Academic Venture Fund - 2018

Sustainable Intensification and Conservation of African Rice

Suriname, South America

Three hundred years ago, the Saramaka people in Suriname escaped from plantation slavery to the rainforest interior of the country and lived in relative independence by hunting, gathering and growing African rice (Oryza glaberrima). But with increased population, rice self-sufficiency can no longer be guaranteed, and Saramaka leaders seek new sustainable solutions to increase rice productivity and protect its biodiversity. Researchers will work with farmers to characterize rice diversity and improve agronomic practices. They will also use genetic analysis to identify the origins of the Saramaka rice and assist communities in developing in-situ conservation strategies.

[This project received an Engaged Cornell supplemental grant.]

Investigators: Erika Styger, Susan McCouch, Chelsea Specht