THE International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has successfully secured the endorsement of ASEAN Member States (AMS) and the support of Plus Three dialogue partners for the launch of ASEAN Rice Net, a new regional network for sharing and evaluation of advanced IRRI-developed rice breeding lines.
Underpinning the collaborative partnership is the Rice Genetic Solutions for Climate Resilience and Value Addition program which will help accelerate farmers’ access to high value varieties under climate change environmental conditions and drive long-term increases in rice productivity and incomes.
The endorsement enables IRRI to also liaise closely with the ASEAN Plus Three Dialogue Partners, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, for the development of both technical and financing support modalities for the network.
“IRRI will assist AMS to meet their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for food security and contribute to ensuring that ASEAN and ASEAN +3 nations have sufficient capacity to increase their rice productivity, which will be critical to meeting the food and nutrition security needs of consumers in the region,” said IRRI Director General Dr. Matthew Morell, adding that the region will need to secure its rice production while addressing climate change challenges, declining availability of land for agriculture due to land degradation, continued population growth and rapid urbanization.
The ASEAN Rice Net will officially launch in 2020 and is projected to generate economic benefits of at least US$0.5 billion from variety releases alone across the ASEAN region. Through sharing of IRRI-bred advanced lines carrying characteristics desired by farmers and rice value chain stakeholders, it is expected that farmers can continue to be productive under the variable climate change environmental conditions.
“IRRI wants to ensure that no country in ASEAN is left behind in terms of access to rice variety based technologies and skills. We are grateful to all the AMS partners in the region for the continuous trust and support as their investments and collaboration drive IRRI’s strategy of increasing South-South and Triangular collaboration,” Dr. Shoba Venkatanagappa, IRRI’s head of the ASEAN Rice Net Program, said.
In the long term, the network will enable partner countries to co-develop new, improved rice varieties, enhance technical skills of scientists through training, and increase the capacity of national rice breeding programs across AMS organizations. (IRRI)
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) aims to improve livelihoods and nutrition, abolishing poverty, hunger and malnutrition among those who depend on rice-based agri-food systems. In doing so, IRRI’s work protects the health of rice farmers and consumers, and the environmental sustainability of rice farming in a world challenged by climate change. IRRI’s work promotes the empowerment of women and supports opportunities for youth in an equitable agri-food system.