Thursday, July 12, 2018

Philippine partners learn about mechanized straw collection



Rice straw is a major residue in Philippine rice farms. Due to lack of awareness about properly disposing rice straw, farm owners resort to burning tons of the material, which in turn exposes the environment to major hazards. The negative effects of burning rice straw not only affects the farmers, but everything and everyone in the vicinity. 

One of the major technological developments that makes rice straw disposal more efficient is the rice straw baler. This machine can pick up and collect loose straw in the field, and reduce it into compact bales that can be easily handled and transported to areas where it can be used further. Using this machine reduces labor requirement by 90% compared with manually collecting the rice straw spread out in the field. 

IRRI, FAO teams up to develop sustainable rice value chain in Africa


Workshop participant doing a land preparation exercise at an IRRI experiment station.

IRRI, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is equipping the next generation of African agricultural technicians and extension agents with technical strategies and techniques in developing sustainable rice value food chains.

A two-week training workshop gathered 27 participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote D’ Ivoire, Guinea Conakry,  Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. During the event, global rice experts facilitated interactive lectures and gave participants hands-on experience on the stages of the rice value chain from land preparation to post-harvest processing, seed systems, and agribusiness development.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Public consultations scheduled for Golden Rice field trials


The Philippine Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) has given the go-signal for the conduct of public consultations on the proposed field trials for GR2E Golden Rice.

The public consultation process is a significant component of biosafety regulatory approval under the Joint Department Circular No. 1 series of 2016. The consultation process is comprised of Public Information Sheet postings in accessible community locations, a 30-day public comment period, and the public hearing. This provides community members with the opportunity to participate responsibly in a critical biosafety decision-making process.

Nepal, IRRI strengthens collaboration to achieve self-sufficiency and reduce rice importation at 15th National Rice Day



Rice importation eats up a substantial chunk of Nepal’s national budget each year, adversely affecting economic development in the country. In order to reduce rice import and  help Nepal achieve its commitment to rice self-sufficiency, IRRI is working in the country to speed up the translation of innovative global solutions to the local needs of the rice value chain. Together with national partners, IRRI is accelerating the impact of its research through scaling up technology adoption and teaching local rice stakeholders.

During Nepal’s 15th National Rice Day, Dr. Dil Bahadur Gurung, member of the National Planning Commission, expressed appreciation for IRRI’s support in Nepal’s research on rice product profiling, climate-resilient rice, and on the best management practices in rice production. He also thanked IRRI for its contribution in the capacity building of more than 300 Nepalese scientists and extension workers through academic programs, short-term trainings, and exchange visits.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

RICE CRP to boost communication of its vision and impact across regions


To map out the general course of its operations towards achieving food security and eliminating poverty, the CGIAR Research Program on Rice (RICE CRP) held its annual Independent Steering Committee Meeting (ISC) on June 7-8, 2018 at the Agropolis International, Montpellier, France.

The ISC is composed of five (5) representatives from the boards of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and AfricaRice; six (6) independent global experts; and the DGs of IRRI and AfricaRice as ex-officio members. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

RiceStrawPH: IRRI teams up with Philippine partners for sustainable rice straw management project



The Philippines produces 15.2 million tons of rice; leaving 11.3 tons of rice straw spread out in the field. The abundance of rice straw can be used for a number of profitable practices like composting, mushroom production, and as feed for animals.

However, it is still perceived to have of little value in the Philippines because of its difficulty in collection and lack of opportunities to use rice straw as an additional source of income. Rice producers would prefer burning it in open fields for easier management. About 60-80% of rice straw is burned in the open field, which contributes to greenhouse gas emission and air pollution.

To develop optimal, localized, and sustainable rice straw management solutions in the country, IRRI, the Philippine Rice Research Institute, and the Philippine Carabao Center, launched the Sustainable Rice Straw Management for Bioenergy, Food, and Feed in the Philippines (RiceStrawPH) project. Funded by the Philippine’s Department of Agriculture Bureau of Agricultural Research, the two-year project aims to develop sustainable technologies and practices in using rice straw for bioenergy, mushroom, and animal feed production.



“It is very  exciting to see how we are taking further steps, through strong collaboration with our Philippine partners, to find ways to manage rice by-products, for optimal resource-use efficiency in farms in the most environmentally sustainable manner. This is very crucial for us to achieve a sustainable impact in rice–based ecosystems,” said Jon Hellin, IRRI Platform Leader on Sustainable Impact.

“We must create incentives for farmers to stop burning and to do this under the umbrella of enabling legislative framework,” he said.

Together with other project collaborators from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), Bureau of Plant Industry, and the University of the Philippines Los Banos, a two-day workshop was held on 26-27 June at IRRI  to discuss and align the project’s plans with the Philippine Rice Program.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Rice stakeholders highlight importance of creating value-adding activities for rice


In Asia, achieving food security remains an important issue, as the consumption of rice appears to be decreasing in some rice-growing countries, and farmers face increasingly challenging conditions. As rice is a political crop so culturally intertwined with life in Asia, the need for marketing it innovatively through value-adding activities is more relevant than ever.

The International Seminar on Promoting Rice Farmers’ Market through Value-Adding Activities held on June 5–9 at the Kasetsart University gathered rice experts from 11 countries to share  experiences in rice value addition during production, processing, and marketing.