GAZIPUR, Dhaka – Bangladesh’s leading national rice research institute and the acclaimed International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) cemented their friendship recently with the re-opening of the BRRI-IRRI Friendship Centre in Gazipur on January 16th.
Coined the Friendship Centre during a recent meeting between IRRI Deputy-Director General, Jackie Hughes and Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) Director General Bhagya Rani Banik, the centre will help expand collaborative research work between the two institutions, especially in the face of changes in the climate and the global market environment.
“Our relationship with IRRI spans a very productive 50 years,” explained Dr. Banik, “in that time, we have seen food security increase in Bangladesh as the country reached rice self-sufficiency with 2.06 Metric ton surplus. This can be largely attributed to the research advances in rice science that BRRI and IRRI have been able to collectively develop and grow in the country.” The BRRI Director General went on to recognize IRRI’s contributions calling the institution a “best friend” of BRRI.
The reopening of the Gazipur centre will enable BRRI to nurture science and leadership capacity among Bangladeshi researchers by making IRRI scientists more readily available to collaborate and consult with. IRRI will also provide technical assistance to the Bangladesh government’s vision for the rice industry in 2050, implemented through BRRI.
“This is a happy day for IRRI and Bangladesh,” said interim IRRI Country Representative for Bangladesh Noel Magor, “scientific excellence at BRRI is essential to maintaining rice self-sufficiency and food security for the country. With increasing climate change threats and growing demand for rice in Bangladesh, we are really pleased to have such a deep and committed relationship with our essential partner in the country.”
The ceremony at the centre was attended by senior officials and scientists from both institutions. A BRRI-IRRI Friendship Plaque commemorating the event and the relationship was unveiled as well.