The overall objective of IRRI’s Training Unit is to enhance the technical capacity of the next generation of scientists. It also aims to strengthen their organizations and groups that will implement innovative technologies and ideas crucial in achieving sustained increases in rice production and improving farmers’ productivity.
In 2014, IRRI headquarters hosted 310 scholars (165 males, 145 females) from 37 countries. Short training courses and workshops for farmers, technicians, and others conducted across the globe were attended by 23,605 persons. Significant training activities included the following.
- IRRI and the Philippine Rice Research Institute Research Institute completed the south-south training program for Africans in extension and research with funding from Japan International Cooperation AgencyJapan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). A total of 142 persons (35% female) were trained over the last 4 years.
- Under the JICA-Africa Training Course, the final of 9 courses offered over 4 years focused on rice production and research techniques for African research technicians with 15 participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania, and Togo.
- The catalytic role of training farmers through partners covered a total of 20,382 (29% female) participants.
- Rice Technology Transfer Systems focused on developing an appreciation of the rural development program in Korea and enhancing the skill set needed by modern rural extension agents.
- The Lee Foundation Rice Scholarship Program granted 19 PhD scholarships (11 males, 8 females) for students from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- The Rice Research to Production Course got the participants’ feet wet in the rice paddies as they learned how rice is connected to the international community.
- The Rice Industry Agriculture Services Training Course was piloted for developing a generation of professional extension agents with the first batch of trainees coming from the Indonesian private sector.