Wednesday, October 29, 2014

IRRI offers 'honest broker' role in global rice market

BANGKOK, Thailand - Equitable food security demands that the land produce enough, farmers profit, and the poor do not go hungry.

Robert Zeigler, director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), added that well-informed governments will be in a better position to secure the food supply and to protect farmers and consumers in times of crises.

“We still feel the shocks of the 2007-08 rice price crisis, and the problems then were issues of a lack of transparency and accurate information,” Zeigler said.

IRRI has been growing its expertise to better understand the rice market and its drivers, and has taken advantage of modern technology to gather and analyze data more comprehensively and faster than ever before.

IRRI offers the expertise and information resources at its disposal as an independent, honest broker for countries who seek a better-informed and stable rice sector.

“We don’t have a dog in the fight,” Zeigler adds. “Using research-based information, we can help countries strengthen and protect their rice industries, and we have already started, having been part of recent initiatives by some Asian countries to develop their national strategies for their respective rice sectors.”

Zeigler delivered his keynote during the Global Rice Market and Trade Summit, part of the 4th International Rice Congress (IRC2014) ongoing this week in Bangkok, Thailand.

The summit gathered stakeholders of the rice industry from around the world including producers, millers, traders, and other members of the rice value chain.

Around 1,500 participants from 69 countries are attending the 4th International Rice Congress, or IRC2014, at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC).

IRC2014 is being held under the patronage of the Royal Government of Thailand, specifically the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and is touted as the “Olympics of rice science,” being the largest gathering of rice science and industry held every four years. 

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