The Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions and IRRI

Paroda RT

Raj Paroda
IRRI Board of Trustees (1990-93)
Executive Secretary, APAARI (1992-2014)
ICAR Director General (1994-2001)

It is heartening to know that the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project (AICRIP) is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year. Also, I am pleased that IRRI is bringing out a special issue of Rice Today for the proposed 50th Rice Workshop to be held in Hyderabad on 9-13 April 2015.

The Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) and IRRI have a long research partnership through which several activities around rice research for development started in the region. To begin with, based on the advice of IRRI, APAARI published Hybrid Rice in China, which launched hybrid rice research in India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Today, all three countries have adopted hybrid rice technology. In India, hybrid rice is currently grown on around 2 million hectares.

The International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER) at IRRI worked under the umbrella of APAARI for germplasm exchange and sharing pre-breeding materials, thus benefiting a large number of rice researchers in India. INGER became very successful in the region during the Green Revolution. Subsequently, at the insistence of APAARI, IRRI started another regional initiative, the Consortium on Rice Research in Asia (CORRA), in 1996, with the vision to enhance the effectiveness of the various partnership mechanisms between IRRI and its partners to meet the challenges of the global rice research system through sound policy and a research and development strategy.

IRRI and APAARI also initiated the Rice-Wheat Consortium for the Indo-Gangetic Plains, a regional program on conservation agriculture. APAARI members were also pleased to endorse the Global Rice Science Partnership, the CGIAR Research Program on Rice, involving major rice-growing countries around the world, including India.

The IRRI-APAARI partnership has also enabled a number of rice researchers from India to participate in various regional and global consultations and conferences.

On the 50th anniversary of the AICRIP of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, I take this opportunity to extend my best wishes on behalf of APAARI to all the rice researchers in India. I also hope that partnership between IRRI and the Indian rice research program will become further strengthened with an aim to extend greater benefits to rice farmers in India.

Finally, I give my compliments to IRRI for bringing out this special issue of Rice Today.