Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Dr. Jauhar Ali invited to University of Bonn for special seminar on climate-smart rice



18 June 2019 – IRRI Senior Scientist and Head of Hybrid Rice Breeding Dr. Jauhar Ali was invited last June 12 by the Institute for Crop Sciences and Resource Conservation of the University of Bonn, Germany to give a special seminar on ‘climate-smart rice for global food security’.

Dr. Ali’s seminar, which was attended by students and staff of the university, established the importance of rice as a global food staple, and how research into areas like climate-resilient crops, biofortification, crop management technologies, and policies on food availability and access can help ensure food and nutrition security.

Dr. Ali then went on to talk about Green Super Rice (GSR), a category of rice varieties and hybrids so named for their environmental sustainability and high resource-use efficiency. These cultivars, developed through an IRRI breeding strategy of identifying promising introgression lines with target traits and bred through Designed QTL Pyramiding, combine high yield potential with less inputs, multiple biotic and abiotic tolerances, and good grain quality that can help farmers achieve stable harvests and income amid climatic stresses. 

IRRI boosts South-South cooperation in preparation for the 2020 India-Africa Summit



7 June 2019 -- A round table discussion organized by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) in New Delhi, brought senior diplomats from African countries and India, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, participants from the public and private sectors, senior academics and CGIAR partners together to discuss challenges and prospects for enhancing India-Africa cooperation on agricultural research and capacity building for development.

Over 80% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa depend on agriculture.  The demand for rice in the region is growing at over 6% per year due to rising population, better incomes, urbanization and shifting consumer preferences. To meet this rising demand, the region imported 16 million tons of milled rice in 2018 at a cost of around US$ 6 billion. “There is a need to build robust rice-based agri-food systems in Africa using the knowledge and overall progress made in India, to increase food production and improve nutrition”, said Dr Abdelbagi Ismail, IRRI Representative in Africa.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Dr. Abdelbagi Ismail receives prestigious Fellowship of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences



5 June 2019, Delhi, India - Dr. Abdelbagi Ismail, Principal Scientist and IRRI Representative in Africa was presented the prestigious Fellowship of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India as a foreign fellow. The honour is effective January of 2019 and was conferred to Dr. Ismail in a formal ceremony chaired by Dr. Panjab Singh, President of the academy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

John Sheehy, former IRRI senior scientist, passes away in UK


John E. Sheehy, 76, a crop ecologist and crop modeler at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for 14 years (1995-2009), passed away last Friday (7 June 2019) after battling Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy (MSA) for several years in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, UK.

For his entire time at IRRI, he headed the Applied Photosynthesis and Systems Modeling Laboratory. He was also head of IRRI’s Climate Unit and Systems Modeling Group and was adjunct professor in the Agronomy Department of the University of the Philippines Los Bańos.

At the turn of the century, he kick-started a project designed to make rice utilize photosynthesis more efficiently. It all started with a think tank that he organized, which was attended by a small group of elite modelers, systems analyzers, ecologists, and environmental and crop physiologists who were on a quest to reduce hunger by redesigning rice photosynthesis. The gathering was at IRRI in the Philippines, 30 November–3 December 1999. The result was a proceedings that became the “Bible” for a while as research got underway. It was superseded by Charting new pathways to C4 rice, published by IRRI and World Scientific, emanating from a 2006 follow-up workshop to catch up with the rapidly growing literature. 


In an interview (15:11) given at IRRI on 26 March 2013, Dr. Sheehy talked about the project’s concept. “C4 rice is the ultimate goal of rice scientists' attempt to supercharge photosynthesis, the process by which a plant uses sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to produce carbohydrates—in rice so that it yields more grain. Rice, a C3 plant, uses these resources far less efficiently than C4 plants (e.g., maize) do. A C4 rice plant would use less water and fertilizer and produce at least 50% more grain.”

Dr. Sheehy appreciated that IRRI could not realize the dream of developing C4 rice alone. So, after the 1999 think tank, he set about persuading, and bringing together, a group of many of the best scientists worldwide to join in the C4 Rice Project. In 2008, he helped secure partial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which continues support to this day. At the time of his death, and after 20 years of research, C4 rice is not yet a reality, but significant progress has been made. The ongoing Project is indeed an important part of Dr. Sheehy’s scientific legacy.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Thailand gears up innovations on land leveling


Proper use of the laser-guided land leveling system entails correct and safe tractor operation
The Phraojen Village is one of the rice-producing areas in Chainat province that needs more water during dry season. “Although we have adequate supply of water through the Chao Phraya River, we don’t have enough during the dry season so we need to take measures,” said Winai Jaengan, village head.

