Rice importation eats up a substantial chunk of Nepal’s national budget each year, adversely affecting economic development in the country. In order to reduce rice import and help Nepal achieve its commitment to rice self-sufficiency, IRRI is working in the country to speed up the translation of innovative global solutions to the local needs of the rice value chain. Together with national partners, IRRI is accelerating the impact of its research through scaling up technology adoption and teaching local rice stakeholders.
During Nepal’s 15th National Rice Day, Dr. Dil Bahadur Gurung, member of the National Planning Commission, expressed appreciation for IRRI’s support in Nepal’s research on rice product profiling, climate-resilient rice, and on the best management practices in rice production. He also thanked IRRI for its contribution in the capacity building of more than 300 Nepalese scientists and extension workers through academic programs, short-term trainings, and exchange visits.
According to Dr. Krishna Dev Joshi, IRRI Country Representative for Nepal, the collaborative work plan prepared by the Nepal Rice Working Group has been signed recently. The five-year plan includes vital technologies and learning programs for increasing rice productivity in Nepal and reverse current over dependence on rice imports. “We will maximize the use of the technologies we have developed to lower the cost of production and to boost farm productivity. Our strategy is to help farmers access and adopt the complete package of rice production technologies which includes use of profitable and climate resilient rice varieties, best management practices, gender-friendly mechanization, quality seed production, provisioning at the community level, and having post-harvest and storage facilities”, Dr. Joshi added.
The 15th National Rice Day was co-organized by IRRI Nepal. Dr. Krishna Dev Joshi and two consultants, Dr. Bhava Prasad Tripathi and Dr. Suchit Prasad Shrestha participated in the annual event. The National Rice Day was organized by Nepal Government together with other rice sector organizations to find opportunities for collaboration towards improving the rice sector and reducing rice importation.