Thursday, October 31, 2013

Asia food security summit features GRiSP director

The Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF) is hosting the AIDF Food Security Summit: Asia 2013 at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand on 26-27 November 2013.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Local college gets mini-bus from IRRI

IRRI donated its Mitsubishi coaster to the Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) to help the school with its mobility needs especially when doing field trips and community visits under its agricultural extension program.

In a turnover ceremony held on 23 October 2013 held at IRRI headquarters, Nestor de Vera, LSPU president, received the key to the coaster/minibus from V. Bruce J. Tolentino, deputy director general for communication and partnerships at IRRI.

School kids get free haircut from livelihood training grads

Pupils of a local elementary school had their pre-Halloween treats of free haircuts and styling from 63 women graduates of the Ganda Mo, Hanapbuhay Ko (GMHK) livelihood training program sponsored by IRRI and the Ang Hortaleza Foundation, Inc.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rice scientists convene for Asia review of the Global Rice Science Partnership

Scientists from IRRI and its partners met for the Asia Review and Planning Forum of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), the CGIAR Research Program on Rice, last week at IRRI headquarters.

Updates and innovations over the last year were shared from across all six research programs: genetic diversity (1), better varieties (2), crop and environment (3), adding value (4), targeting and policy (5), and last mile delivery (6). Research leaders and young rice scientists shared the spotlight to ensure a dynamic and interesting engagement by all participants.

Livelihood training making a dent for local residents

The IRRI Partnerships Office (PO) launched another training course under the Ganda Mo, Hanapbuhay Ko (Your Beauty, My Livelihood) program offered to residents of Los Baños and Bay towns on 21 October.

Sixty-six unemployed women registered for the 5-day livelihood course, Basic Cosmetology, which covers hair and nail treatments. The PO partners with a Philippine company, the Ang-Hortaleza Foundation, Inc. (AHFI), which provided the trainers and materials for the course.

Gabby Ghas book-reading sessions held for local school kids

A storytelling session was held for third- and fourth-grade pupils of barangays Masaya and Paciano Rizal in Bay, Laguna, featuring the picture book, The Adventures of Gabby Ghas.

Gabby Ghas is a tiny grain of palay who wanted to know his place in the world and goes on a journey during which he encounters rice seedlings, weeds, predatory insects, and friendly insects that protect rice plants from harm.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

IRRI donates computers to local police

IRRI, through its Information Technology Services (ITS), turned over a donation of ten computer units to the Los Baños police force, in response to a request made by Andres Simbajon, Jr., chief of police.

The donation was made in a ceremony held at the LB police station on 9 October 2013, with IRRI DDG-CP V. Bruce J. Tolentino conveying IRRI's support for its host and neighboring communities in efforts to maintain peace and order.

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IRRI joins UPLB in commemorating Loyalty Day

IRRI joined the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in its 95th annual commemoration of Loyalty Day and alumni homecoming on 10 October 2013. The event had the theme, UPLB Alumni for Sustainable Community Transformation, and featured the traditional parade of UPLB alumni, faculty and staff members, students, as well as friends and partners including IRRI. Several photo exhibits on the National Year of Rice were on display at UPLB’s D.L. Umali Auditorium.

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Plant biology professor is guest in researchers’ lunch

The monthly Young Researchers Lunch hosted Tim Colmer, professor of plant biology at the University of Western Australia, on 8 October 2013. Dr. Colmer's work focuses on plant response to flooding but includes anatomy and ion and oxygen flow in plants. He was at IRRI to attend the conference of the International Society for Plant Anaerobiosis.

Philippines: Partners in Pampanga get IRRI books

A donation of IRRI books and posters were handed over to the municipality of Apalit, Pampanga, on 11 October 2013. The donation was received by the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist, led by Vicky Caylao.

Myanmar partners get help on producing quality rice seed

Forty-five representatives from IRRI’s partners in Myanmar underwent a hands-on training on quality rice seed production held recently at Yezin. Production of good-quality rice seed will help increase the overall rice productivity of Myanmar.

