INCHEON, South Korea, 25 October—Sixteen countries in the Asia-Pacific Region can look forward to better access to the most advanced rice technologies to improve their respective rice sector as they declared full support for the regional Rice Action Agenda for ASEAN+3 proposed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The initiative also aims to create a regional environment that encourages scientific and innovation exchanges, germplasm sharing, and investments in the rice sector.
The Rice Action Plan, which was presented at the 20th Annual Meeting of the Council for Partnership on Rice Research in Asia (CORRA), brings together breeding and other rice-related technologies, capacity building, policies, raising of public investment in agriculture, and raising food and nutrition for farmers and consumers alike.
In addition, IRRI proposed three additional programs that can provide avenues for CORRA countries to address the specific needs of their rice sectors. These included the CGIAR research program on RICE, the ASEAN+3 Rice Genetics and Breeding Platform, and the Sustainable Rice Platform. These programs promote international cooperation to accelerate the impact of sustainable farming systems, concerted breeding efforts, and upgraded value chains on the profitability of rice farming.
"At IRRI, we recognize that each CORRA member country has varying needs, challenges, and opportunities within their national rice sector,” said IRRI Director General Matthew Morell. “Through partnerships such as this, we ensure that our research agenda is aligned with those concerns and addresses the greatest needs.”
The CGIAR research program on RICE presents a single strategic platform for results-oriented research for development. The ASEAN+3 rice genetics and breeding initiative allows CORRA members to partner with IRRI in developing better and more-resilient rice varieties that meet their priorities while enabling access to discoveries fostered by regional cooperation. Finally, the Sustainable Rice Platform promotes approaches that make rice farming more efficient, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable, while maintaining profitability.
“These programs can and should be applied in country-specific ways,” said Dr. V. Bruce J. Tolentino, IRRI deputy director general. “Technical support for the efforts of national rice departments, with the dedicated support of IRRI, is crucial to developing the rice sectors of those countries."
CORRA also declared its continuing support to the research programs and strategies of IRRI. Moreover, CORRA will continue to serve as an advisory council to the CGIAR research program on RICE. The council will provide feedback on national research and development priorities and needs for each member country, identify common regional concerns, and participate actively in sharing information and ideas for successful implementation.