Wednesday, August 22, 2018

IRRI, AFSTRI, Corteva Agriscience™ team up to build capacity and network of young plant scientists

IRRI and Corteva Agriscience™ partner in building a strong global community of scientists that will drive innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges in food security.

Guided by the symposium’s theme, “Same Field, Better Yield”, expert plant breeders on rice, wheat, maize, and coconuts have shared their latest practices and research findings with around 200 graduate students from different universities. One of the highlights of the symposium is the lecture of Cornell University’s Dr. Mark Sorrells. He concluded his lecture on Molecular Breeding and High Throughput Phenotyping in the 21st Century by highlighting the importance of collaboration among different specialists in modern-day plant breeding. According to Dr. Sorrells, “Days are long gone when plant breeders work on isolation. The best plant breeders today are those who work with a team with complementary expertise to develop varieties today”.

Assam farmers learn about technologies that increase yield and improve rice farming efficiency

Agriculture in Assam accounts for over a third of income generated in the state, and employs over 70% of the workforce, making agriculture one of the most important means of livelihood in Assam.

To increase profitability of small and marginal farmers and strengthen the seed supply systems in 16 districts, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in partnership with Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (APART) signed an agreement in March 2018 supporting activities under this effort.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

National Planning Commission and IRRI-Nepal hold round table meeting to discuss five-year work plan on the country’s rice agri-food system

For more than 50 years, IRRI has been working with Nepal in providing improved germplasm to develop nearly 70% of 83 high-yielding varieties in the country. This partnership has contributed to national food security and economic growth. National rice productivity of Nepal before collaborating with IRRI was 2 t/ha, and has risen to over 3.5 t/ha in 2017.

According to Dr. Dil Bahadur Gurung, member of the National Planning Commission responsible for Agriculture portfolio, “IRRI’s presence in Nepal provided a continuous supply of germplasm that supported the development of high-performing rice varieties, which are suitable for subtropical and warm temperate regions in Nepal”. Dr. Gurung adds that IRRI helped the country develop different rice farming technologies and in conduct capacity building initiatives for Nepalese scientists and extension workers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

IRRI celebrates National Nutrition Month in the Philippines

Nutrition awareness ramps up in the Philippines during the annual celebration of National Nutrition Month in July, with this year’s theme highlighting the role of diverse food sources and increased household income in improving the nutritional status of Filipinos. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) supports the Philippine nutrition sector’s public outreach with engagements that demonstrate the organization’s ongoing research efforts to improve health and livelihood outcomes across all areas of the agri-food system.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Nepal to adopt intensive rice farming technologies to achieve food security

As part of his South Asia travel, IRRI’s Director General Matthew Morell had the opportunity to visit Nepal, a country that has long been one of the Institute’s staunch partners in many initiatives that aim to transform the rice sector in Asia.

During the course, Dr. Morell was able to witness firsthand many challenges that the Nepalese face to produce rice, which is the country’s most staple crop. These include low farm mechanization, low adoption of farming technologies and innovations, lack of year-round assured irrigation, labor shortage, and lack of availability of quality agricultural inputs in the right time and affordable price. Apart from these, farmers also have limited exposure and little access to machines and equipment used to mechanize farming (laser land levelers, direct seeded rice (DSR) drills, mechanical weeders, and combine harvesters).