Varanasi to have an international center for research on rice varieties
Cabinet gives nod for IRRI’s regional centre in Varanasi
The agriculture ministry will provide physical space for the laboratories, offices, training classes with associated infrastructure and land at NSRTC. The proposed centre will operate under the IRRI Board of Trustees, who will appoint the Director.The government on Wednesday cleared a proposal to set up a regional centre of the global rice research institute IRRI in Varanasi, the Prime Minister’s constituency, to develop high-yielding rice varieties. The Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which has offices in 17 countries, is known for its work in developing rice varieties that contributed to the green revolution in 1960s. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As per the proposal, IRRI’s South Asia Regional Centre will be set up at the campus of National Seed Research and Training Centre (NSRTC) in Varanasi, an official statement said. The centre will be commissioned within six months after signing of memorandum of agreement between the agriculture ministry and IRRI, it said. The ministry will provide physical space for laboratories, offices, training classes with associated infrastructure and land at NSRTC. The proposed centre will operate under the governance of the IRRI Board of Trustees, who will appoint an IRRI staff member as Director. “This centre will be the first international centre in the eastern India and will play a major role in harnessing and sustaining rice production in the region,” the statement said. It is expected to be a boon for food production and skill development in eastern India and similar ecologies in other South Asian and African countries, it added. The proposed centre will have a modern and sophisticated laboratory with capacity to determine quality and status of heavy metals in grain and straw. It will also undertake capacity building exercises for stakeholders across the rice value chain.
Potential agreement set to expand regional rice seed-sharing in Southeast Asia
FAO and IRRI Combine Forces to Combat Rice Insecurity
A new agreement to promote sustainable agriculture in developing countries was signed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The organizations will share scientific and technical knowledge, promote capacity building activities, and assist in government strategizing, with an emphasis on benefiting small-scale farmers and women.
“With over 3 billion people across the globe eating rice every day, rice is critical to global food security,” said Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General. “Ensuring sustainable rice production is a key contribution to the global goal of ending hunger. By teaming up with IRRI, already a long-standing partner, we will be able to scale up, complement and amplify our work towards reaching this goal.”
The stated goals of the FAO are to eradicate hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition, eliminate poverty while promoting economic and social progress for all, and sustainably manage and use natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Currently, two major rice-related FAO efforts are underway. First is the Asia and Pacific’s Regional Rice Initiative, and second, the Partnership for Sustainable Rice Systems Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. These are sharing technology, agricultural and pest management practices, and strategies to increase rice resilience and production efficiency.
“The world faces very significant changes over the next few decades to produce the volume and quality of nutritious food to feed a global population heading for 10 billion people,” said Matthew K. Morell, IRRI Director-General. “Addressing these issues relies on global partnerships, and today, IRRI is delighted to be reaffirming through this Memorandum of Agreement our commitment to work with FAO to enhance sustainable rice-based production and food systems through awareness raising, capacity development, knowledge exchange, and evidence-based analyses for policy support.”
IRRI is a nonprofit research and educational institute founded by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations and the Philippine government in 1960. Its goals are to reduce poverty and hunger through rice science, improve rice farmer and consumer health and welfare, and ensure the environmental sustainability of rice production. Today, IRRI has offices in 17 countries and collaborates with a variety of research partners including the food security research partnership CGIAR. Working with the United Nations Environment, IRRI developed the Sustainable Rice Platform to promote resource efficiency, sustainability, and affordability through policy development and voluntary market transformation initiatives.
By working together, the FAO and IRRI seek to increase availability and use of improved and adapted rice variety seeds. To increase nutrition and improve the income of small-scale farmers, they will develop and commercialize rice by-products. Through farmer field schools and other forms of outreach, they will better educate farmers in best-practices, including pest management. They will also work to improve working conditions for rice farmers and improve women participation and entrepreneurial opportunities.
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A rice farmer’s life
In celebration of IR8's 50th year, IRRI has called on photographers to submit their own interpretation and depiction of a rice farmer's life.All submissions are under the Creative Commons license. Submissions are owned by the photographer and he/she has given IRRI permission to publish his/her photo at the IRRI website and on any other medium for the duration of the contest The names, locations, or any identifying elements of the entrants were not shown during the blind judging process.The panel of judges is composed of selected IRRI staff members and external reviewers from the advertising and photography industries.
1st | Nimai Chandra GhoshA thirsty rice farmer in the field quenches his thirst with water brought by his son.
2nd | Rama VenkatramanDrying is an art and a skill: Parboiling, a task largely done by women in parts of Africa, involves partially boiling rice in the husk and drying it well before it is milled.
3rd | Md Hafizul IslamPreparing seedlings
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IRRI and FAO step up joint efforts to globally bolster sustainable rice production
The world faces very significant changes over the next few decades to produce the volume and quality of nutritious food to feed a global population heading for 10 billion people.“With over three billion people across the globe eating rice every day, rice is critical to global food security,” said Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources. “Ensuring sustainable rice production is a key contribution to the global goal of ending hunger. By teaming up with IRRI, already a long-standing partner, we will be able to scale up, complement and amplify our work towards reaching this goal.”
Matthew K. Morell, director-general, International Rice Research Institute
Making the rice value chain more sustainableIn many countries around the world rice is a staple crop for food security and consumption trends are growing. At the same time rice production is vulnerable to the increasing impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. Both FAO and IRRI are actively promoting more sustainable rice practices throughout the value chain - production, marketing and consumption - to optimise its nutritional properties and as a means of improving livelihoods and tackling poverty, particularly in rural areas. In Africa and in Latin America the UN agency is engaged in scientific and technical cooperation including the sharing of technologies and best practices to increase production and productivity, including reduction of post-harvest losses and improved grain quality. IRRI is engaged in strengthening capacities of all rice sector actors through its capacity development activities, including IRRI Education and the Sustainable Rice Platform. The Sustainable Rice Platform is a global alliance to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in trade flows, production and consumption operations, and supply chains in the global rice sector. The Sustainable Rice Platform recently established the world’s first standard for sustainable rice. Through the Sustainable Rice Platform, IRRI aims to use environmental and socio-economic benchmarks to maintain yields for rice smallholders, reduce the environmental footprint of rice cultivation and meet consumer needs for food safety and quality. At the same time, IRRI Education works to build capacity through-out IRRI’s extensive partnership network.
Improving varieties, transferring knowledgeFAO and IRRI will together assist rice producing countries to adopt improved and adapted rice varieties, enhance availability of certified seeds and also the transfer of knowledge - including on pest management - through participatory approaches such as farmer fields schools. The two organisations will also seek to strengthen partnerships for post-harvest handling, and help farmers and other rice producers add value by developing and marketing rice by-products rich in proteins and micronutrients, and explore the appropriate use of rice by-products to generate energy, animal feed and other agricultural products. In addition, FAO and IRRI will work together to ensure that women farmers can participate in viable, safe and dignified entrepreneurial opportunities in the rice value chain, and that there is an improvement in work conditions in the rice sector.
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