Thursday, June 23, 2016

Indonesian ambassador commends crucial role of rice research in helping farmers

LOS BAÑOS, Philippines—During his visit to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), H.E. Johny Lumintang (at right in photo), Indonesian ambassador to the Philippines, commended the impact of rice research on improving the productivity and livelihood of Indonesian farmers.

“I believe that IRRI is the best institute to help Indonesian farmers increase their rice yields,” he said. He added that, as a young boy, he grew up helping out on his family’s farm and is greatly concerned about the current situation of Indonesian rice farmers.

H.E. Lumintang was welcomed by Dr. Bruce Tolentino (at left in photo), IRRI deputy director general for communication and partnerships. He was briefed on collaborative projects with the Indonesian government.

Dr. Grant Singleton, coordinator of the project, Closing rice yield gaps in Asia with reduced environmental footprint (CORIGAP), presented an overview of the adaptive research work in Yogyakarta and South Sumatra. CORIGAP aims to increase rice production through sustainable environment-friendly approaches. The project is working closely with the Indonesian Center for Food Crops Research and Development, the Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technologies, the Indonesian Center for Rice Research, and the Directorate General of Food Crops.

During his visit, the ambassador observed a demonstration of the Indonesian Rice Crop Manager (RCM).  RCM is a computer- and  mobile phone-based tool that provides farmers with personalized crop and nutrient management guidelines and general recommendations. The technology was developed by IRRI and its Indonesian partners. He also toured the Long-term Continuous Cropping Experiment, the world's longest-running rice research project that provides a firsthand glimpse of how rice production can be sustained in a changing climate without adversely affecting the soil and the productivity of a rice ecosystem. He also met with Indonesian scholars who are studying at IRRI.

Indonesia and IRRI have nurtured an ever-evolving partnership for 44 years. This collaboration has resulted in increased rice productivity, improved livelihood for Indonesian rice farmers, and increased capacity through a new generation of IRRI-trained scientists.

(This article was written by Rona Mae Azucena, IRRI).

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