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Agriculture

The Asia Society and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Task Force report, Never an Empty Bowl: Sustaining Food Security in Asia, was the focus of the Ministerial Roundtable Meeting on Rice at the Third International Rice Congress held in Hanoi, Vietnam recently.

From being ‘a poor mans crop, sweetpotatoes today is perceived as a commodity of high commercial value and importance for a variety of reasons including its varied utility and broad adaptability.

Cocoa is prone to plant pathogens, especially Phytophthora which thrives on high humidity and surface wetness. Phytophthora causes two-dimensional disease in cocoa as Phytophthora pod rot and Phytophthora stem canker. Phytophthora pod rot is traditionally controlled by sprays of fixed copper fungicide including cuprous oxide.

"Rice is the most important staple food for more than half of the world’s population," said DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman. Indeed, rice has been the most commonly used food grain for most people in the world since ancient times and between 1961 and 2002, worldwide per capita consumption of rice increased by 40 per cent.

BASF Plant Science and KWS SAAT AG have announced that they are to collaborate to develop high-yielding sugar beet. The objectives for the long-term plant biotechnology project are to develop sugar beet varieties for the global market with higher sugar and energy yields as well as greater drought tolerance. The partners aim to bring the new varieties with 15 per cent higher yields to the market from 2020 onwards.

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