Dr Amy Khor visiting residents at Jurong West Street 73 to share dengue prevention tips yesterday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Rise in mosquito population may lead to more cases in 2019: NEA

Dengue cases have increased over the past four weeks, with 455 seen in the first two weeks of this month.

Read more: Dengue cases surge, with 455 in two weeks


Mangroves like this could have a significant role in the future by mitigating the carbon emissions of certain nations. Credit: Pierre Taillardat

Geographers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have found that coastal vegetation such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes may be the most effective habitats to mitigate carbon emissions.

Read more: Mangroves can help countries mitigate their carbon emissions


(From left) United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation assistant director-general Kundhavi Kadiresan, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, International Rice Research Institute director-general Matthew Morell and International Fund for Agricultural Development president Gilbert Houngbo at the opening of the International Rice Congress at Marina Bay Sands yesterday.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

The production of rice, one of the world's most important crops, is facing major problems such as slow growth and climate change, which could increase its price by more than 30 percent by 2050.

"We need major changes to our rice and food production systems to make them more resilient to weather disruptions, and also to reduce their emissions and their impact on the environment," Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

Speaking at the opening of the International Rice Congress, he said that although Singapore is a rice consumer instead of a producer, the country has turned its limited land space to its advantage by experimenting with more productive farming methods.

"After all, necessity is the mother of invention," said Mr Wong, who is also Second Minister for Finance, citing examples of urban farming producing more rice with less land.

The congress, also called the "Olympics of Rice Science", is the world's largest scientific conference on rice. Held every four years, it is in Singapore for the first time.

This year's conference, organized by the International Rice Research Institute (Irri) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, brings together 1,500 participants from 40 countries, including scientists, government officials and representatives from international bodies like the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Among the announcement, yesterday was a four-year partnership between Irri andCortevaAgriscience, the agricultural arm of chemical giant DowDuPont, which aims to improve global rice production and quality.

According to the two bodies, rice production needs to dramatically increase by 25 percent over the next 25 years to meet the growing demands of the world's population.

Both organizations will draw on each other's scientific strengths to breed rice that will overcome looming challenges of climate change and decreased rice productivity.

Read more: Make rice production more resilient to climate change: Lawrence Wong


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