11m 26sLenght

Spotlight 37: A new collaboration with Rachel Meyer and NYU's Purugganan lab takes us out into the fields of Africa to observe the genetic variation and potential of African rice, a very different, and more versatile, crop than the Asian rice we typically know. NYU researchers team up with researchers from AfricaRice to interview subsistence farmers still growing a native rice that is rarely sold and is rapidly being replaced by Asian rice. Their goal was to understand how farmers grow African rice in regions that have high salinity, which normally is toxic to plants. During their journey to Benin, Togo, and Senegal, the teams quickly see that talking about rice is talking about women and community. Farmers asked the researchers to share their farming situations with the public, in hopes that the next generations will find work to farm their heritage African rice, that they will have access to the tools they want, and that they will have the resources to battle the challenges brought by climate change. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program.