Monday, November 18, 2019

TRRC identifies nutrition, grain quality as key priorities for temperate rice research

Nanjing, November 2019 - Members of the Temperate Rice Research Consortium (TRRC) steering committee renewed their commitment to joint research and collaboration on temperate rice during this year’s meeting and symposium in Nanjing, China.

Held last 7-9 November 2019 and hosted by the Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (JAAS), the meeting was an opportunity for the consortium to come together after three years and redefine TRRC’s new research direction, identify key future research priorities, and evaluate proposed research programs.

In his welcome address, JAAS Vice-President Dr. Fangji Chao related that “Jiangsu is a large province that promotes japonica rice planting, and places great emphasis on japonica rice research and related industry development. JAAS is a non-profit research organization under the direct leadership of the Jiangsu provincial government, with a mission to deliver exceptional solutions through innovative technology for a more prosperous and sustainable future in agriculture”.

IRRI Director General Dr. Matthew Morrell emphasized that it was time to embark on a new direction for TRRC and revisit its key objectives.  “TRRC will leverage on the capacities of IRRI, the Rural Development Administration (RDA) of Korea, and JAAS, as well as other member institutions to achieve a renewed research program with a synthesized vision and long-term plans.” The current focus is geared towards grain quality to achieve linkages between the rice sector and

As a result of the meeting, it is envisioned that TRRC can demonstrate benefits and impact from RDA investment on the consortium. Specific key research priorities that have been identified for immediate implementation include: (1) consumer acceptance traits that will be identified through a common methodology for measuring quality; (2) rice blast resistance; (3) rice with low glycemic index; and (4) nutrition. A workplan will be developed by the incoming TRRC coordinator for approval of the steering committee in April 2020.

The meeting was attended by the TRRC steering committee members from China, Egypt, Japan, Korea, Russia, Turkey, and IRRI, with virtual and email participation by the steering committee members from Australia, Italy, and the USA.

The TRRC meeting was followed by a one-day symposium on the theme Healthier Rice for a Healthier World.  The symposium featured rice research for improved grain quality and human health, and on improving sustainability of rice production while addressing environmental, pest, and disease challenges.  The symposium was attended by TRRC participants, plus more than a hundred scientists from different research institutions in China.

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