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RT Vol. 3, No, 1 Special section: Rice and millennium development goals

RT Vol. 3, No, 1 Special section: Rice and millennium development goals

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Published by Rice Today
RT Vol. 3, No, 1 Special section: Rice and millennium development goals
RT Vol. 3, No, 1 Special section: Rice and millennium development goals

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Published by: Rice Today on Jan 23, 2013
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A
chieving most of the Millennium DevelopmentGoals spelled out by the United Nations3 years ago hinges on policymakers recognizingthe essential role rice plays in the lives andlivelihoods of most of the world’s poor. A renewedemphasis on this reality has marked recent gatherings ininternational agricultural research.IRRI’s parent organization, the Consultative Group onInternational Agricultural Research (CGIAR), welcomedalmost 1,000 policymakers, scientists and developmentspecialists to the group’s annual general meeting on 28-31October in Nairobi, Kenya — the only country to host theheadquarters of two CGIAR research centers, the World Agroforestry Center and International Livestock Research
Special section: RICE AND MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Millennium Development GoalsDEPEND ON RICE RESEARCH
Institute. Much of the discussion at the CGIAR meetingfocused on dening the achievements and challenges of the CGIAR research centers in terms of the MillenniumDevelopment Goals.“People are discovering that the goals have practical value,” said Mike Jackson, IRRI’s director of programplanning and coordination. “They provide researchorganizations with a touchstone for assessing the relativemerits of different projects in a tight funding environment. And they provide policymakers and funding agencies witha framework to guide their investments.”Some 7 weeks before the CGIAR confab, an IRRIBoard of Trustees meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh,coincided with a 2-day communication fair sponsored
3
 Promotegender equalityand empower women:
Womentraditionally shouldermany of the chores of rice farming and today are assuming additionalresponsibilities as theirmenfolk seek off-farmemployment. Researchthat makes rice farming more efcient frees women togrow cash crops and independently pursue remunerativeactivities to support personal fulllment and cover schoolfees for all of their children, boys and girls alike.
4 & 5
 Reduce child mortalityand improve maternal health:
Because Asia’spoorest depend on rice formost of their calories andprotein, many suffer dietary deciencies of iron, zinc and vitamin A. Globally, “hiddenhunger” for these essentialmicronutrients aficts more than half of humanity,especially women and young children. Making rice morenutritious will help protect those most vulnerable tohidden hunger.
7
 Ensure environmental sustainability:
Rice occupies more farmland in Asia than any other food crop — 60% or more in the poorestcountries. Rice research that improves the productivity of existing elds boosts harvests in line with growth in thenumber of mouths to feed, without encroaching on forestsand other natural areas. Research that optimizes farmers’pesticie an ertiizer use improves teir income as itprotects the environment. by the IRRI-led project Poverty Elimination Through Rice Research Assistance (PETRRA) in cooperation with the Bangladesh Rice ResearchInstitute. The PETRRA fair attractedsome 2,000 visitors each day to seefor themselves the progress made by the 45 research-for-developmentsubprojects under the innovativePETRRA umbrella. All PETRRA subprojects use riceresearch and extension as the entry point to spur rural development andimprove the lives of rice growersand consumers alike. This reectsthe conviction that research to helpfarmers grow rice more efciently,protably and sustainably is theessential rst step toward achievingsix of the eight United NationsMillennium Development Goals.
1
 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger:
Mostof the world’s poorest andleast food-secure peoplelive in rice-producing Asia. Many are ricefarmers andeven more areslum-dwellersor landless farm laborers who buy their daily rice. Rice is so central totheir lives that any solution to globalpoverty and hunger must includeresearch that helps farmers earn a decent prot whilegrowing rice that is affordable to consumers.
2
 Achieve universal primary education:
 Asia’s poorest spend 20-40% of their income onrice. Helping farmers grow rice more efciently means cheaperrice for consumers,higher income forproducers, and moremoney for bothto invest in theirchildren’s education.More efcient ricefarming techniquesalso lighten the labor burden on farmhouseholds, leavingchildren more timefor their studies.
CAROLYNDEDOLPHARIEL JAVELLANACHRISSTOWERS(4)
20
Rice Today
 
