The Philippine Star

IRRI presents climate-smart solutions for rice growers


Climate change poses a risk to the agricultur­al sector, threatenin­g food security and farmers well-being.

The Philippine-France Forum., held on Sept. 26, provided a venue for sharing of scientific and environmen­tally efficient strategies to address the effects of climate change.

The Internatio­nal Rice Research Institute (IRRI) presented its projects that benefit rice farmers and consumers.

Matty Demont, IRRI senior scientist and leader of the market research team, shared research being done on upgrading the rice value chain in the Philippine­s.

“Rice breeders need to tailor rice varieties to both market trends and the climate change. We also need to help rice farmers become more climate-resilient and competitiv­e,” Demont said.

IRRI has developed and released climate-smart rice varieties that are drought flood and salt-tolerant to help farmers and communitie­s cope with the adverse effects of climate change.

Relevant and timely informatio­n on rice production is also important to boost productivi­ty.

IRRI works on widening farmers’ access to useful data through the Philippine Rice Informatio­n System (PRISM) project.

PRISM uses remote sensing, geographic informatio­n systems (GIS), crop modeling, smart phone-based surveys, and cloud computing to generate informatio­n on where, when, and how much rice is grown in the country and assess crop health and damages caused by flood and drought.

IRRI noted that involving the right partners is very crucial to this initiative’s success.

The Forum on Agricultur­e, held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel, was part of the celebratio­n of the 70th anniversar­y of France and Philippine­s diplomatic relations.

It was also in line with IRRI’s commitment to share expertise to achieve food and nutrition security, improve the quality of life in rice-related communitie­s, and protect the rice-growing environmen­t for future generation­s.

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