Monsanto Company Commits $10 Million to Rice and Wheat Research Program
Monsanto Collaborates with Texas AgriLife Research and
Global Research Program to Ignite Further Public Sector Research in Important Crops
Monsanto is funding the program, which will be administered by Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the Texas A&M University System, for the next five years. The program honors the accomplishments of Dr.
Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of global judges chaired by Program Director Dr.
“We are honored to administer this program and work with students around the world to bring new ideas and research techniques to rice and wheat breeding,” Runge said. “Research in these two staple crops has fallen behind others, and it is my hope this program will help jumpstart additional investment in two of the world’s most important grains. We encourage any eligible rice or wheat breeders around the world to apply for the award.”
Students interested in applying to the program can find more details at www.monsanto.com/mbbischolars. Applications will be accepted until
Announcement of the first year’s winners is planned to correspond with the World Food Prize held in
Plant breeding is both an art and science practiced for thousands of years in agriculture. A breeder works with a specific plant species to help encourage desired characteristics, like larger grain size, heartier stalks, or greater tolerance to environmental stress, among others, to improve the next generation of plants.
Rice and wheat are considered by many to be the most important staple crops in developing countries, providing necessary calories to feed billions of people every day. Many of the world’s poorest people rely on the two grains as a key source of food. In 2008 farmers produced nearly 440 million metric tons of rice and more than 680 million metric tons of wheat. Yet, yields of rice and wheat have grown on a compound annual growth rate of approximately 0.8 percent over the past decade while the population has grown on a compound annual growth rate of approximately 1.25 percent during the same time period. Accelerating yield growth will help to reduce hunger by helping to produce more food on the same number of acres.
“As the world celebrates the birthday of Dr. Borlaug, Monsanto is pleased to mark the accomplishments of two great men in agriculture by establishing this scholars program,” said Dr.
“Young scientists who receive this scholarship will have the opportunity to come to us to further their training and work with world-renown rice experts working on projects that are making a real difference to people’s lives,” said Dr.
“This is a welcome investment by the private sector, in an era of increasing food insecurity and decreasing numbers of graduate students in plant breeding,” said Dr.
IRRI is the largest non-profit agricultural research agency in
CIMMYT is a non-profit research and training center with direct links to about 100 developing countries through offices in
Fathers of the Green Revolution
Today, Dr. Borlaug remains active in the fight against world hunger. Along with his work through
Beachell was a world-renowned plant breeder whose cultivation of a new rice plant led to greatly increased yields of the crop in developing countries of
The extraordinary contributions of the two men have come to be known as the “Green Revolution.”
The establishment of Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program is part of Monsanto’s three-point commitment to help increase global food production in the face of growing demand, limited natural resources and a changing climate. The company pledged in
Reporters interested in obtaining photos or broadcast-standard video footage related to today’s announcement can download these files directly from The News Market at www.thenewsmarket.com/Monsanto or directly from Monsanto’s Web site at www.monsanto.com.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large- scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: http://www.monsanto.com/.
Contact Nick Weber (Monsanto), 314-694-4689 Mike Jackson (Texas A&M), 972-952-9232
SOURCE Monsanto Company