How will innovations in the global rice sector change the world again?

50 years of IR8 | Essay contest

In November 2016, the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the IR8 rice variety to Asia. Developed by an international group of scientists in the 1960s, IR8 enabled rice-growing countries across Asia to stave off a mass famine that was endangering the lives of millions of people.

The rapid uptake of this scientific innovation known as the "Miracle Rice," and its subsequent varieties, marked the first Green Revolution and proved that agricultural innovation could change the course of history. How will agricultural innovations in the global rice sector change the world again?


  1. The essay should answer the question “How will innovations in the global rice sector change the world again?” The contest revolves on the theme of IR8’s 50th anniversary, Rice that Changed the World.
  2. The essay contest is open to all, except for IRRI employees and their immediate family members.
  3. All entries must be submitted during the contest period—from 2 November to 25 November 2016—using the form below.
  4. Essays must not have been previously published anywhere else online or in print.
  5. Essays must be in an MS Word file format (.doc or .docx), with a length of 500 to 1,000 words.
  6. Essays must be written for the general public and must not be overtly technical.
  7. IRRI reserves the right to edit the essay to comply with IRRI standards and style.
  8. All submissions will be under the Creative Commons license. Submissions should have an accompanying signed note, which emphasizes that the essay is owned by the submitter and that he/she is giving IRRI permission to publish his/her essay at the IRRI website and on any other medium for the duration of the contest.
  9. All accepted entries will be featured and published at the IRRI website with the author’s byline, short profile, and photo.
  10. Announcement of winners will be on 9 December 2016.


  • 1st prize: Asus ZenFone 3 Laser
  • 2nd prize: IRRI jacket plus merchandise
  • 3rd prize: IRRI field vest plus merchandise

Criteria for judging:

  • Creativity 40%
  • Adherence to topic 25%
  • Structure 20%
  • Impact 15%

Submission for the essay writing contest now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated.