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Green: The new color of rice
Date:12/2/2011

Rice consumers worldwide can now look forward to eating "green" rice with the launch of an initiative that will set environmentally sustainable and socially responsible rice production management standards.

The "Sustainable Rice Platform" will elevate rice production to a new level by helping farmers whether subsistence or market-focused boost their rice production, keep the environment healthy, facilitate safer working conditions, and generate higher incomes to overcome poverty and improve food security.

"There are many different sustainable technologies and practices for rice the world's most important food crop that feeds half the planet," said Mr. James Lomax, from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that initiated the Sustainable Rice Platform.

"The trouble is, we need a way to deliver and upscale these practices," he added. "The Sustainable Rice Platform is an exciting opportunity to promote resource-use efficiency and sustainable trade flows in the whole of value chain of the global rice sector."

The Sustainable Rice Platform will learn from established commodity initiatives that promote sustainability such as for sugarcane, cotton, and coffee, and apply them to rice. It will set sustainability targets, develop and promote regional and global standards of best practices for rice production, and support rice farmers to adopt these practices. It will also identify criteria to assess how well the sustainability targets are being met and whether farmers are implementing the practices.

"For example, we will harness our know-how to set standards to better manage insect pests in rice to reduce the unsafe and ineffective use of pesticides, which can damage the environment and the health of farmers," said Dr. Bas Bouman, who will lead the work at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) one of the project partners.

"We can also develop and promote the use of specialized field calcu
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Contact: Bianca Ferrer
b.ferrer@irri.org
63-258-05600 x2587
International Rice Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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