Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vietnam: Project on closing yield gaps assesses progress in first year

Rice scientists, extension specialists, and other key partners from six countries gathered on 18-21 February to discuss the progress and plans of the Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint (CORIGAP) Project.

CORIGAP is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

“This meeting is important, as the CORIGAP Project aims to increase productivity through new technologies while diversifying sources of income,” said Le Hung Dung, leader of the Can Tho People’s Committee, in his welcome remarks.

“CORIGAP builds on the results over the past 16 years of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC), through which most countries involved increased their rice production,” said Carmen Thönnissen, donor representative and SDC senior advisor with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. “The component technologies developed through the IRRC are now integrated through CORIGAP.”

“CORIGAP’s objectives are aligned closely with the mission of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) of IRRI,” said Grant Singleton, CORIGAP coordinator. “We aim to reduce poverty, improve health, and reduce the environmental footprint of rice production through strong partnerships with national agricultural research and extension systems.”

Pham Van Du, deputy director general of the Department of Crop Production of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, gave a presentation on the VietGAP and Small Farmer-Large Field (SFLF) initiatives of Vietnam. Participants also visited farmers’ fields involved in SFLF and in the use of rice straw for mushroom production.

Key IRRI scientists and national partners from China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam presented about their activities and results for 2013, plans for 2014, and challenges and opportunities.

Presentations also covered research progress and plans on the development of a field calculator, communication, market chain issues, postharvest issues, environmental indicators, and learning alliances.

“As CORIGAP develops, we will see more country priorities come through,” said David Johnson, GRiSP Theme 3 leader and IRRI representative on the CORIGAP Advisory Committee, during the open discussion. “This is a great chance for a science-based approach to make better changes for the future.”

The meeting was hosted by the Can Tho People’s Committee and the Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The international advisory committee of CORIGAP also attended the meeting.

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