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International Rice Research Institute
January 2004, Vol. 3 No. 1
INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF RICE: National committees plan for 2004 FERAL PLAY: Wide crosses with wild rice
Exhibition in California regards food for the spirit
Art of Rice
Rice Science for a Better Wo W rld
Rice covers much of Asia, so improved varieties that need less pesticide leave a cleaner, greener environment
I N T E R N AT I O N A L Y E A R O F R I C E 2 0 0 4
Vol. 3, No. 1
NEWS ..........................................................................................................4 Closer collaboration for cereal centers Gates gives $25 million to HarvestPlus IRRI attracts Korean technology Pesticide-reduction project wins another award RICE IN THE NEWS............................................................................6 India ink: Press coverage of IRRI in South Asia Earliest rice cultivation pushed back 3,000 years FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT...................................................................7 The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance in Asia is a thought-provoking and eye-opening exhibition at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History CONTOURS OF CHANGE ..............................................................8 In this excerpt from the exhibition book The Art of Rice, a member of a celebrated Philippine mountain tribe contemplates the erosion of her native culture and the ancient rice terraces that have nurtured it FERAL PLAY........................................................................................ 14 Crop scientists use wide crosses to breed into cultivated rice varieties the hardiness of their wild kin SPECIAL SECTION: RICE AND .............................................. 20 MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS Millennium Development Goals depend on rice research: CGIAR annual general meeting focus Scientiﬁc support team award celebrates Filipinos' role in sustainable development: IRRI wins 3 years running Meeting challenges with energy and charisma: Outgoing IRRI Board Chair Angeline Kamba Development in Dhaka: IRRI board attends Poverty Elimination Through Rice Research Assistance communication fair INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF RICE ........................................ 26 Year launched in New York: Food and Agriculture Organization Director General Jacques Diouf presides National committees plan for International Year of Rice: Progress report from Asian countries IRRI scientiﬁc publication oﬀers $3,000 in prizes for research papers International Year of Rice 2004 calendar highlights Conferences, meetings, workshops and training PEOPLE................................................................................................... 32 Partners in progress Keeping up with IRRI staﬀ DONORS CORNER ......................................................................... 33 Cooperating for peace: A priority of the German government and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development NEW BOOKS....................................................................................... 34 IRRI adds four new titles to its inventory of publications on rice research and related topics
Rice Trails: Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler explores the world of rice that thrives between crop science and cookbooks
RICE FACTS.......................................................................................... 36 Trading up: A fresh look at the world rice market for Asians who still equate food security with self-suﬃciency GRAIN OF TRUTH........................................................................... 38 Let's promote brown rice to combat hidden hunger
Cover Don Cole, courtesy UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History Editor Peter Fredenburg Deputy editor Adam Barclay Art director Juan Lazaro IV Contributing editors Duncan Macintosh, Gene Hettel, Bill Hardy Designer and production supervisor George Reyes Photo editor Ariel Javellana Printer Primex Printers, Inc.
Rice Today is published by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the world’s leading international rice research and training center. Based in the Philippines and with offices in 11 other countries, IRRI is an autonomous, nonprofit institution focused on improving the well-being of present and future generations of rice farmers and consumers, particularly those with low incomes, while preserving natural resources. IRRI is one of 16 centers funded by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an association of public and private donor agencies. For more information, visit the CGIAR Web site (www.cgiar.org). Responsibility for this publication rests with IRRI. Designations used in this publication
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Pesticide-reduction project wins yet another award
IRRI attracts technology transfers from South Korea
wang-Ho Park of the Korea National Agricultural College in Seoul has developed new labor-saving direct-seeding technology for adoption by IRRI stakeholders. The machinery uses lightweight steel wheels that allow a conventional tractor to operate easily in paddies and a tractor-towed direct seeder that sows pregerminated seed in rows and covers it with sand or silicate fertilizer. As economic development draws labor away from agriculture, more farmers will adopt labor-saving practices such as direct seeding — which, however, still suffers poor seedling establishment, weed problems, lodging and inferior grain quality. “This will improve crop establishment for direct seeding and help prevent lodging,” said Shaobing Peng, IRRI crop physiologist.
“It will also reduce bird damage because seed is protected under fertilizer or sand.” IRRI’s ongoing collaboration with South Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA) includes developing japonica rice for temperate regions and high-altitude tropics. IRRI and RDA co-sponsored in October the 2nd Rice Technology Transfer Systems in Asia course at the RDA International Technical Cooperation Center (pictured). Sixteen participants from 12 Asian countries studied technology transfer successes and made field visits to Korean agricultural development and cooperative projects. Separately, more than 60 Filipino alumni of RDA’s training and scientist exchange programs met in September in Los Baños, Laguna, to form the Philippine-RDA (Korea) Alumni Association.
n initiative to reduce insecticide use in Vietnam has won the International Green Apple Environment Award. K.L. Heong, IRRI senior entomologist, collected the award from the U.K.-based Green Organization in a November ceremony at the Houses of Parliament in London. Dr. Heong and his collaborators motivated rice farmers to reduce insecticide spraying by communicating sound science through popular media, notably a series of radio skits that proved extremely popular with Vietnamese farmers. The process quickly spread over the Mekong Delta to reach 2 million farmers. Insecticide use plunged by 53% without affecting rice yield. “Most farmers in the Mekong now know that early season insecticide spraying is unnecessary,” said Nguyen Huu Huan, vice director general of Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department and one of Dr. Heong’s collaborators. The initiative has since been carried to central Thailand and the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam. While in London, Dr. Heong was interviewed on the BBC News World Edition. In 2002, Dr. Heong and his team won the St. Andrews Prize for Environment and the Golden Rice Award from Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. (This just in — the team’s Three Reductions Initiative, which builds on its experience with pesticides, won the 2003 Golden Rice Award. Details in Rice Today in April.)
