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International Rice Congress Launches Global Rice Science Partnership

12 November 2010: The International Rice Congress (IRC), sponsored by the International Rice Research Center (IRRI), met in Hanoi, Viet Nam from 8-12 November 2010.

The Congress saw the launch of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), which seeks to lift 150 million people out of poverty and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over one billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2035. GRiSP will focus on research to discover new rice genes and accelerate the development of "climate-ready" rice that are well adapted to future climate scenarios. The effort is expected to boost global supply of rice by at least 13% by 2035. The projected emissions savings are primarily due to increased productivity lowering the need for agriculture expansion.

GRiSP is expected to be a five-year, US$600 million effort, including over US$100 million dollars of new and additional support annually through 2015. Efforts will focus on providing farmers with improved seeds and practices and by reducing post-harvest losses. GRiSP is also supported by AfricaRice and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). IRRI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The IRC included the 28th International Rice Research Conference, the third Ministerial Roundtable Meeting, the International Rice Policy and Investment Conference and the third International Rice Technology and Cultural Expo. The event also served to commemorate IRRI's 50th Anniversary.

Among the keynote speakers was Kanayo Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), who spoke on the need for more applied agricultural research. He highlighted necessary enabling environments and noted the achievements made by the New Rice for Africa programme, including increasing yields by 25 to 250% and shortening time before harvesting. [GRiSP Press Release] [IRC2010 Website] [IFAD Executive Director's Speech]

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