A swamp in remote far north Queensland isn't the place you'd expect to find the key to feeding the world.
But scientists are hoping that wild rice growing in the far north, untouched by human cultivation, holds untapped genetic traits like pest and disease resistance.
Professor Rod Wing, from the University of Arizona, says he never expected to be so excited sitting in a bird-spotting shelter in the middle of a swamp.
"It is a remarkable place to be, and it is funny, I think most people would just walk by and they wouldn't even notice that there's wild rice here, but there is," he said.
"The wild relatives of rice contain a virtually untapped reservoir of genes that could be used for crop improvement."
Audio: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-06 ... -rice-feeds-world/4940042