shanti-agro-adRice Research in Asia (CORRA) member countries totaling sixteen can look forward to better access to the most advanced rice technologies to improve their respective rice sector after signing regional Rice Action Plan proposed by the international Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Moreover this prospective plan will encourage scientific and innovative exchanges, germplasm sharing and boost investments in the rice sector. This initiative, to create a regional environment for raising food and nutrition for farmers and consumers alike came about in the 20th Annual Meeting of the Council for Partnership on Rice Research in Asia (CORRA). Further, the Rice Action Plan brings together new policies on breeding and other rice-related technologies and capacity building.

In addition, IRRI proposed three additional programs that can provide avenues for CORRA countries to address the specific needs of their rice sectors. These included the CGIAR research program on RICE, the ASEAN+3 Rice Genetics and Breeding Platform, and the Sustainable Rice Platform. These programs promote international cooperation to accelerate the impact of sustainable farming systems, concerted breeding efforts, and upgraded value chains on the profitability of rice farming. The aim of IRRI is to recognize the each CORRA member country’s varying needs, challenges and opportunities within their national rice sector and aligned them with IRRI’s research agenda so as to address those needs.

The ASEAN+3 rice genetics and breeding initiative allows CORRA members to partner with IRRI in developing better and more-resilient rice varieties that meet their priorities while enabling access to discoveries fostered by regional cooperation. The CGIAR research program on rice promotes approaches that make rice farming more efficient, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable, while maintaining profitability. Dedicated and technical support of IRRI is crucial but these programs should be applied in country-specific ways.

CORRA also declared its continuing support to the research programs and strategies of IRRI. Moreover, CORRA will continue to serve as an advisory council to the CGIAR research program on RICE. The council will provide feedback on national research and development priorities and needs for each member country, identify common regional concerns, and participate actively in sharing information and ideas for successful implementation.