Thursday, November 13, 2014

Philippines: IRRI opens Rice Survivor Season 4

Jerome Cayton Barradas

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Training Center opened the 4th season of its own “reality show”, Rice Survivor (RS4), on 12 November 2014 at MS Swaminathan Hall, IRRI Headquarters, Philippines. Rice Survivor is a season-long, hands-on, seed-to-seed training on rice production and farm management.

“Rice Survivor gives IRRI staff a first-hand experience of the challenges faced by rice farmers,” said Dr. Noel Magor, head of the Training Center. “It is also an opportunity for different employees in various divisions to interact and work together to build a culture at IRRI, that we are about rice.”

Jason Beebout, a consultant at IRRI and RS4’s coordinator gave an overview of the exercise. Dr. Beebout, a “survivor” from the previous seasons, shared his own experiences with the new batch of participants. “I came face-to-face with rice production challenges,” he said. “I saw rice production as a season-long process and not just individual activities. It boosted my rice production knowledge and it sparked my appreciation for farm workers.”

The opening session was attended by 12 participants from the Crop and Environmental Sciences Division, the Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division, and the Training Center who will be grouped into teams. Each team will cultivate a crop of rice on an assigned plot. They will be tasked with selecting the rice variety to plant, land preparation, crop management, harvesting, and post-harvest processing. The teams' performance will be evaluated based on yield, environmental sustainability, and profitability.

RS4 is still accepting participants until 14 November.  For more information please contact RS4 facilitator Majilene Marikit at

For other training opportunities please visit or e-mail us at

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