Sixfold economic impact of irrigated rice science

  • The need

  • What IRRI has done

  • The impact

  • How you can help

  • Resources

irrigated rice

Irrigated rice is planted in half the world’s rice fields (about 135 million hectares), and produces 75% of the world’s rice supply. Irrigated rice is consequently the most important agricultural ecosystem in Asia, producing the most food to feed the most people. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 444 million tons of rice was consumed worldwide in 2008. By 2050, this is expected to rise by 50%.

The Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) was established in 1997 with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It has provided a platform and mechanism for partnerships between national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) and IRRI. This has greatly strengthened the development and delivery of appropriate technologies and has helped identify and address regional research needs in irrigated rice.

Funding from SDC ended in December 2012. The IRRC continues to operate as a platform that houses projects such as: Closing the Rice Yield Gap (CORIGAP); Reducing risks & raising livelihoods in rice environments through improved knowledge of environment and management; Diversification and intensification of rice‐based systems in lower Myanmar, and Sustainable Rice Platform. These projects aim to improve food security and gender equity and alleviate poverty through optimized productivity and environmental sustainability of rice-based farming systems.

visiting the rice fields

Led by IRRI, IRRC provided a structure for partnership between national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) and the private sector in 11 Asian countries to facilitate the adoption of technologies that helped rice farmers address natural resource management challenges. Since IRRC started in 1997, it has benefited some 1.2 million farmers through rice production technologies and capacity building with different countries. It aimed to facilitate identification, development, dissemination, and adoption of natural resource management (NRM) technologies suitable for irrigated rice-based ecosystems in several Asian countries.

With funding support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the IRRC has provided a platform for partnerships between NARES and scientists from IRRI.

impact of rice research to irrigated rice

An impact assessment report has found that a US$12 million investment in rice research returned $70 million in benefits to rice farmers and national economies – a sixfold return on investment. According to the report, projected benefits could rise up to 25 times the initial investment by 2016. This report is the first to look at natural resource management technologies on an international scale, encompassing several countries.

Through the IRRC-fostered partnerships, NRM technologies that address irrigated rice farmers’ needs have been identified and developed through interdisciplinary research and outreach efforts. It was also able to help countries identify their rice research needs. It is estimated that 1.2 million farmers have been reached by the NRM technologies promoted by the IRRC.

irrigated rice science

Despite the successes that IRRI had achieved and continue to achieve, there’s still a lot of work that needs to get done and the Institute can’t do it alone. Funding plays a very important role on whether or not we could do more. This is where you come in.

Help us continue this project by donating to IRRI. The donation you give will enable us to continue our important research and, ultimately, help eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

More than just money, we encourage you to share these stories on social media and in your personal networks. Spread the word.

Your support can help turn this vision of a bright tomorrow into a reality.

Give to IRRI through the following:

  • Direct bank deposit

Bank Account Name: International Rice Research Institute
Bank Account Number : 6212-56654027
Bank Address : Bank of America, N.A., OUE Bayfront#14-01 50, Collyer Quay, Singapore 049321
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