Thursday, March 2, 2017

CORIGAP Phase 2 to increase yield of 500,000 rice farmers across Asia by 2020

CORIGAP-PRO is officially launched with the symbolic raising of a laser beam projector used in leveling soil surface. Dr. Evequoz (left), SDC senior adviser, and Dr. Hughes (right) lead the 
opening ceremony. 

LOS BAÑOS, Philippines—Phase 2 of the project, Closing Rice Yield Gaps with Reduced Environmental Footprint, will work to sustainably increase rice yield by 10% for 500,000 smallholder farmers in seven “rice granaries” of Asia by 2020. Called CORIGAP-PRO, this second phase is a multi-country project under the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium.

More than 45 scientists, national partners, and CORIGAP advisory committee members from seven countries gathered at the headquarters of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to launch CORIGAP-PRO, which now includes the Philippines as an “associate country.”

“This event is a platform for the project members to review the key outcomes made during phase 1 and to plan and strategize ways to achieve the targets set for the next phase,” explained Dr. Grant Singleton, CORIGAP coordinator and IRRI principal scientist.

From 2013 to 2016, CORIGAP directly interacted with 1,362 farmer groups and 125,000 farmers, spanning an area of 250,000 hectares of lowland irrigated rice in Asian countries. Two project sites were located in Indonesia while Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Sri Lanka each hosted a project site.

“CORIGAP is a great example of how IRRI, our partners, and local farmers can join hands to create sustainable results that help farmers make a positive impact in their lives," said Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, IRRI deputy director general for research. "This collaboration has helped achieve a triple win; improving rice yields, increasing farmers' profits, and ensuring sustainable production.”

CORIGAP-PRO will build on the success of the project's first phase. Scientists and researchers will continue working closely with national partners to augment their current national and regional programs by introducing best management practices for rice. Some of these include One Must Do, Five Reductions in Vietnam, the Three Controls Technology in China, the cost reductions initiative in Thailand, and integrated crop management in Indonesia. The project will also foster cross-country learning on common areas of interest, such as developing Good Agricultural Practices for rice.

“The challenge for CORIGAP-PRO is how to make all these technologies and improved practices available to all farmers in all the project countries,” said Dr. Michel Evequoz, a senior adviser at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the major donor for the project. “IRRI appears to have the right partners for the extension and scaling out of the technologies. I will follow the progress of CORIGAP-PRO with much interest.”

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