Milestones

Philippine President Noynoy Aquino at IRRI

2013 was packed with significant events, activities, media coverage, and awards.

In January, professionals from different companies and nonprofit organizations participating in the 30th Global Young Leaders Program presented their recommendations on how to commercialize research outputs, such as IRRI’s Nutrient Manager for Rice.

During the first half of the year, 20 IRRI scientists and scholars gathered in the fields of the IRRI Experiment Station to take up the 6-month-long Rice Survivor challenge, enabling them to experience growing rice the way farmers do.

On 14 February (photo above), Philippine President Benigno Aquino III visited IRRI to mark the National Year of Rice.

Opening of The Birds of IRRI at Riceworld MuseumAs part of Ambassadors’ Day on 3 May, an 8-month-long photo exhibit, Feathers in the Fields: The Birds of IRRI opened at the Riceworld Museum, which showcased the many bird species that frequent IRRI’s environmentally friendly rice fields.

To help unleash the great potential of promising students in Asia to help feed the region into the future, a US$3-million donation in June established the Lee Foundation Rice Scholarship Program to educate and train a new generation of rice scientists.

Throughout July, IRRI joined the 39th celebration of the National Nutrition Month in the Philippines with the theme, Together we can end poverty and malnutrition.

Women in Rice Farming DayIn August, IRRI built on decades of gender research to host Women in Rice Farming Day to recognize the role of women in agriculture.

In September, Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, with the support of IRRI, held a conference and workshop in Nay Pyi Taw to develop the Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy. Later, in December, Myanmar President U Thein Sein visited IRRI headquarters to renew and reaffirm his country’s partnership with the Institute.

On 30 October, the new headquarters building for the East and Southern Africa (ESA) Rice Research and Development Hub was opened and dedicated on the campus of the National University of Burundi in Bujumbura.

On 5-8 November, IRRI hosted the 7th International Rice Genetics Symposium (RG7), which brought more than 700 top researchers in the field of genetics and related disciplines to Manila.

IRRI in action after Typhoon Haiyan and YolandaOn 9 December, IRRI committed 13 tons of high-yielding rice seeds for multiplication and distribution in the areas (central Visayas region of the Philippines) hardest-hit by Typhoon Haiyan and Yolanda in November.

Throughout the year, IRRI signed various memoranda of agreement with governments and private companies, including ones on scientific and technical collaboration with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Burundi, and Iran and others promoting and disseminating improved rice research technologies with India's Coromandel International Limited and Tanzania Seed Company Ltd.