Monday, February 29, 2016

More Asian rice farmers to benefit from CORIGAP technologies

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia—More farmers in Southeast Asia will benefit from integrated crop and natural resource management approaches in major rice-based systems.

Research efforts and strategies for large-scale dissemination and promotion of technologies and interventions on integrated crop and natural resource management to help rice farmers in irrigated conditions are the foci of the 3rd Annual Review and Planning Meeting of CORIGAP or Closing rice yields in Asia with reduced environmental footprint in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 23-25 February.

“This meeting has clearly shown that CORIGAP is making a huge contribution towards maintaining regional food security,” stated Dr. Abdelbagi Ismail, acting deputy director general for research at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). “The project is showcasing better technologies and innovations to overcome the challenges of climatic extremes, increasing population size, and limited water resources.”

“The event is an excellent forum to highlight the collaboration of IRRI and national partners in the six countries where we work: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and Myanmar,” said Dr. Grant Singleton, CORIGAP coordinator and IRRI principal scientist. Through this meeting, we were able to promote key outcomes from the project, and continue to align our plans for the future activities of CORIGAP with national priorities.”

 “CORIGAP is highly relevant in increasing productivity and obtaining higher profitability through targeting yield gaps of rice,” said Dr. Carmen Thoennissen, senior adviser at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Funded by SDC, CORIGAP is a regional consortium led by IRRI on developing and demonstrating best crop management approaches for improving irrigated rice farming in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The meeting brought together IRRI scientists and staff, as well as country partners from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and Myanmar. The Yogyakarta Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technologies (AIAT) hosted the event.

High-level Indonesian government officials present at the meeting were Dr. Hasil Sembiring, director general of the Directorate of Food Crops; Dr. Muhammad Prama Yufdy, acting executive secretary of the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development; Dr. Ali Jamil, director of the Indonesian Center for Rice Research and member of the CORIGAP advisory committee; Dr. Harmanto, director of South Sumatra AIAT; and, Dr. Sudarmaji, director of Yogyakarta AIAT.
The participants visited project sites at Prambanan subdistrict, where CORIGAP technologies such as the integrated crop management, alternate wetting and drying, and legowo drum seeder were demonstrated in farmers’ fields.

In relation to the event, a press conference held at AIAT generated a lot of interest from the media, especially on the issue of environmental sustainability. The panel of interviewees included Dr. Thoennissen; Dr. Yufdy; Dr. Ismail; Dr. Singleton; Dr. Sudarmaji; and, Dr. David Johnson, CESD division head. Throughout the meeting, scientists and partners of the CORIGAP project were interviewed by the media.

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