Seed Health Unit is gatekeeper for all IRRI rice seed
The Seed Health Unit (SHU) is the sole entry and exit point for all rice seeds going toand from IRRI. SHU processes seeds for phytosanitary certification and post-entry clearance as accredited by the Philippine Plant Quarantine Service for rice seed healthtesting.For incoming seeds, SHU checks the phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin, the Philippine import permit, and the seed export permit from the country of origin, including the seed list. In addition, SHU checks for an incoming material transferagreement (MTA) or a letter stating the terms and conditions of the seed donation.Vegetative plant parts, seeds of wild rice, and genetically modified organisms,however, require a specific import permit (for one shipment only). For rice seeds, IRRIis issued and maintains an import permit valid for six months, and copies are availablefrom SHU.For outgoing seeds, the required documents include the seed list, the import permit(if the importing country requires one), the phytosanitary certificate, and the appropriateMTA. If the seeds are to be sent to a destination within the Philippines and, therefore,do not require a phytosanitary certificate, SHU will attach the appropriate MTA andrecord the disbursement in the database. Seeds completely processed for shipment withall necessary documentation are mailed by SHU.Internally, seed releases to IRRI staff must be accompanied by an appropriate MTA.Seeds released by IRRI staff to their collaborating research partners must also beaccompanied by an appropriate MTA.
President Tran Duc Luong (
) inspects IRRI’slong-term continuous-cropping experimentwith Vice Prime Minister Nguyen Cong Tan andIRRI Director General Ronald Cantrell.
Vietnamese president payssecond visit to IRRI
IRRI welcomed Vietnamese PresidentTran Duc Luong to its campus at LosBaños on 15 November. This was PresidentTran Duc Luong’s second visit to theinstitute, illustrating the strong ties between IRRI and one of its mostimportant national partners.In 1978, when a recently reunited Vietnam signed its first memorandum of agreement with IRRI, the country produced 10 million tons of rice. By 2000,this figure had climbed to 33 million tons,an increase of 230 percent in 23 years. Vietnam regained self-sufficiency in ricein 1989 and has since established itself asthe world’s second largest rice exporter.Rice is Vietnam’s second most importantexport, accounting for a tenth of totalexports by value.The role that IRRI has played in thereturn to health of Vietnam’s rice-basedagricultural sector is indicated by thecountry’s high rate of adoption of modern varieties. More than 60% of Vietnam’stotal rice area, and 90% of its irrigated ricearea, is planted to IRRI-originated varieties.But the adoption of modern varietiestells only part of the story of IRRI-Vietnamcollaboration. At least equally importantis how the relationship has matured anddeepened, to the benefit of both sides, andhow it promises to become even more valuable in the future.Today, IRRI has 34 internationally recruited scientists working on projects in Vietnam, reflecting a level of activity surpassed only in India and thePhilippines. Among the many projects areintegrated pest management (see page 10)and eco-regional integrated naturalresource management (see page 20).
Forward in India
About 150 people from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), agricultural universities, IRRI and its sisterCGIAR centers, and the press attended the inauguration of the IRRI-India Office on15 February in New Delhi. Located at the National Agriculture Science Center, the new office joins those of other CGIAR centers and is in close proximity to IARI, the NationalBureau of Plant Genetic Resources, the National Academy for Agricultural Sciences,and the National Seeds Development Corporation.On the same day, the ICAR-IRRI Work Plan 2001-2004 meeting took place at theIARI Library. Under the new work plan, 33 ongoing projects will continue, and eightnew projects will begin. The research covers the full spectrum of biotechnology, fielddelivery and impact assessment. The photo shows ICAR Director General Panjab Singh(
and IRRI Director General Ronald Cantrell signing the work planagreement. Observing are (
) R.K. Singh, IRRI liaison scientist; B.N. Singh,director of India’s Central Rice Research Institute; K.N. Choudhary, ICAR protocolofficer; Mahabub Hossain, IRRI Social Sciences Division head; Ren Wang, IRRI deputy director general for Research; Mark Bell, IRRI International Programs ManagementOffice head; and J.P. Noor, IRRI-India finance and administration officer.