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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 874-7892

World renowned rice breeder to speak at URI
April 10 lecture to address
"Biotechnology and the Green Revolution"

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 3, 2003 -- One of the world’s most decorated scientists, rice breeder and geneticist Gurdev Khush, will speak at the University of Rhode Island on Thursday, April 10 at 4 p.m. in Room 273 of Chafee Hall on the Kingston Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Khush, who is credited with developing more than 300 varieties of rice in an effort to keep production ahead of population growth, will discuss "Biotechnology and the Green Revolution." In his talk he will address the many issues facing the field of biotechnology as researchers try to provide food for the poorest nations on Earth.

Born in India, the son of a farmer, Khush worked 34 years at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines where he headed its plant breeding program. The institute is dedicated to helping farmers in developing countries produce more food on limited land using less water, less labor, and fewer chemicals without harming the environment.

It is a measure of Khush’s stature that 60 percent of the rice grown anywhere in the world was either bred under his leadership at the Institute or was developed from his varieties. He has developed the most widely planted varieties of rice in the world, doubling yields and, because of its resistance to pests, dramatically reducing the use and costs of insecticides.

"We need to invest today in the future of our children and grandchildren. It is our foremost responsibility to develop the technologies which will help produce enough food for more people in a sustainable way while protecting our environment," said Khush in 1996 when he received the World Food Prize.

He was also awarded the Japan Prize in 1987, the Wolf Prize (Israel) and the Padma Shri Award (India) in 2000, and the International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award (China) in 2001, among many others.

In addition to his lecture at URI, Khush will meet with faculty and administrators to help the University create a minor in sustainability studies.

For more information about the lecture, call Lorraine Keeney at 874-4947. For additional information on sustainability initiatives at URI, visit www.uri.edu/sustainability.

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