Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sri Lanka: CORRA seeks to boost partnerships for rice research in Asia

Highlighting the strategic role and potential of the Council for Partnership in Rice Research in Asia (CORRA) in strengthening partnership among key stakeholders on rice research and development in Asia is the guiding theme of the council’s 17th annual meeting held at Kandy, Sri Lanka, on 5–6 September 2013.
Strengthening CORRA in enhancing collaboration across the region to benefit rice research is being made in the context of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP).

Senior officials from 14 member-countries, with Singapore as an observer, attended the meeting that was jointly hosted by the Department of Agriculture of Sri Lanka (DOASL) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Rohan Wijekoon, director general of the DOASL, informed participants that Sri Lanka is rice self-sufficient and attributed this achievement not just to Sri Lankan scientists but to global collaborations and exchanges on rice research, such as CORRA.

D.B. Wijeratna, additional secretary of agriculture of Sri Lanka, expressed hope that CORRA can also facilitate sharing of information on rice production and technologies to help Sri Lanka become a rice exporter.

V. Bruce J. Tolentino, deputy director general for communication and partnerships at IRRI, exhorted everyone about the need for CORRA to evolve “because the global rice sector is evolving.”

Presentations were made by Sam Mohanty, head of IRRI’s Social Sciences Division, on the status of and outlook for the global rice market; Digna Manzanilla, IRRI scientist and associate coordinator of the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environment, or CURE, delivering a progress report; H. Sembiring, director of the Indonesian Center for Food Crops Research and Development, on the Closing the Rice Yield Gaps in Asia (CORIGAP) project, in lieu of Grant Singleton of IRRI who heads CORIGAP; and Bas Bouman, director of GRiSP, on avenues through which CORRA can effectively participate as an advisory council to GRiSP.

CORRA is composed of senior officials from selected national agricultural research and extension systems or NARES in Asia, which gives the council a strong intellectual and political voice on influencing rice R&D in the region and vast opportunities to deliberate on important research and policy issues affecting the livelihoods of rice farmers and consumers.

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