To overcome this challenge, the village members rely on underground irrigation during the dry season. “This is costly for us because it needs more fuel to pump the water out.   Additionally, the farmers use small walking tractors which takes time and more cost to level the field,” he added.

The Thai Rice Department, in partnership with IRRI through the CORIGAP project has introduced innovations in rice production. One of these innovations is the laser-guided land leveling.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Ushering Vietnam towards a new rice revolution using best management practices


IRRI, through the World Bank-funded project “Vietnam – Sustainable Agricultural Transformation (VnSAT),” continues to build initiatives towards producing high quality, certified environmentally safe rice in Vietnam.

By ensuring the use of sustainable best management practices in rice by following 1 Must Do, 5 Reductions (1M5R), IRRI provides technical assistance to increase the adoption of this practice that will feed into the certification of global standards like Sustainable Rice Platform. This initiative complements government supported policies like Small Farmer, Large Fields to enable smallholder farmers reap benefits from producing sustainable rice.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

IRRI and Korea partner to catalyze rural transformation through rice science



By working with Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA), IRRI enables rural transformation through the adoption of technologies and practices to solve complex global problems in rice-growing countries and beyond.

Since 2002, IRRI has partnered with RDA in organizing the two-week Rice Technology Transfer Systems Training Workshop (RTTS). Through this program, more than 250 participants from nine Asian countries had the opportunity to evaluate global challenges facing rice research and development. Participants were also involved in various interactive and participatory learning methods to identify and analyze research-extension linkages that enable adoption of successful new rice technologies in the field.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Learning about the roses and thorns of digital survey data collection


Conducting a survey can be an arduous task. It entails encoding, printing, and processing, not to mention the struggle of recording handwritten notes that are sometimes difficult to read. Consequently, it can lead to gathering less reliable data.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Staying ahead of the curve: CGIAR holds Germplasm Seed Health Workshop



Germplasm exchange is a regulated process governed by the phytosanitary policies and procedures of International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and national plant protection organizations. Since inception, CGIAR centres have adopted strict code of practice to ensure phytosanitary compliance executed by the purpose-made Germplasm/Seed  Health Units (GHUs), established as per the IPPC recommendation in the 6th International Plant Protection Congress held in Montreal in August 1993. The GHUs, titled differently in some centres (e.g. Plant Quarantine Unit, Seed Health Unit, Health Quarantine Unit), have a common mission of preventing the risk of accidental spread of pests and pathogens along with the germplasm. GHUs have adopted a multipronged interdisciplinary approach to accomplish this important objective.

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.

Monday, April 15, 2019

IRRI hosts 13th Pan-Asia Farmers Exchange delegates



48 delegates from ten countries across Asia recently visited the International Rice Research headquarters to learn about the institute's agricultural biotechnology initiatives and biosafety protocols. The study visit formed part of the itinerary of the 13th Pan-Asia Farmers Exchange program, an annual knowledge exchange platform organized by Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, Croplife Philippines, and Croplife Asia for farmers, policymakers, journalists, and other key stakeholders engaged in agriculture.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Former Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development appointed as new member of IRRI Board of Trustees



With his extensive experience in agriculture and great contribution to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Dr. Cao Đức Phát, the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) of Vietnam from 2004 to 2016, was recently appointed as a new member of IRRI's Board of Trustees. His appointment will be effective 10 January 2019 for a term of three (3) years.

In a meeting to celebrate Dr. Phát’s appointment, Dr. Ole Sander, the IRRI country representative to Vietnam, recalled the significant contributions Dr. Phát provided to IRRI when he was the minister of MARD. These include allowing IRRI to have an active role in the development of the rice restructuring plan of Vietnam, as well as helping strengthen the research and capacity building collaboration between IRRI and the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS).

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

On the shoulders of giants, IRRI launches AGGRi Alliance



Building on its success in developing and delivering improved rice varieties in South Asia and Africa, IRRI through the Accelerated Genetic Gain in Rice (AGGRi) Alliance continues to strengthen its partnership with the national research and extension systems to increase rice yield and improve livelihoods of rice farmers in these regions.

