IRRI opens new center in India to enhance rice research in Asia and Africa

INDIA – The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has inaugurated a new facility, IRRI South Asia Regional Center (IRRI SARC) in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to enhance research capabilities in rice growing countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

IRRI South Asia Regional Centre features state-of-the-art laboratories and an institute that hosts scientists and experts from the sector.

The facilities include the Centre of Excellence in Rice Value Addition (CERVA), a suite of modern laboratories where rice grains are assessed for quality and nutritional value and sensory evaluations for grain taste, texture, and aroma are conducted; on-site facilities.

Scientists and agriculture leaders at the institute will receive training from education and training arm of IRRI SARC, IRRI Education on latest technologies and innovations for sustainable farming.

They also get access to laboratories for digital crop monitoring and assessment, and demonstration fields where variety testing is conducted.

“This is a landmark moment for India and IRRI. This state-of-the-art rice research centre will catalyse South-South collaboration, strengthen the research expertise and capacity of rice-growing countries in the region, and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals,” said IRRI Director General, Dr. Matthew Morell.

“It is only through the support of our network of global partners, such as the Government of India, that knowledge and innovations gained at this centre can be speedily tailored to meet needs of farmers in India, across South Asia and across Africa.”

Commissioned by Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, the centre will work to deliver advanced research, teaching and services to improve crop production, seed quality and the nutritional value of rice.

It looks to improve rice production by working together with national partners to enhance farmers’ knowledge and income.

This builds on the 50-year partnership between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Republic of India.

IRRI received the nod to build its first regional center in Varanasi from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2017 with a goal to boost paddy production in eastern India, parts of Asia and Africa.

The international agricultural research and training organization also opened a new regional office in the Kenya to help achieve self-sufficiency and productivity in rice production in Africa.

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