13 February 2019, Quezon City, Philippines – The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) renewal of their scientific and technical partnership will strengthen and further develop their collaborative efforts to address the challenges faced by the Philippine rice sector, including climate change and food security.
Signed by DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and IRRI Director General Matthew Morell, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) highlights areas of collaboration between DA and IRRI that prioritize rice and rice-based research and development projects geared towards increasing yield, income and cropping intensity, reducing cost and postharvest losses, and enhancing marketing and resiliency to changing climate.
“This renewed partnership solidifies IRRI and the DA’s commitment to accelerate the development of research and technologies that will improve the lives of Filipino rice farmers and consumers. IRRI will continue to provide research, innovative solutions, technical and policy support for DA programs. We hope to increase our contribution to demand-driven market analysis and policy development, small-scale mechanization, crop insurance, and rice straw management,” Dr. Morell said.
One of the issues addressed by the MoU is climate change. The Philippine government through the Department of Agriculture is taking steps to improve the resilience of the rice sector to adverse climate change effects, which include the El Nino phenomenon and increasingly more frequent and intense flooding and drought. IRRI will continue to strongly contribute through research and development in climate change adaptation (climate-smart rice and cropping practices), mitigation (water saving technologies and rice straw management), and policy.
Other projects under the MoU include improving extension services and building the capabilities of public institutions to deliver various farm services. The skills, knowledge and capacity of current and next generation Filipino researchers and extension workers will be strengthened.