Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 104

I am indebted to an article in the Saturday Review for knowledge of one of the most important developments of the 20th Century. It is certainly one that is far removed from stamp collecting, but one that might over the next century affect philately along with all the other activities of man. I refer to the work being done by the Rice Research Institute at its Los Banos headquarters in the Philippines.

Ways are here being discovered to more than double the yield of rice per acre. Improved strains of this grain are being developed that will produce higher protein levels in the hope that the exploding populations of Asia might be fed better than were their fathers.

With better farm yields people will be released from the need of producing food. Many will become industrial and service workers. Living standards will improve. Thus the areas of greatest population density may one day reach the economic level where people have some surplus necessary for luxury. Some will collect stamps and the market for good philatelic material, always responsive to the addition of collectors, will expand. Certainly, this is long-term thinking but what is fifty or hundred years in the history of mankind?