Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

New perspective on rice research and production

A training program in the Philippines has given Functional Grains Centre (FGC) PhD student Ms Shiwangni Rao new perspectives on rice production and research.

Ms Shiwangni RaoMs Rao took part in a three-week training program through the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines.

"I learnt a lot about new innovations in rice research, such as production of golden rice with enriched beta carotene, zinc enriched rice, climate ready rice and C4 rice," Ms Rao said.

"I was also able to step out of the lab and gain an understanding of some of the difficulties of a small holder farmer in Southeast Asia.

"The course also broadened my understanding of why grain handling is as important as getting a higher yield, as poor post-harvest handling costs these farmers nearly 50 per cent of their profits.

"It was amazing to see the contribution of Australian origin wild rice in the germplasm at the International Rice Research Institute and to learn of the Australian Government's contribution towards facilities for research in drought tolerant rice. 

"Furthermore, my research is focused on the potential health benefits of coloured rice, so I was intrigued by the presence and taste of the coloured heirloom rice from the rice terraces of the Philippines, which has been listed as the eighth wonder of the world."

Ms Rao was awarded a scholarship by the NSW Crawford Fund to attend the IRRI Rice Production to Research Course.