The 5th International Rice Congress (IRC) kicked off with two major announcements from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). As announced on October 15 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center in Singapore, the organization will be working with global institutions to improve rice farming sustainability and address world hunger. In light of the world’s worsening climate change problem, these collaborative efforts promise to be effective steps towards food crisis aversion.
IRRI, AVA, FAO: End world hunger by 2030
To strengthen its commitment to end world hunger, IRRI has officially teamed up with the Agri-food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Together, the three organizations will work on developing effective approaches and strategies towards sustainable food production over the next three decades.
“Together, with a host of like-minded organizations, we can translate sound scientific research into innovative solutions for the world’s smallest farmers,” said Dr. Matthew Morell, the Director General of IRRI. “Understanding the current and future needs of our rice stakeholders allows us to target our work towards the most effective solutions.”
“Our objective is to make smallholder farmers more resilient and competitive so that they can achieve prosperity and provide poor consumers with affordable rice in a sustainable manner,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “ That’s a win-win the world needs to see.”
IRRI and Corteva’s shared goal: productive, sustainable farming
In addition, IRRI will also collaborate with newly established agriscience startup Corteva Agriscience for improved rice research, as well as enhanced breeding techniques and technologies.
“Our collaboration will allow us to offer farmers a broader suite of high-performing products and effective science-based innovations that will optimize yield and crop quality,” according to Peter Ford, the President of Corteva Agriscience Asia Pacific. “Partnerships such as this create the power of scale and will drive positive change for rice farmers.”
“IRRI is committed to harnessing the best of agriculture innovations to build a sustainable and equitable global rice sector,” said Jacqueline Hughes, IRRI’s deputy director General for Research. “We recognize the critical role private sector organizations, such as Corteva Agriscience, can play in achieving this goal and we welcome the opportunity to forge partnerships with businesses that share our vision.”
The partnership allows both parties to take advantage of each other’s tools, research efforts, and testing results to improve rice production not only in Asia, but across the world. Among these results and tools are IRRI’s germplasm, hybrid and inbred rice programs, Corteva Agriscience’s precision breeding technologies, and efforts to facilitate the adoption of Direct Seeded Rice, a resource-efficient technology for improving cultivation techniques and farming.
IRRI at IRC 2018
The IRC 2018 congress registered around 1,500 participants from 40 different countries for the three-day event.
Event attendees include scientists, journalists, thought leaders, policy-makers, investors, and private sector actors who seek an active role in supporting and enhancing rice production.
Incidentally, October 16 marks the celebration of World Food Day, and will involve an “interactive global discussion” on how the youth can help achieve zero hunger.
- Official press release from Corteva Agriscience (October 15, 2018).
Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco
Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.