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KREI and IRRI to work together in research, policy, and rural development for developing countries

November 12 ~ Building on its strong relationships with South Korean government partners, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) recently signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding with South Korean agency Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI), to cooperate in various areas of agricultural research, policy, and rural development to generate impact in South Korea and across the developing world.

Signed on 09 November 2020, the memorandum will provide the framework for the two parties to engage in collaborative activities such as knowledge sharing, joint research projects, agricultural policy, market analysis, and impact evaluations. Thematic areas include rural poverty eradication, rural transformation, climate change, food and nutrition security, small and medium rural enterprises and cooperatives, and rural women and youth employment.

As a member of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Republic of Korea is actively engaged in rural development efforts in countries across the developing world, promoting food security, better quality of life, and sustainable development. 

A government-funded research organization, KREI focuses on shaping agricultural policy directions through a wide range of relevant research. The agency also collaborates with local and international research and development entities to support the enhancement of agricultural productivities and rural development in developing countries.

“IRRI is pleased to enter into this new collaborative partnership with KREI,“ said Matthew Morell, Director General of IRRI. “Their extensive experience and expertise in agricultural policy and rural development will contribute greatly to the enhancement of rice-based agri-food systems around the world, with a particular focus on improving the lives of 144 million smallholder rice farmers who are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other challenges such as poverty, hunger and malnutrition, climate change, and social inequities.”

“IRRI is an important partner for KREI,“ said Hong-Sang Kim, President of KREI. “Rice is the primary food staple for much of the developing world, and rice production provides livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people especially in rural areas. IRRI’s six decades of research and international scope will be key to KREI’s goals of creating development initiatives for transformative and sustainable agricultural and rural development.”

Since 1964, IRRI has had a longstanding partnership with the Government of the Republic of Korea. Through the Rural Development Administration (RDA), IRRI supported South Korea in the development of the first generation Tong-Il rice variety, a high-yielding and resilient rice plant that sparked the Green Revolution in the country, and has been hailed as one of South Korea’s most important scientific achievements of the 20th century. RDA is also one of IRRI’s most important funding partners, with the agency contributing over USD 14 Million to more than 50 key projects and initiatives around the world. 

Last year, IRRI also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), which enables collaboration and mutual support in the formulation, design, and implementation of rice systems-based agricultural development activities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. 

For media inquiries, contact:
Il-Ryong Choi
IRRI Country Representative for South Korea
Hyeonjoo Yu (Ms.)
Officer, CIAP
Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI)