Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nepal recognizes three IRRI scientists

Three IRRI scientists, holding plaques of recognition (L-R):
Julian Lapitan, Thelma Paris, and Uma Shankar Singh
Three IRRI staff were awarded plaques of appreciation by the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) during the workshop, Enhancing women’s livelihoods in rice-based farming systems, held at Hotel Annapurna in Kathmandu, Nepal, 4-6 November 2012:

Thelma Paris, senior scientist (socioeconomics) and gender specialist, was recognized for her contributions to the capacity building of women scientists, researchers, and farmers of Nepal as well as to research and development (R&D) in rice and rice-based cropping systems at grassroots level.

Uma Shankar Singh, senior scientist and South Asia regional project coordinator of the Stress-Tolerant Rice  for South Asia (STRASA) was cited for his contributions to the development of stress-tolerant rice, particularly submergence-tolerant varieties, their dissemination, and capacity building of Nepalese scientists.

Julian Lapitan, senior manager of National Program Relations, was acknowledged for his contributions to and support of establishing the IRRI Country Office in Nepal, R&D and collaboration in rice and rice–based cropping systems, and development of Nepal's Rice Knowledge Bank.

The awards were presented by Dil Bahadur Gurung, NARC executive director.

The workshop was attended by 20 women from Nepal, Bangladesh, and India and was conducted to (A) provide opportunities for women engaged in research, development, and extension to acquire and use their technical knowledge in rice production, postharvest, seed management, and seed health to enhance the livelihoods of poor women farmers in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal; (B) develop an action plan for addressing the technology needs of women in production, seed management, and seed health by their institutions; and (C) develop a cadre of women leaders who can address the technology and livelihoods needs of grassroots women engaged in rice-based farming systems.

Resource persons for the workshop were Dr. Paris, Dr. Singh, and Mr. Lapitan; Sudhanshu Singh, postdoctoral fellow (IFAD-EC Drought Project, IRRI-India); P.K. Singh, associate professor and nodal officer, Mega Seed Program of Banaras Hindu University, India; Karuna Vishnawat, professor of plant pathology and site coordinator, All-India Coordinated Project on Seeds, GPUAT, Pantanagar, India; Devendra Gauchan, chief of the Socioeconomic Division of NARC; and Mirza Islam, principal scientific officer, Plant Breeding Division, and head, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture.

Workshop participants shared experiences in working with women farmers through participatory varietal selection (PVS) for stress-tolerant rice varieties, community seed banks, small-scale seed business, and other training activities for women’s groups.

Three country proposals were presented and discussed at the end of the workshop, highlighting their action plans for strengthening mainstreaming efforts in addressing the technology and training needs of women in the grassroots, in collaboration with IRRI.

The workshop was supported by IFAD-EC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and USAID.

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