Philippine IT group donates more computers for Cybervillage Project

ITAPhil BOT members hand over more laptop units
for the CyberVillage Project.  
In continuing support of IRRI’s CyberVillage Project, the IT Association of the Philippines (ITAPhil) donated four laptop computers on 10 October 2013. The donation comes on top of one made in September 2013 of three laptop units from Lenovo (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.

India: National Advisory Council Chair Gandhi notes IRRI’s work in stress-prone areas

Sonia Gandhi, chair of the National Advisory Council of India, expressed a keen interest in IRRI-developed salt-tolerant rice varieties after distributing salt-tolerant wheat varieties to farmers for planting in the rabi season. Mrs. Gandhi is a member of parliament representing Raebareli District and is current president of the Indian National Congress Party.

India: Public and private stakeholders discuss rice sector’s future

“How do we create a better life and a better future for rice? How can we do much more, with less?”  were some of the questions posed by Tobias Marchand, Bayer Cropscience head for the Asia-Pacific, to 200 rice experts and policymakers that present during the two-day Rice Future Forum on 8-9 October 2013 in New Delhi, India.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

IRRI donates vehicles and computers to local towns

Research and academic institutions and the municipalities of Los Baños and Bay were the recipients of several vehicles from IRRI, which made the donation to support projects that will help improve the welfare of local residents and to further strengthen its partnership with these local partners.

Three Toyota Revo units were turned over to Los Baños mayor Caesar Perez on 7 October 2013 during the Monday flag-raising ceremony that was attended by municipal employees, members of the Sangguniang Bayan, and representatives from IRRI’s Office of the Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships (DDG-CP) and Transport Services Unit. Photos  

Plant anaerobiosis group meets this week at IRRI

The International Society for Plant Anaerobiosis (ISPA) has chosen IRRI to be the venue of its eleventh international conference, happening this week (7-11 October 2013).  Photos 

The conference draws 130 members and other scientists from around the world, all of whom are involved in research on plant responses to impeded aeration. This year’s theme, Translational Science, brings the focus on solutions to major global challenges, including food security and environmental safety.

JIRCAS hosts blast research network workshop

The direction of research on rice blast in Asia, Africa, and Japan was taken up during the eighth workshop of the Blast Research Network for stable rice production, held at the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) in Tsukuba.

Turkey hosts 2nd meeting on rice research for Central and West Asia

The second annual meeting of the technical management committee of the Regional Rice Research and Training Center for Central and West Asia (RRRTC-CWA) was held  at the Trakya Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) in Edirne, Turkey.

Global research centers take on development challenges

A call was made by the CGIAR Consortium Board to link research outcomes to development goals such as food security, poverty alleviation, nutrition and health improvement, and sustainable management of natural resources during the board’s 13th meeting held last week.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

MARS envoys join workshop on rice farming

A rice awareness workshop is ongoing at IRRI this week (30 September-4 October) for MARS Ambassadors. MARS, the global company known for its chocolates, sent representatives from its MARS food brand to IRRI to attend the workshop, Walking in the shoes of rice farmers.

Biotech advocate from U of Georgia visits IRRI

Wayne Parrott, professor of crop science at the University of Georgia in the USA, recently visited IRRI headquarters to learn more about the Institute’s work on biotechnology. 

Dr. Parrott came to the Philippines to do a series of public seminars organized by the US Embassy in Manila as part of its 2013 Biotech Outreach Program. On the same day of his visit to IRRI, he gave a special seminar titled Biotech tools for smarter agriculture at the SEARCA Auditorium inside the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños. 

Molecular biologist from Korea is guest in September researchers’ lunch

The Young Researchers Lunch for September hosted Sung-han Kim, molecular biologist at the Plant Molecular Breeding Center of Seoul National University (SNU) in South Korea.