Monsanto offers fellowship for research on rice, wheat breeding

April 25th, 2009 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) US-based agricultural biotechnology firm Monsanto Saturday announced a special fellowship programme for research on rice and wheat plant breeding.
Under the programme, the company will allocate $10 million to encourage young Phd scholars to pursue their research in rice and wheat breeding, Edward Runge, director of Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Programme, told reporters here.

The company is looking at attracting students from India and China, two of the fastest growing economies and the largest populated countries, Runge said.

Noted agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan, who was also present at the press conference, said: “The world’s population is estimated to grow from 6.8 billion today to 9.4 billion by 2050. So, we need to increase the production of these two important crops for sustainable food security.”

He expressed hope that the award would “encourage more youngsters to come forward and work in the field of research in this important area”.

Added Runge: “Initially, we start with the $10-million fund, but we are looking forward to rope in corporates for increasing the funding.”

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