Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GSR Project holds workshop on its progress and a planning meeting for phase III

The Green Super Rice (GSR) Project conducted a 3-day workshop on the progress of phase II and a planning meeting for phase III of the project on 23-25 October at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Headquarters, Philippines.

Zhikang Li, GSR project director, presented the overall progress of the GSR project under phase II. Jauhar Ali, IRRI-GSR project leader and Asia coordinator, covered the achievements in Asia as well as the breeding advances at IRRI. Dr. Robert Zeigler, director-general of IRRI welcomed the workshop participants and called for concerted global efforts to make the rice genomic resources freely available for rice improvement programs.

The workshop highlighted the release of 17 GSR inbreds, 22 hybrid varieties, and many more in the pipeline outside China. The event also held a farmers’ forum at Bernard’s Farm, a GSR collaborator in Victoria, Laguna, where farmers shared their experiences in cultivating GSR and how it helped improve the quality of their life.

Dr. Li acknowledged the role of the project’s key partners in accomplishing many of the goals under phase 2. He also emphasized the need for continued financial support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for another phase to maximize the impact of the GSR project in target countries.

Dr. June Yao, senior program officer at BMGF, expressed keen interest in the GSR activities and field visits. She also stressed the need to scale up the released GSR materials and reach resource poor farmers.

The GSR management team and representatives from BMGF, Huazhong Agricultural University (Wuhan), Shanghai Agro-Biological Gene Center, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Beijing), IRRI, and GSR coordinators from Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, BRAC, Indonesian Center for Rice Research, KARI (Tanzania), Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Department of Agriculture, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences attended the workshop. The tremendous interaction among the stakeholders during the workshop helped further strengthen the GSR program in Asia and Africa for phase III.  

Dr. Ali and his team organized the workshop.

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