Monday, May 20, 2019

IRRI joins global country officials for agricultural biodiversity promotion workshop



By fostering active engagement through institutional capacity building and joining global discourse, IRRI helps countries create opportunities where they can enhance their respective agricultural –based ecosystem while boosting rice productivity.

Together with other agricultural officials from 19 countries, IRRI participated in a workshop to share strategies on germplasm conservation and the linkage between natural resources management and sustainable agriculture development. It was also an opportunity to discuss the impacts and threats of exotic species to local species, ways to ensure and maintain potential species and enable digitization of biodiversity data.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

IRRI and partners transforming sustainable food systems landscape : EAT-Lancet Commission report launched in India



The EAT-Lancet Commission's report 'Food. Planet. Health', a groundbreaking study on nutrition, health, and the food system , was formally released for India on 4 April at headquarters of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a global initiative launched by United Nations in 2012 to make nutritious food more affordable, and Tasting India, an international platform for food policy advocacy, partnered with FSSAI at the event to share key takeaways of the report, which proposes scientific targets for what comprises a healthy diet derived from a sustainable food system.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Philippine Department of Agriculture strengthens support for the nationwide deployment of Rice Crop Manager



Digitally enabled agricultural advisory services supported by decades of strong science-based evidence can help accelerate agricultural development. The  Rice Crop Manager (RCM) serves as an exemplar in this era of leveraging the power of digital technology to deliver agricultural information into the hands of those who need it the most.

Since 2013, RCM has generated more than 1.85 million science-based recommendations to rice farmers on integrated crop management for the optimal use of agricultural resources for increased yield and profit. Based on the monitoring, evaluation and learning activity conducted in 2018 for large-scale dissemination of RCM, farmers who followed the recommendations increased their yield by an average of 640 kg per hectare compared with those who did not follow. Moreover, these same farmers had an average added net benefit of PhP 11,146 per hectare than those who did not follow the RCM recommendations.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Unlocking the agriculture potential of Myanmar’s central plains



The fast-growing economy in Myanmar heavily depends on agriculture, being the main source of income for most households. Strategic investment in infrastructure and agricultural management practices, and strengthening institutional capacities are needed to transform the country’s agricultural sector. Despite being endowed with abundant land and water resources, the existing irrigation systems in Myanmar are greatly underutilized. Improving its infrastructure can provide opportunities for better crop intensification, especially in the central plains of Myanmar, which is a potential food granary for the country.

To address this challenge, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) on the Agricultural Development Support Project. Financed by the World Bank, its goal is to support the country’s aim to increase crop yields and cropping intensity in the central plains, contributing to economic development and food security. Currently, the IRRI team has been providing technical assistance in the development of economically and environmentally sustainable rice-based production systems and in building capacities of key actors in the agriculture sector.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Green Super Rice varieties are boosting productivity and income with less inputs and more environmental sustainability



Integrated breeding and crop management solutions help smallholder farmers improve their income and livelihood while protecting the environment and themselves.

Green Super Rice (GSR) can produce high and stable yield with fewer inputs like water, fertilizers, and pesticides. These varieties have the tolerance to different abiotic stresses such as drought, floods, salinity, and other stresses.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations (BMGF) and the Chinese Government, IRRI through the GSR project released 55 varieties in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and East and Southern Africa. At present, these varieties cover more than two million hectares in 11 countries. According to a study conducted in the Philippines, GSR farmers have an estimated income advantage of more than USD 231 per hectare. This advantage can reach up to USD 409 per hectare during the wet season.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Frogs can be heroes or villains in the rice ecosystem, a new study revealed


Molly Shuman-Goodier, lead researcher, recently earned her PhD at the Northern Arizona State University. Grant Singleton, IRRI’s Principal Scientist and CORIGAP project leader, served as one of her supervisors

In a recent study published in the internationally renowned journal Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment, researchers from the Northern Arizona University, the International Rice Research Institute, and the University of Greenwich investigated the functional roles of frogs in the rice ecosystem. The research was conducted on the Zeigler Experiment Station at IRRI, and led by Molly Shuman-Goodier a PhD student who graduated from Northern Arizona University  in April 2019.

A field survey was conducted in two separate rainy seasons of 2015 and 2017 to determine whether the endemic native Luzon wart frogs (Fejevarya vittigera) and non-native cane toads (Rhinella marina) consume rice pests and which is more effective in doing so.  The diet composition of the two species was also examined to determine how these two species compete for food resources in the rice fields. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

IRRI joins regional discussion on mechanization of grain harvesting


Demonstration of a wheat combine in Bhairahawa district, Terai Region, Nepal.

IRRI’s  Mechanization and Postharvest Cluster participated in a traveling seminar on Mechanized Grain Harvesting for Smallholder Farmers in Nepal and Asia in Nepal on 25-29 March 2019 .

The event aimed to identify mechanization research and learning areas across South and Southeast Asia, particularly Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. The traveling seminar included field visits and a workshop on farmers’ grain wheat harvesting, interactions with various distributors, service providers and operators of emerging technologies on rice harvesting at Nepal’s Terai Region.

Dr. Timothy Krupnik, Lead of CSISA Bangladesh, said that CSISA is addressing challenges in smallholder farmers’ productivity and that the traveling seminar is an avenue to stimulate ideas for collaborative research around markets and market system on appropriate mechanization.