. "Rice is fundamental not just to Asian economies but also to Asian culture, said IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler. The five-year campaign has already raised $59 million, with over $50 million provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Personal donations of $1,000 to larger gifts from companied have been coming in.

"There is no doubt that rice research can help," Dr. Zeigler said. "For more than four decades, rice production has steadily increased in Asia, pushed ahead by new varieties developed through research that has helped ensure enough rice for all Asians. We have the knowledge. What we need more than anything is to make the necessary investments, especially with the looming threat of climate change."

To support the campaign, IRRI has established the IRRI Fund in Singapore as an international charitable organization which will also be active in Hong Kong. "We want to reach out to all Asians and ask for their support as rice research touches the lives of all rice consumers," Dr. Zeigler added. "After all, in Asia, rice is life."

See the IRRI press release at
http://beta.irri.org/news/index.php/press-releases/us$300-million-fund-raising-campaign-launched-for-rice-food-security-in-asia.html