According to IRRI breeder and project leader Joshua Cobb, “AGGRi Alliance will combine the progress made in modernizing IRRI’s rice breeding through Transforming Rice Breeding (TRB) project, with the successful trialing networks, germplasm development, and seed systems from the Stress Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) project - both supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) - into a single initiative that will expand IRRI’s variety testing networks into a globally aligned, modernized, rice breeding 'community of practice'. It will also empower women involved in the rice value chain which will be unified by a set of standards developed to make breeding decisions consistent with the demands of regional farmers, consumers, and processors”.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Enhancing Iloilo’s rice productivity through innovations on land leveling and rice straw management



Iloilo is one of the major rice baskets in the Philippines, and mechanization could play a role in increasing the productivity of rice farming in the province. Last 7 March 7, the laser-guided land leveling system and rice straw baler were showcased to demonstrate its benefits and determine opportunities for future use.  One hundred sixty five mushroom growers, ruminant raisers, rice farmers and members of irrigators’ association, graced the event to assess the benefits that can be obtained from using these technologies to help improve farming livelihoods and accelerate the Iloilo’s rice competitiveness.

Mr. Peter Sobrevega, Regional Technical Director of the Department of Agriculture- Regional Field Office for Region 6, welcomed the participants and partners to the event and emphasized how important these technologies are in terms of improving the rice farming industry. He also mentioned that mechanized rice straw collection using rice straw balers, through the support of the RiceStrawPH project, can also help the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and the National Dairy Technology to improve the livestock sector.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Direct Seeded Rice Consortium convenes first annual meeting to advance partnerships for more sustainable, environment-friendly rice systems



14 March 2019, IRRI Headquarters ~ The Direct Seeded Rice Consortium (DSRC), a multi-stakeholder research for development platform established by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), held its first annual review and planning meeting to discuss the progress and challenges encountered in their first year.

Direct seeding is a crop establishment system wherein rice seeds are planted directly into the field, as opposed to the more conventional method of growing rice first in a nursery, then transplanting it into a flooded plot. Besides saving significant water, labor, and time, direct seeding also greatly decreases the output of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change. Some of the trade-offs associated with the shifts from transplanted rice to direct seeding include use of higher seed rates, and higher weed infestation.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Vietnam government taps CGIAR to work on its New Rural Development program



For more than five decades, CGIAR and its centers have been collaborating with Vietnamese partners in pursuing agricultural development, poverty eradication and sustainability in the country. CG Centers and CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) have done a lot of work in Vietnam on improving the income and livelihood of the rural population and helping them cope with the impacts of climate change.

With this relevance and strong research for development (R4D) capacity, the National Coordination Office of the National Target Program on New Rural Development (NTP-NRD) forged a partnership with CGIAR centers operating in Vietnam to work together for the NTP-NRD or the Nông Thôn Mới program. As a comprehensive development program, the Nông Thôn Mới program not only aims to build new rural areas by having appropriate socio-economic infrastructure and protecting national defense and security but also combining agricultural development with industry and services and conserving the environment.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Myanmar strives to improve resilience against climate change



Millions of resource-poor farmers in stress-prone areas in Myanmar can cope with the effects of climate change by cultivating high-yielding stress tolerant varieties and diversifying food and income sources.

There is a pressing challenge to help farmers to better withstand or recover from natural disasters and the threats of climate change. In the past 10 years, the country has experienced severe drought, flooding, and cyclones with increased frequency and duration.

With the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and national partners in Myanmar, IRRI through the Stress-Tolerant Rice in Vulnerable Environments (STRIVE) project, improved the ability of vulnerable smallholder farms to recover from natural disasters.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Public-private partnerships drive efforts toward food security



No single organization can do everything to be successful and innovative. While IRRI is at the forefront of boosting rice productivity globally, there is an alarming challenge of producing nutritious and high quality rice in an increasingly scarce resource. The complex situation of poverty and food security calls for more strategic research for development initiatives that is reinforced through public and private sector collaborations.

