Rice is a daily staple for more than half of the world’s people, making it a critical component of food security. Due to growing populations, competition for arable land and water, and climate change, the need to develop new elite rice varieties is today more pressing.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), through its new Strategic Plan, is developing impact acceleration strategies to shorten the time-to-impact of useful innovations, for the benefit of smallholder farmers.
In this context, IRRI partners with private sector companies, to deliver impact acceleration and an equitable sharing of knowledge, to ensure rice production sustainability and global food security.
Recently, IRRI entered into a partnership with Intertek, a Total Quality Assurance provider, for the use by Intertek of rice DNA markers developed by IRRI. This was a joint initiative between Intertek and IRRI Tech, and will result in better service for all Intertek clients in the rice ecosystem. This agreement is non-exclusive.
The agreement with Intertek, signed on 19 March 2018, will enable broader distribution and active use of IRRI’s DNA markers for marker-assisted rice breeding programs (both public and private sector programs). The same DNA markers can be used for quality control, along the rice value chain. This agreement will also boost IRRI's own breeding programs, as Intertek agreed to provide a volume of sample analysis free of charge to IRRI.
“The cooperation between IRRI and Intertek will allow rice breeders and consumers all over the world to access low density DNA markers to screen for high value traits, including new tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses,” according to Dr. Patrick Stolt, Intertek Global Product Line Leader. “IRRI’s groundbreaking and comprehensive R&D work will allow Intertek labs in India, Australia, and Sweden to serve customers both on a global and local level by providing low-cost and fast-turnaround genotyping services.”
“The partnership with Intertek allows us to leverage our innovations and accelerate impact on rice value chains, for the benefit of rice farmers,” says Dr. Rémy Bitoun, Head of IRRI Tech Transfer. “With Intertek’s extensive experience in genotyping services for the seed and breeding industry, IRRI’s research on rice DNA markers will reach more stakeholders, speeding up development of much needed novel rice varieties.”
Through such collaborations, IRRI builds a network of partners that can innovate, catalyze, and develop the global rice value chain, helping create a more sustainable future for farmers and consumers.