The Golden Rice Project

Rice is the staple food crop for more than half of the world’s population, and is especially important in Asia. While it is ample in calories, it lacks vitamin A, which plays an important role in maintaining good health. Because millions of people in the developing world don’t have access to a variety of nutritious foods, millions are at risk of vitamin A deficiency. Enriching rice with vitamin A is one potential solution that can help end this chronic health condition.

The Golden Rice Project

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and partners to develop Golden Rice, a type of rice that contains beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This grant builds on previous foundation funding, and supports a range of activities to develop Golden Rice varieties that are suited for the Philippines and Bangladesh. It is hoped that Golden Rice will help improve the health of millions of children and adults across the Philippines and Bangladesh.

Since a large proportion of vitamin A - deficient children and their mothers reside in rice - consuming populations, particularly in Asia, Golden Rice should substantially reduce the prevalence and severity of vitamin A deficiency, and prevent at least hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths and cases of blindness every year.

Golden Rice is still currently under development and evaluation. It will only be made available broadly if it is approved by national regulators and shown to reduce vitamin A deficiency for the world's poorest populations. Helen Keller International (HKI) plans to independently evaluate the efficacy of Golden Rice if it is approved by national regulators and deemed safe for human consumption.


  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF)

    United States | Staff size: Unknown
    They are focused on the areas of greatest need, on the ways in which they can do the most good.


  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

    Funding Agencies
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

    U.S. foreign assistance has...

  • Rockefeller Foundation

    United States | Staff size: 101-250

    The Rockefeller Foundation supports work that expands opportunity and strengthens resilience to social, economic, health and environmental challenges—affirming its pioneering philanthropic...

  • Helen Keller International (HKI)

    Implementing NGO, Advocacy NGO
    United States | Staff size: 101-250

    Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International (HKI) is among the oldest international nonprofit organizations devoted to preventing blindness and reducing malnutrition worldwide. Spanning 22...

  • International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

    United States | Staff size: 1001-5000

    The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and...

  • Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)

    Government, Institute
    Staff size: 1001-5000

    Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to...

  • Bangladesh Rice Research Institute

    Bangladesh | Staff size: Unknown

    Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) was established in October, 1970 in Joydebpur, Gazipur. The Institute has an outstanding contribution to the food security of Bangladesh. So far it has...

  • Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines (BCP)

    Philippines | Staff size: Unknown

    The BCP, a non-stock, non-profit membership association duly registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, is a broad-based multi-sectoral coalition of advocates for the...

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Key Information

LocationEast Asia and Pacific, Philippines, Bangladesh
  • Start Date 2006