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An invitation to transform the future of food systems from #GeneToGlobe: experts, leaders, and innovators come together at the International Rice Congress 2023 this October

By Jean Balie, Director General of the International Rice Research Institute

The fourth agricultural revolution is evolving rapidly and changing the way we produce and consume food. New knowledge, technologies, and systems are being researched and developed all over the world that have the potential to make food cultivation and value chains more productive, efficient, and sustainable.

This revolution comes at a critical juncture. The adverse effects of climate change are already constraining our ability to produce enough food, while growing populations and scarcity of resources compound food and nutrition insecurity in many parts of the world.

The rice sector is a prime candidate for this fourth revolution. This USD 287B industry feeds billions of people and provides livelihoods for hundreds of millions of farmers and value chain actors. Transforming rice-based food systems for the better will create a significant impact across the globe, but only if we all work together to make it happen.      

To this end, I would like to invite everyone to help us shape the future of the rice sector from #GeneToGlobe at the 6th International Rice Congress, happening on 16-19 of October 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila, Philippines.

Join us at the International Rice Congress 2023

Organized every four years, the International Rice Congress (IRC) is the world’s largest gathering of scientific experts, business leaders, government policymakers, trailblazing innovators, and other stakeholders in the global rice sector, coming together to share, discuss, network, and collaborate on current and emerging advancements, opportunities, and challenges in rice research, rice production, rice value chains, and the wider food, nutrition, and health sectors. 

IRC is hosted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), a non-profit scientific research organization established in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations to advance rice science for the common public good. Previous iterations of IRC were held in Beijing (2002), New Delhi (2006), Hanoi (2010), Bangkok (2014), and Singapore (2018). For this sixth congress, IRC will be held for the first time in the Philippines, the host country of IRRI Headquarters, and will be co-organized by the Philippine Department of Agriculture. 

The theme of IRC 2023 will be “Accelerating Transformation of Rice-Based Food Systems: From Gene to Globe”. Leveraging on the reach and resources of our global stakeholders, the congress will encompass the entire spectrum of activities and innovations transforming the rice sector – from cutting-edge research and technologies at the genetic level to the socio-economic and environmental aspects of rice production, processing, policy, trade, and consumption on the regional and world stage.

What can you expect at IRC?

The signature event of IRC will be the International Rice Research Conference. It will run the whole four days and bring together prominent speakers, panellists, and thought leaders to discuss their experiences, ideas, and vision for the rice sector. Aside from the plenary sessions, numerous parallel sessions and breakout rooms focusing on specific topics such as genetics and breeding, data science, climate-smart technologies, and socio-economic impact will also be available for conference participants. Poster exhibits for scientific abstracts will allow scientists worldwide to present their exciting research to diverse and receptive audiences.

Another key event is the IRC Exhibition & Trade Show. Organized by our partner DLG Asia Pacific, the trade show will also run the whole four days and will showcase innovative technologies and services from exhibitors across the globe, promoting opportunities for business, partnerships, and investments. Examples of trade show exhibits include agricultural machinery, data analytics, sustainable farming, and digital systems.

Also happening during the congress are supporting special events from IRC partners. These include the 8th International Hybrid Rice Symposium (October 18-19), the 7th International Conference on Bacterial Blight of Rice (October 17-18), and the 1st Sustainable Rice Platform Symposium (October 17). Related contributed events from key sponsors such as Bayer and Regrow Ag will also have a prominent place in the congress program.

With diverse topics such as genetic research, breeding advancements, sustainable farming, climate resilience, value chain innovation, ecology and biodiversity, nutrition and health, social equity, markets and trade, and policy and governance, IRC 2023 will be an informative and eye-opening experience for many of our congress participants.  

Good reasons to attend IRC

IRC is the world’s biggest platform for driving innovation and transformation for our rice-based food systems. This event is particularly important and timely as we tackle the growing global demand for rice challenged by resource scarcity and climate change. For stakeholders in the rice and food sector, whether you are a scientist, part of the rice value chain, a corporate executive, a government official, or a startup innovator, IRC will be a key event of the year that you should not miss.

For scientists and researchers, IRC can help you stay up-to-date with the upstream-to-downstream work being done by public and private organizations across various countries. IRC will allow you to network and share experiences with your peers and colleagues. IRC can also provide you with a more holistic understanding of the rice sector across diverse topics, from advanced research on biotechnology and breeding to novel crop cultivation practices and digital technologies. 

Corporations, businesses, and entrepreneurs within the rice industry can participate in IRC to showcase their technologies and innovations to a global audience, and to find opportunities for funding or collaboration. They can also explore new investments, markets, and opportunities by connecting with stakeholders across the rice sector.

For value chain actors like farmers, seed producers, millers, processors, and service providers, IRC can give them an insight into how disruptive technologies will impact the future of the rice sector, helping them stay at the forefront of new innovations and systems that make rice production more efficient, profitable, and sustainable.

National Agricultural Research and Education Systems (NARES) and government officials attending IRC will be able to gain knowledge and data that can influence evidence-based strategies, policies, and decision-making, and they will be able to explore how scientific advancements, technological innovations, and emerging trends can be harnessed as solutions to agricultural, socio-economic, environmental, and food security challenges in their countries. 

For media practitioners and other stakeholders, IRC is the venue to engage with prominent thought leaders and learn about groundbreaking discoveries, pioneering research, and transformative innovations that will shape agriculture in the near future, impacting the lives and livelihoods of billions.

Help us shape the future of rice-based food systems

From global entities to ordinary people interested in rice science and the future of our food systems, we welcome everyone who wants to participate in IRC.

If you want to learn more about IRC 2023, visit the congress website at

To be an IRC 2023 delegate, go to this link for rates on individual and bulk registration,  payment information, and other details. 

For companies interested in becoming a sponsor of IRC 2023, see our prospectus and contact us at

To be an exhibitor at the IRC 2023 Exhibition and Trade Show, go to this link and email or fill out the application form.

For media organizations interested in covering IRC 2023, go to our media registration page.

For more information and general inquiries, email us at

For everyone who wants to help us promote IRC on your social media, please use the hashtags #IRC2023 and #GeneToGlobe. 

IRRI looks forward to seeing you at IRC2023  in Manila.  Thank you.