Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thailand and IRRI deepen collaborative research agenda

(Left to right, front row) Alongkorn Kormtong, Anan Suwannarat, Bruce 
Tolentino, and Suthad Setboonsarng discuss with other officials behind
them further collaboration 
between Thailand and IRRI.

BANGKOK, Thailand—During a meeting at the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives on 16 February, Thailand and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) agreed to expand their partnership through more collaborative research activities.

The research agenda was discussed with the Thai Rice Department (TRD). Present were TRD Director General Anan Suwannarat, Deputy Director General Alongkorn Kormtong, and other TRD officials. IRRI was represented by V. Bruce J. Tolentino, IRRI deputy director general for communication and partnerships, and Suthad Setboonsarng, member of the IRRI Board of Trustees.

“We have achieved great strides in strengthening the relationship between TRD and IRRI by working on more collaborative research projects,” said Tolentino.

Thailand and IRRI have been working together for many years through the institute’s partnership platforms such as the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE), the Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint (CORIGAP), the project on RemoteSensing-Based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economics (RIICE), the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER), and Rice Multi-Environment Varietal Testing (MET).

The research partnership was further forged with eight more research and development collaborations as a result of  the TRD–IRRI Work Plan Meeting held at Thailand Rice Research Institute in November 2014. These R&D projects and courses include:

1.  Dissecting the genetic architecture of rice yield components, grain quality, pest resistance, and root traits through genome-wide association studies.
2.  Evaluation of methane emissions from paddy fields using the denitrification-decomposition model and GIS tool.
3.  Enhancement of water-use efficiency for rice growth in irrigated areas.
4.  Utilization of PCR-based markers for detection of rice quality traits.
5.  Development of improved field diagnostic kits for multiple rice viruses.
6.  Training course on ecological management of rodents, weeds, insects, and birds in rice  agroecosystems.
7.  Training course on rice production technology.
8.  Training course on rice seed production, testing, and certification.

Moreover, TRD and IRRI are working together on two project proposals on developing learning and technology transfer in Thai rice through the Thai Rice Knowledge Bank and training and demonstration on laser land leveling.

“Additional good news is that the Royal Thai Government has provided initial funding for collaborative research,” said Tolentino, “Priorities are being decided on,and financing mechanisms are being ironed out.”

To establish IRRI’s long-term presence and research program in Thailand, discussions are now moving toward the signing of a Host Country Agreement between Thailand and IRRI. The collaboration between Thailand and IRRI started in 1960 when IRRI was established. Thailand has been a constant supporter of IRRI’s research agenda.

Learn more about IRRI ( or follow us on social media and networks (all links down the right column).

No comments:

Post a Comment