Thursday, May 28, 2015

Myanmar: Positive results of technologies for unfavorable environments highlighted in CURE meeting

CURE participants during a field visit in Zay Yar Thiri Township, Myanmar.

Seventy participants from 10 countries in South and Southeast Asia, along with IRRI scientists and donor representatives, met to discuss and share their most significant accomplishments in developing, validating, and delivering technologies and information to millions of resource-poor rice farmers in Asia. This meeting is the 14th Annual Review and Steering Committee Meeting of the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) and was held on 19–22 May in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. 

IRRI scientists and partners of the Consortium presented the progress of their research in different partner countries (i.e., Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh). These include knowledge sharing, building learning alliances, and exchanging science products. 

In his speech at the start of the meeting, IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler urged CURE to continue developing technologies that are useful for farmers in dealing with future problems and to make sure that these technologies reach them. 

Dr. Digna Manzanilla, IRRI scientist and CURE coordinator, said that “the cross-country partnerships formed by CURE have generated a lot of research and well-targeted technologies that benefit farmers from fragile ecosystems.” This was seconded by Dr. Fabrizio Bresciani, donor representative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and added that “the Consortium should now tackle the systems that might slow down the adoption of stress-tolerant varieties or might be bottlenecks for dissemination of varieties produced under the CURE program.”

Participants also visited a rainfed lowland area in Zay Yar Thiri Township to interact with farmers, local leaders, local extension staff, and scientists from the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DoA) to discuss issues, coping mechanisms, and strategies of the local government in combating the impact of multiple stresses in rice production. 

Based on the scientific achievements of CURE, Dr. Ye Tint Tun, director general of DAR, asked the Consortium for continued technical assistance on biotechnology, germplasm access, extension support, and the development of the Rice Crop Manager for Myanmar. 

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