Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Indonesia: IRRC partners continue activities after project wrap-up

Makassar, Indonesia—A wrap-up meeting and writeshop were held on 15-16 October to formally close a project aimed at improving rice productivity in South and Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Djafar Baco, project consultant, said in his welcome remarks that he hopes for continued collaboration between IRRI and Indonesia in the future, especially in South and Southeast Sulawesi.

Madonna Casimero, IRRI senior scientist, said that she was happy to have lived in Sulawesi as a project scientist of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) and to have worked with the partners. “This project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research was unique because it was driven by partners, especially the farmers,” she said.

Now, even with limited assistance from IRRC, partners from the Assessment Institutes for Agricultural Technology (AIAT) from South and Southeast Sulawesi reported on their progress in implementing natural resource management (NRM) technologies in their farmer field schools (FFS) and extending them to farmers in other districts that are not part of the project.

On 18 October, Dr. Casimero; IRRC Communication Specialist Trina Mendoza, and Consultant Phrek Gypmantasiri talked with farmers in South Konawe District, SE Sulawesi, in a new village where the NRM technologies were being promoted by AIAT partners.

AIAT partners, together with key farmers, also drafted booklets on alternate wetting and drying, site-specific nutrient management, and ecologically based rodent management, with guidance from Ms. Mendoza and Dr. Casimero. They reported that the IRRC-produced NRM videos are now shown regularly at a local TV station in South Sulawesi.

The partners plan to institutionalize NRM in the national curricula of FFS for implementation at provincial level and develop communication materials for training and extension.

“This is not the end of a partnership, but the start of bigger collaborations,” says Dr. Casimero. 

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