Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Theme leader empowerment discussed in GRiSP meeting

Key members of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) are meeting this week (25 February-1 March 2013) at IRRI Headquarters to further define the roles of the theme leaders and empower them towards these.

The GRiSP global theme leaders and focal persons came from AfricaRice, CIAT, Cirad, IRD, JIRCAS, and IRRI.

Bangladesh: CSISA stakeholders share experiences in workshop

The Barisal Hub of the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) in Bangladesh organized an experience-sharing workshop held on 25 February for its stakeholders.

The stakeholders, who were participants in the activity were composed of representatives from the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, and partner NGOs; staff members of partner NGOs working in the Barisal, Patuakhali, Jhalokathi, and Bhola districts; scientists from the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute; selected farmers; seed dealers; and representatives from various private companies, UN organizations, and projects.

Agronomist is guest in February researchers' lunch

Thomas George joined young IRRI researchers for lunch as guest on 20 February, where he elaborated on his current consultancy at IRRI, which is a visioning exercise for IRRI's future.

Dr. George also shared his philosophies on the challenges of agronomy extension work and his plan to overcome the reluctance of farmers to take risks and adopt new management practices. The conversation was quite engaging, and even extended to another meeting over coffee several days later.

Disaster management training held for local residents

A 5-day Neighborhood Emergency Services Team (NEST) trainingcovering medical safety, anti-terrorism, earthquake and fire drills, search and rescue operations, emergency preparedness, psychology and team organization, water safety, and evacuation center managementwas conducted for Los Baños residents on 20-25 February 2013.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Key book on rice in Laos translated

Rice in Laos, originally published in English in 2006, discusses the relationship of the Lao people with rice from historical, cultural, and agricultural perspectives. It has now been translated in Lao language and released in paperback.

Rice in Laos was funded by the Australian Council for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and includes chapters on the history, traditions, and rituals associated with rice in rice production systems.

GRiSP director named into Royal Holland Society

Bas Bouman, director of the Global Rice Science Partnership or GRISP, has just been invited as foreign member of the prestigious Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities.

The Society was established in 1752 by seven distinguished burghers of the city of Haarlem, in the then Republic of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, to promote science and, in the broadest sense, the arts.

Young rice expert gets international development leader award

Sarah Beebout, a soil chemist at IRRI, has made the list of Devex's recent Manila 40 Under 40 awards—a global program that recognizes 40 international development leaders under the age of 40 in cities around the world.

Devex is the world’s largest community of aid and development professionals.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bangladesh: US envoy tours CSISA activity sites in Khulna

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena
discusses with local farmers the advantage of new
short-duration rice and mustard seeds (11 February).
Dan Mozena, US ambassador to Bangladesh, recently visited activity sites under the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project at Banshgata Village in the Satkhira District.

CSISA activities in the area aim to test and introduce technologies that will allow farmers to improve their rice production and increase the number of crops they can grow.

Myanmar: Top officials discuss bigger role, needs, in rice production

Meetings were held in late January to update Myanmar partners on activities involving IRRI in Myanmar, particularly in relation to four current projects funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

On the 31 January meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw, the national capital, U Myint Hlaing, minister of agriculture and irrigation, mentioned Myanmar’s emerging role in global food security and highlighted the importance of research to help the country increase production and to improve the quality of rice.

Indonesia: National workshop on biochar for food security held

The National Workshop on Biochar for Food Security was held on 4-5 February 2013 at the Indonesian Center for Food Crops Research and Development (ICFORD).

The workshop aimed to consolidate ongoing research activities and identify research priorities, and develop a research network across national research communities in Indonesia.

Local police chiefs and IRRI commit to keep community secure

The chiefs of police from the three municipalities that host the IRRI Headquarters met with key IRRI officers on 8 February to discuss shared security concerns and responsibilities.

P. Supt. Conrado Masongsong (Los Baños), PCI Pastor Castillo (Bay), and PO Flores (representing PCI Jesson Bombasito, Calauan chief of police) were welcomed by V. Bruce J. Tolentino, IRRI deputy director general for communication and partnerships.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dawn breaks on a new extension concept

A new company that specializes in marketing web and mobile-based applications is what 24 young global leaders have proposed as one solution to bring the fruits of research to more people.

In the culmination event of the 30th Global Young Leaders Programme (YLP) held in Makati, Philippines on 25 January 2013, the participants, who are professionals from different companies and non-profit organisations, presented their recommendations on how to commercialize research outputs, like the Nutrient Manager for Rice,  in a bid to reach a larger number of beneficiaries. The Final Forum was hosted by the Asian Institute for Management (AIM).

3rd Africa Rice Congress to be held in October 2013

The 3rd Africa Rice Congress will be held on 21-24 October 2013 in Yaoundé, Cameroun. With the theme “Rice Science for Food Security and Agri-business Development in Africa,” the Congress will gather representatives from the public and private sector, civil society organizations, farmer associations, and research and extension communities engaged in the development of Africa’s rice sector.

South Asia agriculture officials learn about IRRI's work

Senior government officials of South Asian countries India, Bangladesh, and Nepal came to IRRI for a 2-day awareness and consultation workshop on 4-5 February 2013.

The visitors came to IRRI to learn about the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) Project, coordinated by IRRI in South Asia, and about IRRI's other projects in their countries. They were welcomed by V. Bruce J. Tolentino, IRRI deputy director general for communication and partnerships, and Abdelbagi Ismail, IRRI principal scientist and STRASA project leader.

Indonesia: Asian countries get help in use of crop modeling for rice production

IRRI delivered a crop modeling training, one of a series, in Indonesia as part of efforts of the RIICE Project to help Asian countries monitor rice production using space-borne remote sensing combined with a biophysical crop model.

The RIICE—or Remote sensing-based information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging economies, or RIICE (http://www.riice.org)—Project aims to develop a system that will merge satellite-based observation using the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging system and crop simulation modeling to estimate actual rice yield and production in South East and South Asian countries.

Philippines: Climate info at fingertips of rice researchers

The Environmental Logging System, or Envilog, is a portable device that could take actual readings of temperature, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, amount of sunlight, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and water height in rice fields. 

Envilog, developed by a team of young robotics enthusiasts, bagged the Most Innovative App (or Special Jury Award) from last year's hugely successful BigAs Hackathon, event organized by IRRI in collaboration with SMART Communications in the Philippines.

India: IRRI bids CSISA leader goodbye

The IRRI India Office bid farewell M.S. Rao, who served as CEO for the CSISA Project until recently, with a lunch get-together on 30 January 2013.

CG Center representatives in New Delhi, IRRI staff, and colleagues of Mr. Rao in CSISA came to wish Mr. Rao and his wife well.