Thailand and IRRI
As far back as 1941, Thailand recognized the importance of deepwater rice research by building the Huntra Rice Experiment Station. The first formal link between Thailand and IRRI was made in 1960-1963 when Prince M.C. Chakrabandhu became a founding member of the IRRI Board of Trustees.
IRRI and Thailand’s formal collaboration started in 1960, when Thailand's Prince Chakrabandhu became a founding member of IRRI's Board of Trustees. The IRRI Thailand office was established in 1966.
The first IRRI scientist assigned to work in Thailand was Dr. B.R. Jackson, who worked in the country for 16 years (1966-1982). His first year of collaboration in plant breeding was a turning point for rice improvement in Thailand.
In August 2009, then Director General Robert Zeigler and Development Director Duncan Macintosh had a royal audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the King's Klai Kangwan Palace in the coastal city of Hua Hin. They discussed the International Rice Genebank and IRRI's work in Thailand.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand officially opened the 6th International Rice Genetics Symposium at the Manila Hotel in November 2009. The Princess also formally launched IRRI's 50th anniversary at IRRI’s headquarters in the Philippines.
The largest regular conference and exhibition of global rice scientific research community and industry, the 4th International Rice Congress (IRC2014), was held in Bangkok in October 2014 under the patronage of the Royal Government of Thailand, specifically the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Called the "Olympics of rice science." IRC2014 gathered around 1,500 participants from 69 countries at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC). It highlighted the latest rice research to ensure global food security. Thailand hosted, co-organized, and provided financial support for the IRC. The country was chosen as the location for the congress as it is a leader and key player in world rice trade.