Friday, October 31, 2014

Broad agreement among Asian countries on rice research agenda

(Photo by T Lambino)
By Benedict Pamatmat and Leah BaroƱa-Cruz

BANGKOK, Thailand, 31 October 2014 - Senior agriculture officials of several Asian countries said that the research program of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) aligns well with their national priorities.

This is an important affirmation of IRRI’s research agenda, implemented under the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP). “IRRI considers this forum incredibly important in helping the Institute frame and prioritize what it does,” said Matthew Morell, deputy director general for research at IRRI. “It is a very important multilateral conversation for us to engage in.”

The 16-nation Council for Partnership on Rice Research in Asia (CORRA) represents almost 90% of Asia’s rice-producing areas, making the assembly an inclusive and powerful platform for representatives of these countries to discuss common research agendas and areas of collaboration to each achieve development outcomes.

CORRA held its 2014 meeting—hosted by the Thai Rice Department, incumbent chair of the assembly—as part of the 4th International Rice Congress (IRC2014) ongoing this week in Bangkok.

The meeting focused on fine-tuning mechanisms through which CORRA can work more effectively as an advisory body of GRiSP for the Asian region and ensure that regional research and development plans are truly representative of national and local needs.

The meeting was attended by more than 40 participants from CORRA member countries; observers from Singapore, Taiwan, and Iran; members of the Thai Rice Department; members of IRRI senior management; and members of the CORRA team.

Around 1,500 participants from 69 countries are attending the 4th International Rice Congress, or IRC2014, at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC).

IRC2014 is being held under the patronage of the Royal Government of Thailand, specifically the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and is touted as the “Olympics of rice science,” being the largest gathering of rice science and industry held every four years. 

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