During the IRRI Science Week, IRRI scientists and staff gathered to discuss the challenges and key drivers in public-private partnerships that will help the institute widen its global impact. IRRI, as an honest broker in rice, continues to engage with global research for development partners. Private companies are an important component of such partnerships. More importantly, public- private partnership creates synergy among different actors that enables taking technologies to farmers’ fields, so everyone can reap the best returns.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Policy pathways to value chain transformation highlighted during IRRI Science Week


Making safe and nutritious rice accessible to the consumers who depend on it for nourishment and at the same time growing rice that is profitable for farmers who rely on it for their livelihood is a shared responsibility of all actors working within the rice based agri-food system. But current institutions and policies are no longer equipped to adequately address this challenge and require system-wide shifts in priority areas. In the past few years, to address some aspects of this multifaceted challenge, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has been conducting value chain research exploring consumer behaviours and preferences as entry points to making rice inclusive, sustainable and capable of meeting global food security and nutrition challenges.

At the Value Chains and Policies session of IRRI Science Week, presenters reflected on how the institution’s initiatives contribute to improving the rice value chain within the countries it works in. Ongoing work on consumer valuation of sustainable rice production, as well as product profiling and forecasting of appropriate rice varieties, demonstrate how robust data can help identify emerging markets and enable rice value chain actors to address these markets’ needs as well as opportunities. Research on the sociocultural and economic factors behind household food consumption, the impact of climate change on rice production, and new mechanization and post-harvest technologies examine different drivers of change that can catalyze the transformation of rice-based value chains. A key learning across all these research programs was the need to influence policies to ensure sustained systemic change and large scale impact, particularly in terms of making all aspects of rice production more inclusive, more nutritious and more sustainable.   

Friday, February 8, 2019

IRRI and Mozambique strengthen collaboration and join efforts to establish regional center of leadership for rice



The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Agriculture Research Institute of Mozambique
(IIAM), and the World Bank funded project Agricultural Productivity Program for Southern Africa (APPSA) explore opportunities to collaborate in the establishment of the Regional Center of Leadership (RCoL) for Rice. 

APPSA is a World Bank project focused on improving agricultural technology generation and dissemination in the Southern Africa region. Currently, the project is implemented in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, and other countries in the South African Development Community region will join as the project expands.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

IRRI, UN Environment engage private sector toward a low-carbon rice production



CAMBODIA—When talking of climate impacts on rice and mitigation measures, farmers, extension agents, and relevant government institutions usually come to mind. Now, the private sector is becoming more visible in the picture.

A workshop jointly organized by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the UN Environment Programme highlighted the importance of involving the private sector in efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in rice production.

“The role of the private sector in promoting the practice of mitigation technologies is pivotal because they have distinct interests in ensuring that farmers implement certain practices. Also, they are actively working in almost all stages of the value chain and that cannot be overlooked,” says Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, climate change scientist and IRRI Representative to Vietnam.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Engaging global partners for sustainable rice straw management


Visit at a farmer's foeld in Tien Giang with
rice straw silage used for cattle feed
Working with advanced research institutes and national partners, IRRI aims to develop, adopt, and translate technologies to deliver environmentally sustainable benefits.

Funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of the German government, the Sustainable Rice Straw Management project conducted a workshop and demonstration of sustainable rice straw management practices and technologies in Tien Giang Province, Vietnam.

According to Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, IRRI representative in Vietnam, the most important aspect of this project is the close collaboration between diverse partners from different countries. “To see the impact of adopting new technologies and to work in different countries is one of the interesting aspects of the project,” he added.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Myanmar’s DAR recognizes IRRI contributions during 65th anniversary celebration



27 January 2019, Yezin, Myanmar - Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, the Deputy Director General for Research of the International Rice Research institute (IRRI), was a special guest at the 65th anniversary celebration of Myanmar’s Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), and received on behalf of the institute a plaque of recognition for IRRI’s valued partnership and contributions to research for the country.   

CORIGAP-PRO surpasses goal of half a million farmers in Asian rice granaries


According to Dr. Grant Singleton, Principal Scientist and CORIGAP project leader,
the NARES partners are instrumental to the success of the CORIGAP project
“We have surpassed our original target, that is, to reach 500,000 farmers,” he said.

A year ahead of schedule, IRRI, through the  “Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint project (CORIGAP-PRO)” and its partners from China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam has already reached its goal in reaching smallholder farmers, improving yield and income through innovations towards sustainable rice-based systems.