January 2004
21
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January 2004
 
MEETING CHALLENGES WITH ENERGY AND CHARISMA
continued on page 24
F
ilipino researchers have wonfor the 3rd consecutive yearthe world’s most prestigiousaward for a scientic supportteam in publicly funded agriculturalresearch. The award was announcedon 27 October at the annual generalmeeting in Nairobi of the ConsultativeGroup on International AgriculturalResearch (CGIAR), which each yearpresents the CGIAR Excellence inScience Awards.The winning team comprises33 Filipino scientists working in theGenetic Resources Center (GRC)at IRRI. The researchers operatethe GRC, which manages theInternational Rice Genebank, andplay a central role in the center’sachievement of signicant scienticadvances in the conservation anduse of rice genetic resources. Theteam is responsible for storing,testing, multiplying, characterizingand documenting seed samples fromthe world’s most comprehensivecollection of rice genetic resources— 110,000 samples of traditionaland modern varieties of cultivatedrice, as well as wild species — anddistributing them to farmers, plant breeders and other scientists.“We aim to protect traditional varieties of rice so that they can be used to help poor rice farmersthroughout the world,” said RuaraidhSackville Hamilton, head of theGRC. “We are open to any nation,including those who do not deposittheir traditional varieties with us,provided they agree not to infringethe sovereign rights of nations overtheir biodiversity.”
Reputation for excellence
The Filipino team has been instru-mental in building the genebank’sreputation for excellence. The recentexternal review of CGIAR genebank operations cited it as the “best in theCGIAR system” and “a model forothers to emulate.”The team developed anonline
 Manual of Operations
thatdocuments all daily managementoperations and is used by many national and regional genebanks asa guide and distance-learning tool.The GRC team has also supportednational and regional genebanks by establishing and upgrading geneticresources facilities and conductinggenebank and data-managementtraining in Bangladesh, Cambodia,India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar andthe Philippines.Genebank Manager Flora deGuzman, who traveled to Nairobito receive the award, said that IRRIhas been actively conserving rice biodiversity for 4 decades, since theestablishment of the genebank in 1962.“Over the past decade, therehave been signicant changes andimprovements to genebank facilitiesand operations, particularly in seedproduction and conservation, datamanagement and research,” said Ms.de Guzman.Since 1986, the genebank hasdistributed 250,000 seed samples,facilitating the free movement of germplasm among 96 countries. Thisincludes repatriating 32,000 ricesamples to 34 countries of origin.Restoring traditional rice varietiescan increase farmers’ income — andso advance Millennium DevelopmentGoals — as dramatically demonstratedin the IRRI-led project Exploiting
T
 wo of the most remarkable years of my life,” said Angeline Kamba, summing up her term as chair of theIRRI Board of Trustees. “IRRI faces some enormouschallenges, not least of which is the urgent need tocontinue to develop reliable new sources of funding. This was one of the central issues during my time as chair, andI’m pleased to say that some promising new strategies are being developed by the institute.”Mrs. Kamba, IRRI’s rst female or African boardchair, took over from Sjarifudin Baharsjah of Indonesiain January 2002. She was scheduled to hand over to theincoming chair, Keijiro Otsuka, a respected Japaneseagricultural economist, at the end of December.“As someone with no direct connection to rice orrice research, I had some concerns about what I couldcontribute to an institute like IRRI,” she recalled. “Now,at the end of my term, I’m pleased at what I and my fellow 
ANGELINE KAMBA withthe Earth Institute’s Jeffrey Sachs (
left 
) andCGIAR Chairman Ian Johnson at the CGIARannual general meetingin Nairobi.
Filipinos’ role in sustainable development
l Me 
   Y   U   S   U   F   W   A   C   H   I   R   A   /   I   M   A   G   E   H   U   N   T   E   R   S   (   3   )
22
Rice Today
 
