Through very innovative work in the area of agriculture, scientists have worked through social enterprise in improving and securing crop yield, especially rice, which has enabled farmers in India and Bangladesh to feed their families and earn a profit from their surplus. In this audio interview with Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman, Pamela Ronald, of the University of California, Davis, talks about how her laboratory, in collaboration with other scientists, developed a variety of rice with sufficient submergence tolerance to survive severe flooding. Ronald also offers insights on the relationship between genetic engineering and organic farming, enhancing an ecologically based system of farming, and on international development, in this Social Innovation Conversations, Stanford University podcast.

Pamela Ronald is Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis. She also serves as Director of Grass Genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Institute. Ronald’s laboratory has engineered rice for resistance to disease and tolerance to flooding, which seriously threaten rice crops in Asia and Africa. Ronald led the isolation of the rice XA21 immune receptor and the rice Sub1A submergence tolerance transcription factor. In 1996, she established the Genetic Resources Recognition fund, a mechanism to recognize intellectual property contributions from less developed countries.