PHILIPPINES – The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nagoya University in the Philippines to strengthen capabilities in rice research and education.
The cooperation between IRRI and the University will run through a 15-year period bringing together expertise in rice-based agri-food systems with a goal to greatly contribute to food security.
IRRI and Nagoya University will exchange organization members and research fellows, academic materials, information and publication; and conduct joint research projects and organize symposiums, jointly supervise students’ research, dissertations, theses and fieldwork, and develop projects for fundraising.
Signed by Dr. Seiichi Matsuo, president of Nagoya University, and by Dr. Matthew Morell, director general of IRRI, the collaboration agreement outlines scientific and technical prowess in rice production.
“We are committed to build strategic alliances with universities and research institutions to accelerate delivery of excellent research, generate knowledge, and build scientific and leadership capacity that will propel progress in Asia and Africa,” said Dr. Abdelbagi Ismail, IRRI’s regional representative for Africa.
“We are grateful for the trust of Nagoya University in IRRI’s expertise and technologies that will help countries attain sustainable food security.”
The move reinforces IRRI’s efforts in developing and availing improved rice varieties to deliver increased yields, better nutritional content and that can even stand harsh environmental conditions.
Its work involves protecting the health of rice farmers and consumers, and the environmental sustainability of rice farming in a world challenged by climate change.
Tackling climate change, food insecurity in Africa and Asia
According to IRRI, Asia and Africa are faced with challenges that threaten food security including population growth, dwindling land and water resources for agriculture, lack of interest and engagement of youth in agriculture, and the adverse effects of climate change.
“Driven by our shared goal to educate and train the next generation of ASEAN leaders in agriculture, this cooperation and exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge will help pave the way for developing innovative solutions to achieve food security in Asia,” Matsuo said.
In 2012, through a (Japan International Cooperation Agency) JICA funded project, IRRI developed 200 new high-yielding rice varieties for Africa and Asia.
The partnership also involves an exchange and joint supervision of PhD students through the IRRI-Japan collaborative project.