January 2004
 
Biodiversity for Sustainable PestManagement, which netted last year’s support team award. Theresearch saw high-value but disease-susceptible traditional rice varietiesinterplanted with disease-resistanthybrids to produce, with reducedspraying of fungicide, a healthy crop worth nearly US$281 more perhectare than a crop of hybrids alone. Access to the traditional varietiesstored by the GRC was pivotal to theproject’s success.Genetic resources also supportIRRI’s hybrid rice breeding team, which won the award in 2001.
Other winners
Other winners this year included Abdul Mujeeb Kazi of the Inter-national Maize and Wheat Improve-ment Center, who was named
Out-standing Scientist
for generatingand making available new geneticdiversity for wheat improvement.Honored as
Promising YoungScientist
was Jonathan Crouch, theglobal theme leader for biotechnology at the International Center forResearch in the Semi-Arid Tropics, who led the effort to develop theupstream biotechnology and geneticenhancement program at the centerand was instrumental in establishingits Applied Genomics Laboratory.Two papers received the
Out-standing Scientifc Article
award.
 Dietary aatoxin exposure and impaired growth in young children from Benin and Togo
was published in2002 in the
 British Medical Journal 
, Vol. 325. The co-authors are three re-searchers at the International Institutefor Tropical Agriculture: K. Cardwell, A. Hounsa and S. Egal, along with Y.Y.Gong, P.C. Turner and C.P. Wild of the University of Leeds, and A.J. Hallof the London School of Hygiene andTropical Medicine. The study docu-mented a striking association betweenmalnutrition in children and theirexposure to aatoxin, thus revealingthe need to address aatoxin contami-nation in stored food grains.The prize-sharing paper
African pastoralism: Genetic imprints of origins and migrations
was publishedin 2002 in
 Science
, Vol. 296, by OliverHanotte, Joel W. Ochieng, Yasmin Verjee and J. Edward O. Rege of theInternational Livestock ResearchInstitute, and Daniel G. Bradley andEmmeline W. Hill of the SmurtInstitute at Trinity College in Ireland.The rst continent-wide study of thegenetic diversity of cattle in Africa,the paper reports 7 years’ research incharacterizing, conserving and usingindigenous animal genetic resourcesfor the benet of Africa’s poor.The
Outstanding Partnership
award recognized the Vitamin A for Africa (VITAA) Program, coordinated by the International Potato Center, forits work with 44 local and internationaldevelopment organizations toimplement the program in seven African countries. VITAA is a researchand public health initiative to combat widespread vitamin A deciency by promoting new varieties of orange-eshed sweet potatoes.The winner of the award for
Outstanding Journalism
wasIndian journalist Pallava Bagla forhis article
 Drought exposes cracks in India’s monsoon model 
, publishedin 2002 in the prestigious journal
 Science
, and for a body of scienticarticles published in mainstreammedia and reputed journals.M.J. Williams of the WorldFishCenter received the
OutstandingCommunications
award for theFish for All Campaign, which raisedawareness of the ways sh contributeto the food needs of 1 billion of the world’s poor, provide livelihoods to120 million low-income wage earners,an are caenge y a egraingnatural resource base.
THE AWARD-WINNING Genetic Resources Center support team: (
left to right, 1st row 
) Amita Juliano, NeliaResurreccion, Emerlinda Hernandez, Teresita Santos, Adelaida Alcantara, Ma. Elizabeth Naredo, Flora de Guz-man, Ma. Socorro Almazan, Digna Salisi and Renato Reaño; (
2nd row 
) Alicia Lapis, Imelda Boncajes, JacquelineManuel, Isabelita de Mesa, Yolanda Malatag, Veronica Mangubat, Minerva Eloria, Lydia Angeles, Minerva Ma-catangay, Maridee Pontipedra, Wilma Lumaybay, Gregorio Mercado and Florencio Villegas; (
3rd row 
) BernardoMercado, Arnold Gonzales, Noel Banzuela, Bernardino Almazan, Felix Llanes, Vicente Arcillas, Melencio Lalap,Romulo Quilantang and Remegio Aguilar (not pictured, Mario Rodriguez). The other winners (
inset 
) in Nairobi.CGIAR CHAIRMAN Ian Johnson arrives at the meetinganked by Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori (
left 
)and Agriculture Minister Kipruto Arap Kirwa.
   A   I   L   E   E   N   D   E   L   R   O   S   A   R   I   O  -   R   O   N   D   I   L   L   A
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January 2004

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