Thursday, October 30, 2014

Continued partnerships key to success of agricultural research

“There couldn’t be a better career than one in agricultural research if you want to make a difference in the world,” said Matthew Morell, IRRI’s deputy director general for research.

Morell said this during a forum with international donors from the public and private sectors, research organizations, and other stakeholders of rice research and industry.

The forum, titled Funding agricultural research: What does success look like?, featured Nathan Belete (World Bank), Nick Austin (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), and Shantanu Mathur (International Fund for Agricultural Development) as speakers, who all affirmed the importance of agricultural research to affect transformational change and the common goal of help feeding a growing world population amid limited resources and tightening constraints.

A common message among the donors was that success in funding agricultural research could be achieved by continuously working with research partners to learn and understand what works and what doesn’t, measured through impact pathways with quantitative and qualitative indicators.

Representatives from research organizations echoed the need for shared initiatives with partners in implementing as well as assessing the impact of projects, and for continuing investment in cutting-edge research.

The forum was held on 29 October as part of the 4th International Rice Congress in Bangkok, Thailand.

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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