For the first time, a single strain of genetically modified rice has been developed to handle drought, salty soils and lack of fertiliser. The aim is to “climate-proof” rice farms in Asia and Africa so that they can grow the same variety each year, regardless of the conditions.

Crops have previously been developed that cope with individual environmental stresses such as drought and salt, but this rice is the first to counter three at once.

“Considering the impact of climate instability on crop yields and food security, trait combinations such as our triple-stack technology will play a critical role in sustaining future generations,” says Eric Rey, president of Arcadia Biosciences in Davis, California, which developed the rice.

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