Bringing hope, improving lives
We describe herein the changing world that has rendered the previous plan out-of--date because the changes are happening so fast and have by no means stopped; the world of rice in particular is in a rapid demographic, technological, and social transition (Chapter 1). We then describe the broad foundation of successful collaboration in which IRRI has continued to work with many institutions across disciplines, localities, and ecosystems (Chapter 2). This has positioned the Institute to respond with substantial optimism to both the known and as yet unknown new challenges implied by these ongoing changes toward helping achieve the MDGs, especially the three related to hunger and poverty, environmental sustainability, and nutrition and health.
The plan that we present has five strategic goals that contribute to addressing each of the MDGs. Together they represent a changed role for IRRI, perhaps one of the most significant changes in its 46-year history (Chapter 3). IRRI will shift from filling the rice bowl to filling the purse, from general crop management to environmentally sustainable management and adaptation to climate change, and with greater concern about health aspects and the nutritional value of rice. It will send our scientists more into country offices around Asia and for the first time since the late 1990s into the newly prominent rice fields of sub-Saharan Africa. IRRI will address not only rice but also ways in which farmers can diversify their crops to improve their incomes.