IRRI established the Senadhira Rice Research Award for Asian rice scientists in memory of Dharmawansa Senadhira.
Dr. Senadhira (center in photo), who is from Sri Lanka, led IRRI's flood-prone research program from 1996 to 1998 in close collaboration with the NARES, in several key areas including soil-related stresses, low-temperature environments, and submergence tolerance in rice. He emphasized developing improved germplasm with higher concentrations of micronutrients, such as iron and zinc, in the rice grain.
In July 1998, Dr. Senadhira died in a tragic vehicular accident while on a trip in Bangladesh. To perpetuate his memory, the Senadhira family established an endowment fund to support what is now the Senadhira Rice Research Award, which consists of a plaque and a cash gift.
Any institute or university that is part of a NARES or any other research organization can nominate qualified scientists who have made outstanding contributions to rice research, e.g., successful varieties developed, scientific papers published, or other tangible contributions to the development of rice for current and future needs. Special consideration is given to achievements in the areas of Dr. Senadhira’s work—rice breeding and genetics, increasing tolerance for abiotic stresses, and improving micronutrient density.
Why is investing in GRiSP—now and in future —so important? In large parts of the world, people are eating 70, 80, 100 kilos or more of rice annually. The world today still has huge concentrations of poverty and most of these concentrations are where rice is grown, largely in Asia. If we want to overcome problems of poverty and hunger, rice must be part of the solution!