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Article Released Tue-15th-January-2008 15:22 GMT
Contact: Duncan Macintosh Institution: International Rice Research Institute
 Bird’s-eye views of an enduring rice culture: stunning photography sheds light on an age-old way of life

Spectacular rice terraces, some of which are thought to be more than 1,000 years old, are the landscape signature of Ifugao Province in the northern Philippines. The new issue of Rice Today combines anthropology and photography to explore the cultural and scientific significance of rice farming in this fascinating place.

15 January 2008

Rice Today Vol. 7 No. 1, January–March 2008


Bird’s-eye views of an enduring rice culture: stunning photography sheds light on an age-old way of life

The latest from Rice Today, the magazine of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

Los Baños, Philippines – Spectacular rice terraces, some of which are thought to be more than 1,000 years old, are the landscape signature of Ifugao Province in the northern Philippines. The new issue of Rice Today combines anthropology and photography to explore the cultural and scientific significance of rice farming in this fascinating place. The series of stunning aerial photos helps shed light on an enduring culture.

The latest issue also uses photography to document the drought that hit the northern Philippines in late 2007. Rice farmers in the affected area were hit hard but the lack of rain hasn’t dampened their spirits.

The new Rice Today features two stories on integrated pest management (IPM), a practice that allows farmers to make use of nature’s own pesticides: the rice-field creatures that prey on pests. Simply by growing rice, farmers cultivate a complex—and free—pest control system without doing a single extra thing. By adopting IPM principles on its research farm, IRRI has reduced its pesticide use by almost 90% in 14 years.

In the lead-up to the Institute’s 50th anniversary in 2010, Rice Today is publishing interviews with “IRRI Pioneers.” Peter Jennings, IRRI’s first rice breeder (1961-67), played a major role in the development of IR8, the rice variety that would ultimately change the face of agriculture across Asia. Dr. Jennings starts the series with a forthright and witty account of his time at IRRI.

Cartograms are maps on which areas are altered to reflect the subject of interest, thereby accentuating patterns and making them easier to understand. The latest Maps page compares country-by-country production with corresponding consumption of grain, root, and tuber crops across the globe.

The Rice facts section asserts that the rising price of rice will hamper poverty reduction, while Grain of truth examines the need to optimize fertilizer use for maximum profit. This issue’s recipe is a delicious Italian dish, pea and mint risotto.

Every summer, the World Food Prize Foundation sends high school students from the United States to international agricultural research institutes to work with leading scientists and learn about agricultural development. This issue of the magazine includes the story of one young woman’s experience in the Philippines and Bangladesh.

The magazine also profiles an Indian farmer who achieved a better life by using dry-season rice technology and examines the growing importance of rice in Africa, where four new countries have become members of the Africa Rice Center.

All of this, plus the latest news, views, and books, is available now in the January–March 2007 issue of Rice Today. Magazines are now in the mail to subscribers. To subscribe to Rice Today’s electronic newsletter, which offers links to the full content of the magazine, contact Chris Quintana and copy your request to publisher Duncan Macintosh. Send editorial inquiries to Adam Barclay.

To access the PDF files in the above links, you need Adobe® Reader®, available free at www.adobe.com.

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The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s leading rice research and training center. Based in the Philippines, with offices in 13 other countries, IRRI is an autonomous, nonprofit institution focused on improving the well-being of present and future generations of rice farmers and consumers, particularly those with low incomes, while preserving natural resources. IRRI is one of 15 centers funded through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an association of public and private donor agencies (www.cgiar.org).

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For information, contact Adam Barclay, IRRI, DAPO Box 7777, Metro Manila, Philippines;
tel +63-2-580-5600; fax: +63-2-580-5699; email a.barclay@cgiar.org.

Web sites: IRRI Home (www.irri.org), IRRI Library (http://ricelib.irri.cgiar.org), Rice Knowledge Bank (www.knowledgebank.irri.org)

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Keywords associated to this article: rice
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