Thursday, May 30, 2019

IRRI and Korea partner to catalyze rural transformation through rice science

By working with Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA), IRRI enables rural transformation through the adoption of technologies and practices to solve complex global problems in rice-growing countries and beyond.

Since 2002, IRRI has partnered with RDA in organizing the two-week Rice Technology Transfer Systems Training Workshop (RTTS). Through this program, more than 250 participants from nine Asian countries had the opportunity to evaluate global challenges facing rice research and development. Participants were also involved in various interactive and participatory learning methods to identify and analyze research-extension linkages that enable adoption of successful new rice technologies in the field.

Last week, 25 RTTS graduates gathered at IRRI Headquarters to exchange success stories, study the social and economic impacts of acquired technologies in the graduates’ country, institute, farms, and other agricultural sectors.

PhilRice Deputy Executive Director for Development Dr. Karen Eloisa T. Barroga was one of the first graduates of the training program in 2002. According to her, the RTTS course helped build her confidence and developed her skills in technology transfer, which she applied in her work as the program leader for Technology Promotion at PhilRice. Most importantly, it opened up opportunities for collaboration and professional growth, such as her engagement in several IRRI projects (ie, Rice Doctor, Irrigated Rice Research Consortium),  which eventually led to a PhD scholarship, a consultancy work, and a talk at the International Food Policy Research Institute on agricultural extension. Most recent was co-leading a multi-million peso project between IRRI and the Philippine Department of Agriculture to develop a new breed of rice extension professionals.

The Government of the Republic of Korea has been collaborating with IRRI through the RDA since the 1960s. This partnership transformed Korea from a rice importer to a self-sufficient rice producer. Since then, Korea has supported and completed 43 projects with IRRI.

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