Hello! There are many rice laboratories and test centers in Japan.
Various researches are conducted daily, such as improving rice varieties, developing efficient production technology, and developing new technology for disease control.
By the way, although it is said that rice has a very strong image of domestic production, it is eaten all over the world.
According to a 2015 survey, Japan’s rice consumption is the 50th largest in the world.
In other words, there are 49 countries that eat more rice than Japan.
That’s how many countries eat rice.
So naturally, rice is being researched not only in Japan but also in the world.
This time, I would like to introduce the International Rice Research Institute, a research institute in the world that studies rice.
The International Rice Research Institute was established in 1960 in Los Banos, 65 km southeast of Manila, Philippines, jointly funded by the Philippine government and the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation.
It has a vast site and is currently operated with the assistance of FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Japan and other countries.
The International Rice Research Institute is called IRRI after the initials.
The International Rice Research Institute’s major goal is to obtain a large amount of rice so that people around the world can stably eat it.
Do you know ‘Green Revolution’?
The Green Revolution was the introduction of high-yield varieties and large-scale input of chemical fertilizers in the 1940s and 1960s to improve grain productivity and achieve mass production of grains.
At that time, a variety called “IR8” was developed at this laboratory. This variety was produced in many developing countries because it could harvest nearly twice as much rice as previous varieties.
It seemed that many food problems would be solved, but on the other hand, large amounts of water, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides were required, which caused environmental impacts such as desertification and pesticide pollution, and even developed countries to developing countries. There have been various problems, such as the gap between the rich and the poor.
However, due to the breed improvement carried out at the International Rice Research Institute, many new varieties have been distributed to agricultural research institutes around the world and have spread as new varieties.
Thanks to that, the productivity of rice has almost doubled in the world average to date, and it has made a dramatic progress.
Currently, the development for rice production has almost finished, and we are moving to the next stage of research such as disease resistance and taste improvement.
Now that the world’s population is gradually increasing, I want people all over the world to eat delicious rice.