It can be said without exaggeration that rice is one of the most important food crops. It is one of the most widely grown (113 countries), one of the most important sources of nutrition (provides 1/5 of calories that humans consume) and a key source of agricultural livelihoods (100 million households in Asia and Africa alone).
Therefore, economising water-use in rice production is crucial to achieving water security and food security, in view of rapidly depleting water resources.
A multi-country, multi-disciplinary research project is examining whether it is possible to make rice mimic genetic/physiological characteristics of wheat, a crop similar to rice in many respects but with much less thirst for water. In this video, scientists working on the project discuss some basic ideas it is based on. And why they matter to the public at large.