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Fourth edition of Bangalore Bio from July 11

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, JULY 2. The man behind the development and release of over 300 rice varieties in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Gurudev S. Khush, will be a participant at the forthcoming Bangalore Bio 2004. Dr. Khush will deliver a special address on the opening day, July 11, and also present a paper on "Biotechnology for food security in a developing world."

Dr. Khush retired as Principal Plant Breeder and Head of the Division of Plant Breeding Genetics and Biochemistry at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). During his 35-year career at the Manila-based institute, he headed the programme for developing high-yielding and disease- and pest-resistant varieties of rice, which ushered in the green revolution in rice farming.

Presently, IRRI-bred varieties of their progeny are grown on 60 per cent of the world's rice fields. Rice production around the world increased from 257 million tonnes in 1966 to 600 million tonnes in 2000.

Announcing details about Bio 2004, M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda, Secretary, Karnataka Department of Information and Biotechnology, Science and Technology, said on Friday: "It is an honour to have with us an eminent scientist such as Dr. Khush to present his vision on food security. The need now is to increase agricultural productivity, especially in countries such as India. Bangalore Bio is committed to bring to a single platform the best minds of the industry to evolve the road to agricultural development.''

For his contribution to food security, Dr. Khush received the Japan Prize in 1987, World Food Prize in 1986, Rank Prize in 1998 and Wolf Prize in 2000. He has been awarded honorary degrees from seven universities, the latest being Cambridge University. He has been elected to the Indian National Science Academy and Royal Society of London and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The fourth edition of Bangalore Bio is expected to be a hub of top scientists and industry leaders to interact and create and prolific knowledge pool. With prominent speakers and a diverse range of exhibitors, it will provide an opportunity to know about the latest developments in biotechnology and view related products and their practical applications.

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