According to Grant Singleton, project leader of CORIGAP –PRO, “Our efforts on promoting best management practices in rice have reached more than 600,000 farmers with best practices for lowland intensive rice production across six Asian countries. About 118,000 farmers have adopted best practices and increased their rice yield by 11-20%, and profit by 15-25%,” he said.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Former IRRI Principal Scientist received the 1st Global Agricultural Technology Cooperation Award



Great people, great purpose.

Former IRRI Principal Scientist, Dr. Kshirod K. Jena, received an award from the Rural Development Administration (RDA) under the Ministry of Agriculture, South Korea. The award-giving body recognized his commitment and contribution to the global goal of achieving food security through his work as a Rice Breeder in IRRI. During his time in the institute, Dr. Jena was part of a team that developed high yielding, pest-resistant rice varieties for many countries in Asia, especially in South Korea, Turkey, the Philippines and India. His groundbreaking research and innovations were recognized as a critical contribution to rice research and warranted the Global Agricultural Technology Cooperation Award.

Friday, January 18, 2019

IRRI receives accreditation from the Excellence Through Stewardship Organization


IRRI delivers through research excellence.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is now recognized by the Excellence Through Stewardship (ETS) Organization after its successful completion of the audit cycle under the ETS Global Audit Process.

In a concerted effort to achieve global standards in stewardship for its biotech research, IRRI started the process of accreditation by becoming a member of ETS in November 2016. Under the leadership of Dr. Gururaj Kulkarni, Senior Scientist, Head of IRRI’s Research and Regulatory Compliance, supported by Eduardo Fernandez, Manager of Stewardship and Quality Management, the audit team worked with the institute’s Biosafety Function and Seed Health Unit to prepare all materials that are required by the ETS. Tony Agostino, stewardship consultant, and Shah Thankappan, stewardship technical expert from Bayer, also supported as advisors for the process.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Cambodia scales up rice straw management



In Cambodia, about 10 million tons of rice straw is generated after harvesting and 3 million tons are burned. This practice is exacerbated by the increasing use of combine harvesters, which are machines used to ease the harvesting process and address the labor shortage in rice production.

From 2016 to 2018, the BMZ- funded IRRI project “Scalable straw management options for improved livelihoods, sustainability, and low environmental footprint in rice-based production systems” facilitated cross-country learning of best rice straw management practices among Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. “Based on empirical evidences gathered through fieldwork combined with life cycle assessments, we came up with a decision-making framework that we hope each country will find useful for their straw management efforts. This is still work in progress that we hope that each country, like Cambodia, will find useful, and we are looking forward to feedback from our partners” said Martin Gummert, head of IRRI’s Mechanization and Postharvest Cluster.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Evidence Hubs in Odisha help farmers select the best seed varieties



To reduce the adverse impact of climate change, it is important to develop good quality seeds and make it easily available at every farmer’s doorsteps. In addition, there is also a need to bring newly developed stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) into the seed value chain.

Through “Evidence Hubs”, IRRI showcases high-impact innovations and technologies to solve our complex problems and serve our beneficiaries in rice-growing countries and beyond. Together with Odisha’s Department of Agriculture, an Evidence Hub event was recently organized to strengthen seed systems of STRVs and to be able to produce and to drive widespread adoption of high-quality seeds.

Alternate wetting and drying technology benefits farmers in Dhaka



18 December 2018 - IRRI organized a National Consultation and Stakeholders’ workshop on Impact of Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) Technology on Farm Incomes and Water Savings last 18th December at the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The meeting was hosted by Mr. Md. Nasiruzzaman, Secretary In-charge, Ministry of Agriculture, with Special Guest Dr. Md. Abdur Rouf, Additional Secretary (Research) at the premise of MoA. Professor Dr. Lutful Hassan, Consultant, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) chaired the meeting.

IRRI introduces life cycle assessment in rice research initiatives



The Sustainable Rice Straw Management Project, funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of the German government, conducted a training workshop on sustainability analysis and best practice identification based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) at IRRI Headquarters on December 11 to 14, 2018.

The Mechanization and Postharvest Cluster staff, led by scientist Dr. Nguyen Van Hung and IRRI scholar Maria Victoria Migo, facilitated the training using the Simapro software for LCA geared for the rice-based researches of NARES project partners and researchers.

The training also aimed to facilitate the sharing of research results from the BMZ-funded rice straw projects and generate collaboration among participants that are interested to use LCA for their future research endeavors.