A delegation from Nagoya University visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) headquarters to strengthen the collaborative efforts between the university's Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences (GSBS) and IRRI on 09 October 2023. The visit marked a significant step in the ongoing partnership between the two organizations which promises to develop innovative solutions for the benefit of rice farmers and communities worldwide.
The delegation was welcomed by Interim IRRI Director General Ajay Kohli, Deputy Director General for Strategy, Engagement, and Impact Joanna Potaka and Dr. Amelia Henry, research lead of the Traits for Challenged Environments Unit.
Naoshi Sugiyama, president of Nagoya University, expressed his appreciation to IRRI for its research support, and providing training for their students. He also committed to continue scientific advancements in rice through collaborative initiatives with IRRI.
“I am really excited to finally see the results of our exchange and research collaboration,” said Dr. Sugiyama.
Dr. Kohli stressed the significance of its partnerships in scaling the impact of IRRI’s technology.
“There’s a big opportunity to work together because of the training part and the philosophy of taking the upstream research down to the hands of the farmers,” Dr. Kohli said. “We are one in that.”
Dr. Mikio Nakazono, Dean of the GSBS, provided insights into past joint research initiatives between the university and IRRI, highlighting the Wonder Rice Initiative for Food Security and Health (WISH) Project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, as an example of this collaboration.
The project, launched in 2013, aims to develop and distribute new rice varieties to African and Asian countries for free. Through the project 200 high-yielding rice lines tolerant of unfavorable conditions were developed and disseminated to Vietnam, Myanmar, Kenya, and Colombia.
The delegation of fifteen professors and staff also visited the International Rice Genebank and research fields to witness the institute's cutting-edge research and development efforts firsthand.
Dr. Kazuki Saito, scientist at the Cropping Systems Agronomy/Climate Change Unit, and Nagoya University alumni Dr. Marjoie de Ocampo and Melinda Limlengco also met with the delegates.
In 2019, IRRI and Nagoya University signed a memorandum of agreement to exchange organization members and research fellows, academic materials, information and publication; conduct joint research projects and organize symposiums; supervise students’ research, dissertations, theses and fieldwork; and develop projects for fundraising.
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