Ninety percent of the world’s rice supply is produced in Asia—the bulk of it in ASEAN countries. Global food security thus relies much on what goes on with rice—its production and distribution—in this part of the world.
Mozambique has a 500-year old tradition of rice cultivation. Today, rice is seen more as a cash crop. Most of the farmers produce rice, but don’t eat it. IRRI was first established in Mozambique in 2006 with a mandate to increase rice production and build capacity to sustain the country’s rice industry.
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.
The Government of the Republic of Korea has been collaborating with IRRI through the Rural Development Administration (RDA) since the 1960s.
IRRI began its first initiative in Pakistan in 1966 when the Ford Foundation decided to fund IRRI directly to hire rice specialists.
UPLB has always been a firm partner and ally of IRRI in its research mission, hosting the institute's headquarters and providing a steady and reliable stream of scientists and scientific training since IRRI’s founding in 1960.
Vietnam and IRRI has been collaborating since 1963, when it received the first Vietnamese scientist to visit and study at the Institute.
Rice is famed to have had a long and regal history in Sri Lanka. Its importance goes far beyond its status as a primary food source in this island nation. Synonymously, rice plays an important role in the country's cultural identity, tradition, and politics.
IRRI has a special relationship with the Philippines, the country having been its home since the Institute’s founding in 1960.
Cooperation between the government of Nepal and IRRI began in 1985. This covers research on improvement of rainfed lowland and irrigated rice varieties, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, agronomy, and farming systems.