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.