Delivering comprehensive solutions tailored to people and place
IRRI works in almost every rice-growing country in the world where local agriculture needs vary greatly depending upon underlying investments in the system, such as irrigation; the educational status of farmers; their access to information, soils, and inputs; and socio-political dynamics. Based on our intimate knowledge of these geographies and available best practices, we will help our partners envision and develop complete solutions tailored to ensure that farmers can improve their income and stability.
- Employ a “breeding for market” approach to encourage improvements in grain quality and address issues in yield gap and nutrition.
- Work with our partners to build their capacity in implementing market-oriented approaches to breeding tailored to regional needs.
- Tailor, package, and operationalize potential solutions based on the needs of specific groups and specific places.
- Identify and resolve existing paradoxes in product marketing, such as improving yield at the expense of market access.
Connecting global solutions to local needs
The emerging fourth industrial revolution will hasten the convergence of the “physical, digital, and biological worlds,” creating new technologies and platforms. Currently, information communication technology (ICT) innovations such as remote-sensing technology, geographic information systems (GIS), and high-resolution satellite images can monitor and evaluate agricultural systems to determine where and when rice is grown and whether crops are growing well or not. IRRI will speed up the adoption of these technologies to make rice farming more efficient and accessible.
- Ensure that ICT management systems and tools are affordable and conducive to existing smallholder farmers and youth—the farmers of the future.
- Help national systems develop their knowledge systems as knowledge banks that can be shared with other nations and systems on acceptable terms.
- Engage partners and the private sector to resolve data ownership, privacy, and ethical and research-use questions to ensure widest impact of ICT.
Offering solutions for rural and urban populations
As global rice demand grows by almost 13% in the next decade, an increasing number of urban middle-class rice consumers will have more diversified diets and be more environment and health conscious, fueling a desire for more choices of rice that are cleaner and more nutritious. For rice exporting countries, this presents an opportunity to sharpen their focus on high-quality rice varieties and products.
- IRRI will draw on its expertise in product development for the rice sector to help rural and urban populations capitalize on this trend.
- Develop production technologies to limit plant uptake of arsenic and cadmium in grain varieties and minimize potential consumer health threats in affected areas.
- Ensure affordable access to quality, nutritious rice to alleviate the double-burden of malnutrition.
- Work with the public and private sector to realize additional high-value markets such as meeting urban consumers’ requirements for rice products that are convenient, high-quality, nutritious, and affordable.
- Promote production of specialty niche rice, such as heirloom or geographically unique rice, to increase livelihoods for marginalized and indigenous populations.
Equipping people and institutions for tomorrow
IRRI is committed to preparing the next generation of scientists, extension agents, value chain actors, farmers, and leaders to work effectively for positive change in the global rice sector. Capitalizing on the legacy of the institute’s training center, IRRI Education will provide the means to help individuals and organizations interpret and respond to the rapidly changing physical and political landscape of the global agricultural sector.
- Provide a customer-focused and demand-driven suite of educational programs that capitalize on IRRI’s expertise in rice research, agricultural extension, and rice sector policy.
- Work with IRRI and NARES scientists to make their scientific knowledge and expertise more widely accessible.
- Build programs geared to the broader agricultural sector, including policymakers and regulators, professionals in the international development community, and industry leaders from around the world.
- Partner with university agriculture programs to prepare the next generation of rice scientists at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level.
Forging mission-critical private and public partnership
IRRI’s revitalized partnership model will be one of ‘partnership for impact,’ focusing on quality, not quantity of partnerships and opportunities for complementarity in research and/or financial investment. We will enhance our partnerships with the private sector to deliver research-for-development impact while safeguarding our reputation as an honest broker.
- Establish fruitful partnerships with the best advanced research institutes in the world.
- Participate in CGIAR system-wide research and development programs to improve impact across several agri-food systems.
- Engage partners in creative ways to contribute to social inclusion and development impact goals.
- Tailor engagements with national agricultural research and extension system (NARES) partners to account for varying needs, rice sector opportunities, and the changing political landscape in specific countries and regions.
A means to economic self-determination
In several countries in northern Asia, such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China, the rice sector has been an economic impetus that enabled the transition from an agrarian-based economy to a more sophisticated one based on manufacturing and services. This outcome resulted from four parallel developments:
- The adoption of land reform policies that provided farmers with incentives to reinvest in productivity enhancements and creation of a “level playing field” to compete for market access.
- A more affluent rural population to serve as a domestic market for goods and services produced by emerging manufacturing and service sectors.
- Manufacturing and financial policies that drove export performance at the expense of domestic land speculation and other activities that did not deliver on national development goals.
- Reduction of any requirement to use scarce foreign exchange capacity to import staple foods such as rice.