Monday, November 18, 2019

Assam Chief Minister welcomes agritech at ‘Krishak Samaroh’

October 2019, Assam, India - Chief Minister of Assam Shri Sarbananda Sonowal was the chief guest in a state-level farmers’ convention-cum-exhibition, known as a ‘Krishak Samaroh’, that was organised on 29 October 2019 by the Department of Agriculture, Directorate of Horticulture & Food Processing (Government of Assam) at Khanapara in Assam’s capital city Guwahati.

Over 10,000 farmers, state and district agriculture department officials visited the exhibition, which included exhibits from the Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), agri-entrepreneurs, private-sector organisations, and Farmer-Producer Organizations.

The World Bank-funded ‘Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project’ (APART), exhibited by the Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Society (ARIASS) in collaboration with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), was visited by the Chief Minister and his entourage, comprising of Assam Agriculture Production Commissioner Rajesh Kumar & State Project Director, and Director Agriculture, Manoj Kumar.

TRRC identifies nutrition, grain quality as key priorities for temperate rice research

Nanjing, November 2019 - Members of the Temperate Rice Research Consortium (TRRC) steering committee renewed their commitment to joint research and collaboration on temperate rice during this year’s meeting and symposium in Nanjing, China.

Held last 7-9 November 2019 and hosted by the Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (JAAS), the meeting was an opportunity for the consortium to come together after three years and redefine TRRC’s new research direction, identify key future research priorities, and evaluate proposed research programs.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Mano Pathak, first IRRI entomologist and director of research and training, passes away

Dr. Mano Dutta Pathak, 85, passed away peacefully at home with family members present in St. Peters, MO, USA, on 6 November 2019. Born in 1934 in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), India, he had also lived in the Philippines and the United States.

One of the key researchers who ushered in the Green Revolution in rice, Mano was an internationally-acclaimed scientist dedicated to improving crop production and agricultural education to eradicate hunger and poverty in the developing world. 

In 1962, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) hired the youthful 28-year-old entomologist who was then studying the stem borer in Indian sorghum fields. He arrived with his family in April that year to be the fledgling institute’s first entomologist in its then Plant Protection Department. He would stay on at IRRI for the next 27 years as an entomologist and upper-level administrator.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Walt Rockwood, former IRRI editor and first ARFUSA president, passes away

Walter G. Rockwood, 91, passed away in Lebanon, New Hampshire, on 24 October 2019. He was an editor for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for 15-plus years, 6 in Information Services at headquarters in the Philippines (1976-82) and then as a part-time consultant for the institute, based in Vermont, editing program reports and other key books throughout most of the 1990s into 2001.

Prior to his time at IRRI, armed with an agriculture degree from the University of Vermont (1950), he served as the Franklin County (Vermont) Extension Dairy Agent. He began his career in the international arena in the Foreign Service during 1963-68 by way of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Togo, Guinea, and Morocco. After earning a Master’s Degree in agricultural communications at the University of Illinois in 1970, he spent 5 years at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria. After 1 year in Iran working for the United Nations Development Programme, he came to IRRI. After his full-time stint at IRRI in 1982, he returned to Africa for a time to work in Côte D’Ivoire for the Food for Peace Program.

Friday, October 25, 2019

IRRI leads development of climate mitigation CBA tool for rice production in Vietnam

To support decision-making processes and accelerate the uptake of mitigation technologies in Vietnam, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), with support from the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and UNIQUE Landuse GmbH, conducted a workshop for the development of a cost-benefit assessment (CBA) tool for climate change mitigation options in rice production. 

Held in Hanoi, the workshop aimed to explore different understandings of the roles, needs, and capacities of relevant stakeholders with respect to using a CBA tool. More than 50 participants from the 23 relevant sectors attended the workshop, such as officials from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and attached agencies, experts from international and local research institutes, representatives from various local governments and universities, and a private company.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

SAARC member states agree to institutionalize Seed without Borders

The member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has made the decision to develop a permanent framework and mechanism for the Seeds Without Borders initiative during their Regional Consultative Meeting during 3-5 September 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The meeting, entitled “Seeds without Borders in South Asia” and organized by the SAARC Agriculture Center (SAC) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), has identified the multi-country seed sharing agreement as an important component of regional food and nutrition security, and is a key contributor to the mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

IRRI- GrainPro Rice Quality Test Kit that evaluates paddy and seed quality is now commercially available

Rice quality is an important consideration for its consumers. To effectively market their harvested rice, producers and processors must have the ability to assess if the quality is of high standards and meets the demand of the market.

Originally developed as a training tool by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) postharvest experts, the IRRI Grain Quality Kit is being used by rice processors and producers to gain a better understanding of the desirable rice quality traits and the factors that affect them. These would help them identify problems in advance and make necessary adjustments to minimize quality loss along the rice value chain.