INDONESIA – The International Rice Research Institute has opened new research hub in Indonesia to accelerate rice initiatives in areas of innovation and expertise in the country.

IRRI said the new office will accelerate rice knowledge and technology transfer initiatives already underway in the country, while boosting production.

The inauguration was supported by the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD), after it agreed to support IRRI in efforts including rice research.

The agreement between IRRI and IAARD called for the accelerated sharing of research innovations, expertise, and policy support to help Indonesia attain its rice self-sufficiency goals and boost its rice research, training capacity, rice production, and rice-based livelihoods, in the face of climate change and undernutrition in Indonesia.

“We are grateful for the trust the Indonesian government has shown in IRRI’s technologies and expertise,” said Matthew Morell, director general of the IRRI.

“We are committed to working with IAARD and national partners to foster future-ready research and policy collaborations and help them deliver their vision of a lasting positive impact in the lives of the farmers and the country’s economy.”

According to IRRI, emerging challenges, including declining water resources, labor shortages, changes in land use patterns, a growing population and the impacts of climate change continue to impede Indonesia’s role in the world rice economy.

The research organisation noted that in the next 25 years, Indonesia will need 38% more rice requiring average yield of more than 6 tons per hectare to fill the gap.

IAARD will play a critical role in addressing this gap using precision farming technologies and program collaborations.

“These challenges have been affecting Indonesia’s farmers and consumers for years and have been keeping us from fully attaining our goals for the rice sector,” said IAARD, Director General Dr. Fadjry Djufry

“For the past 50 years, IRRI’s interventions have helped us overcome these to a significant extent.

“We want to continue exploring other potential benefits from this partnership and I hope this office can further accelerate our joint efforts to achieve our set targets.”