Annual Report 2013

Director General's message

IRRI is here for the long haul, so visioning for 2035 begins
IRRI Director General Robert S. Zeigler

As we look to the future, there’s no question that IRRI is going to be around for the long haul. I do not envision a world in which there is not an IRRI. However, the world is changing dramatically and the Institute will have to adapt. The whole array of partners that we should be working with is shifting. Rice itself used to be of little interest to the private sector—that’s not the case anymore. Indeed, the economic winds of change are blowing in ways we never contemplated.

IRRI 2035 logoThe global environment of agriculture and food is transforming drastically right before our eyes. Woe unto us if we do not pay attention! As strong demand for rice continues, climate change is going to be a challenge for most of the planet’s rice-growing areas. In facing our complicated future, we will need a better infrastructure. In 2013, we made significant investments in infrastructure as well as human resources, communication, and the One Corporate System, with our CGIAR center partners. But this is only the tip of that proverbial iceberg.

With the idea to start a visioning exercise towards 2035, IRRI’s BOT asked that we take a look at where the world is going and what the Institute might be like in that world. Over several months, BOT members, the IRRI Management Committee, and selected consultants got together for some thought-provoking discussions with experts across the globe.

The results were not surprising. In the future, IRRI must be a flexible, vibrant, agile, independent, and well-focused institution. And we must be able to respond—rapidly! Nothing frustrates me more than when we don’t react quickly to an opportunity or a challenge. We’ll have to target our work carefully. It will be very, very important to have strategic partnerships with the best institutions around the world. They will need to be with us for the long haul. Certainly, if the CGIAR research design and funding model moves to a 3-year project cycle as proposed, this will be inadequate for the challenges and opportunities that face us in our work to overcome deep-seated food insecurity and poverty.

It is clear that we must maintain our strong public persona, our integrated approach, our high-quality science, and our outstanding partnerships. But, of course, we should continue to ask hard questions about our focus. We must be guided by a clear plan—an exciting rice plan that uses tools beyond our predecessors’ imaginations. Into 2014, our strategic planning continues. Stay tuned.

In addition to the ongoing visioning exercise, it is amazing and gratifying to see what else the IRRI staff accomplished in 2013. This web version of the annual report provides all the thrilling details.

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Financial support

genetic transformation laboratory

IRRI’s total revenue for 2013 was US$93.52 million, including $12.30 million that was invested in Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) to carry out Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) activities.