Sustainability will be top of the agenda at the 2017 International Temperate Rice Conference when it convenes in Griffith on March 6.
The four-day event will bring together local and international delegates to discuss the latest research, technology and innovation in temperate rice production.
International Rice Research Institute director general Matthew Morell will deliver a keynote address.
He said the conference was a chance to discuss rice science’s role in sustainable development goals and shape the future of the industry.
‘‘There is no better time in history to be an agricultural scientist,’’ Dr Morrell said.
‘‘The global rice sector, for example, is facing tremendous challenges. To meet the world’s demand over the next 25 years we will have to produce about 25 per cent more rice, but this will have to be produced from less land, with less labour, with fewer inputs.
‘‘Regardless, I am optimistic that along with these significant challenges, come incredible opportunities to shape an equitable and sustainable rice sector that can help support a world of nine billion people.’’
Steve Linscombe, Melissa Fitzgerald and Russell Reinke will also deliver keynote speeches.
Rice Research Australia manager and conference organising committee chair Russell Ford said the conference was an opportunity for the industry to reflect on the past.
‘‘In the last 20 years, Australian growers have become world leaders in water use efficiency, production efficiency and environmental management,’’ Mr Ford said.
‘‘Having the chance to showcase these achievements to a global audience, and to also gain knowledge from the world-class scientists who will be in attendance, is an incredible opportunity for the Australian rice community to continue improving the future sustainability of our industry.’’
■The conference runs from March 6 to 9 at Griffith in NSW. For more information or to register, visit: www.itrconference.com