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.

“I was very excited about the progress shown and the many new ideas being pursued in all programs,” said Achim Dobermann, IRRI’s deputy director general for research. “We saw high-quality science in action with numerous young scientists presenting their results. I believe the future is in good hands.”

Dr. Dobermann added that, for him, the research highlights include the sequencing of 3,000 rice genomes; a new strategy to deploy a gene for disease resistance in rice; exciting breakthroughs to increase the amount of iron and zinc in rice; encouraging progress in research on future rice systems management; development of the solar bubble drier for rice; new consumer and value chain research; real-time crop monitoring and forecasting; initiatives to upgrade ICT tools, including the new Crop Manager and the revamped Rice Knowledge Bank and Rice Doctor; and new partnerships, including with the private sector.

Bas Bouman, GRISP director, also provided an overall update on GRiSP and emphasized the need to engage women in IRRI’s research at all stages.

On the final day, two mock debates were held to stimulate discussion on two important topics: how we communicate GM rice science, and IRRI’s future education strategy. Young scientists participated in both discussions.

In the final session, young research scientists who were speakers or presented posters were given certificates to acknowledge their important contribution.

“We thank the IRRI and GRiSP management and the program leaders for giving the 42 young rice scientists this great opportunity to join and exchange with the rice science community in Asia under GRiSP,” said Ando Radanielson, president of the Association of Fellows, Scholars, Trainees, and Residents at IRRI, in an email to staff. “These successful young rice scientists are so talented and have again confirmed how important and effective the investment in young people can be in achieving the mission of both GRiSP and IRRI.”

Young scientists and communication staff posted updates about the event on Twitter to share developments with IRRI’s partners off-site and engage public interest in the discussion about rice. Review the tweets via the hashtag #GRiSPasia2103.

Regional updates were also shared on the last (plenary) day for Eastern and Southern Africa, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India; and a presentation made about the new CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) hub led by IRRI in Vietnam.

Key presentations from the event are available at www.grisp.net. | Video

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