Thursday, March 30, 2017

PhilRice, IRRI host training to help improve productivity of African rice farmers

Engr. Eugene Castro of IRRI Education welcomes the participants from Africa and the Philippines 
to the rice seed production training at the PhilRice Central Experiment Station.

MUĂ‘OZ, Philippines—The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) Central Experiment Station in Nueva Ecija is currently hosting a training designed to provide participants with knowledge and skills in rice seed production and the promotion of quality seed among African farmers.

The specialized course on rice seed production and extension methods, a collaborative initiative of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its Philippine research partner PhilRice, runs from 6 March to 28 April. The course covers land and seedling preparation, planting, field problem diagnosis, harvesting, and postharvest practices. Extension methods and technology transfer strategies promoting the use of quality seeds will also be a key component of the program.  From 9 to 16 April, the participants will be at the IRRI headquarters in Laguna for some supplementary field, laboratory, and classroom activities.

There are 19 participants from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda attending the 8-week course. The participants were selected based on the work they do in their respective countries’ agricultural research institutions and public extension programs. Others represent non-government organizations, universities, and the private sector. In addition, 10 participants from the Philippine Department of Agriculture are also attending.

The training program is one of the activities under the Extension Capacity Development for Rice Food Security in Africa Project, which is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. This project stands alongside the rice value chain improvement initiatives of different members of the Coalition of African Rice Development and aims to contribute to the fulfillment of the respective national rice development strategies of its member countries.

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