Friday, January 29, 2016

GRiSP strengthens impact delivery via RICE proposal

Members of the GRiSP oversight committee and program planning
and management team.
LOS BAÑOS, Philippines - The CGIAR Research Program on Rice (RICE) has adopted a new structure that will strengthen its impact delivery beginning with its proposed second phase in 2017. 

This week at the headquarters of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), during its annual meeting, the oversight committee of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) provided insightful recommendations for the second phase of RICE. 

“RICE is the main vehicle for CGIAR’s contribution to GRiSP,” says GRiSP Director Bas Bouman, “and its second phase (2017-22) will continue to play a pivotal role in global research and development efforts in the rice sector. Phase 2 will greatly expand the research portfolio across the entire rice value chain and rice-based agrifood systems.” 

According to Matthew Morell, IRRI director general, RICE will contribute to increased global food security and reduced poverty, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint of the rice sector. 

“RICE proposes a strong and integrated research program, with a focus on the grand challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, gender inequities, and environmental degradation,” Morell says. “It actively links research to programs strengthening the enabling environment for impact through capacity development, partnerships, and novel approaches to scaling out of its technologies.” 

“The main focus of RICE is impact,” says Harold Roy-Macauley, director general of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and member of the oversight committee. “The committee believes that RICE’s proposed research and development agenda is well framed to achieve greater impact.”  

“AfricaRice, IRRI, and their partners will collaborate under a common Africa Rice Strategy, which aims to boost the continent’s rice sector. By 2020, African countries aim to achieve 90% rice self-sufficiency.” Roy-Macauley is convinced of the crucial role that rice research needs to play in support of this objective.

Based on the committee’s recommendations, RICE’s phase 2 proposal will be further developed and then submitted for funding on 30 March 2016 to CGIAR Consortium. Approval is expected toward the end of 2016 so that phase 2 can seamlessly start in January 2017.

Chaired by Pascal Kosuth of the Agropolis Foundation, members of the GRiSP oversight committee include Masa Iwanaga, AfricaRice board of trustees (BOT), Lala Razafinjara (AfricaRice BOT), Rita Sharma (IRRI BOT), Kaye Basford (IRRI BOT), John Hamer (CIAT BOT), Kei Otsuka, (GRIPS), Luciano Nass (Embrapa, Brazil), Jan Leach (Colorado State University, USA), Ambrose Agona (NARO, Uganda), Shaobing Peng (Huazhong Agricultural University, China), Trilochan Mohapatra (IARI, India), Roy-Macauley (AfricaRice director general), and Morell (IRRI director general).

The GRiSP program planning and management team is composed of Bouman, Abdelbagi Ismail (IRRI), Marco Wopereis (AfricaRice), Joe Tohme (CIAT), Nour Ahmadi (Cirad), Alain Ghesquiere (IRD), and Osamu Koyama (JIRCAS).

CIAT = International Center for Tropical Agriculture; Cirad = Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement, France; Embrapa = the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation; IARI = Indian Agricultural Research Institute; IRD = Institut de recherche pour le développement, France;JIRCAS = Japan International Research Center For Agricultural Sciences; NARO = National Agricultural Research Organisation. 

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