$3 million to boost food security
The Asian Development Bank approved in November a US$3 million grant for agricultural research projects to boost food security in poor regions of 14 Asian countries. IRRI will develop with national partners cropping systems and technologies to stabilize and increase rice productivity in unfavorable monsoon-dependent rice environments in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Two other Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers — the WorldFish Center and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas — will implement projects.
Food Security Information System to help strengthen regional food security.
provides access to 3 decades of literature on the golden apple snail, its ecology and management options. To order, contact Agricultural Librarians Association of the Philippines President Salome Ledesma (firstname.lastname@example.org) or PhilRice Librarian Elaine Joshi (ejoshi@philrice. gov.ph).
Rice Today goes quarterly
Rice Today is doubling its publication frequency for International Year of Rice 2004, appearing in mid-January and the beginning of April, July and October. Readers are urged to complete and return survey postcards in the October 2003 and January 2004 issues or by logging on to www.irri.org/ricetoday/ readerssurvey.asp.
India moots sharp rise for research
The Indian Agriculture Ministry has proposed raising India’s annual contribution to international agricultural research from the present US$750,000 to $10 million. Agriculture Minister Rajnath Singh described such an increase as appropriate considering India’s position in the world today and its stake in agricultural development.
New rice CD-ROMs
The IRRI-supported Mountain Agrarian Systems (SAM) Program has released a CD-ROM in English, French and Vietnamese covering the project’s first-phase (1998-2002) efforts to improve agricultural productivity, natural resource management and living standards in the Vietnamese highlands. The material is also available at www.knowledgebank.irri.org/ sam/intro.html. Another new CD-ROM
Rice Today January 2004
Asian rice supplies assured
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) resolved in August to establish an East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve System to ensure adequate supplies of the region’s staple food. The ministers also welcomed movement toward developing an ASEAN 4
Seed health recommendations
The Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry and IRRI’s Seed Health Unit held in November a workshop on “Rice seed health testing policy for safe and efficient germplasm
$25 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant for HarvestPlus
Cereal centers explore options for closer ties — but how close?
NUTRITIONISTS AND PLANT SCIENTISTS from 14 countries met at IRRI on 6-8 October for the HarvestPlus Rice Crop meeting to plan strategies for alleviating malnutrition through the development of high-nutrition rice under the leadership of HarvestPlus Program Director Howarth Bouis (1st row, 7th from left) and HarvestPlus Rice Crop Leader Swapan Datta (on Dr. Bouis’ right). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced the following week a grant of US$25 million that would cover half of the program’s 4-year budget. The announcement generated widespread press coverage.
Meetings in Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines map collaboration
enior representatives of IRRI and its national partners in Vietnam met in Hanoi on 18-19 September for the first Vietnam-IRRI workplan meeting since November 1998. Participants agreed on three common research goals: establishing and maintaining food security both nationally and at the household level, reducing poverty, and protecting the environment. The workplan, which will remain in force until 2006, identifies three broad areas of collaboration: germplasm development through varietal improvement and germplasm exchange, integrated pest and nutrient management, and capacity building through training and information exchange. Similar areas, with the addition of
socioeconomic and policy issues, mark collaboration between IRRI and Indonesia, whose workplan meeting in Bogor on 2930 September was hosted by the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development. In the Philippines, a policy dialogue on “Maximizing impact of agricultural innovation systems in rice production” on 21-22 October attracted to the Philippine Rice Research Institute representatives from IRRI, the Department of Agriculture, NGOs, media, farmer groups and provincial agricultural offices. The dialogue aimed to assess and map a response to the technology needs of farmers in provinces with low rice yields.
RRI and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) have agreed to explore alternatives for closer collaboration. In a joint statement issued in October, the institutes’ board chairs said the discussions were founded on anticipated gains based on the institutes’ complementary goals and mandates, research synergies in the social sciences and biotechnology (especially in light of colinearity in the genomes of cereal crops), and possible economies of scale in information management, capacity building and intellectual property management. IRRI Director General Ronald Cantrell said that several options would be considered, ranging from an informal relationship with more joint planning to a complete merger. “We had a series of donor meetings,” he added. “We did not hear one negative comment about the discussions.” The Rockefeller Foundation agreed to form an oversight committee chaired by Rockefeller President Gordon Conway and a working group of external consultants to examine the options and write a report for discussion at a joint meeting of the two institutes’ boards in mid-2004. Dr. Cantrell said that the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics was considering joining the discussions and that the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) – The Africa Rice Center would also be welcome.
movement” at IRRI. Participants reviewed current knowledge of rice seed-borne pathogens and policies on seed health testing and made recommendations on developing seed health testing standards, plant quarantine policies, pest identification, and testing procedures and methodologies.
Future Harvest Foundation, a public awareness and fundraising arm of the CGIAR, and the group’s Public Awareness and Resource Committee. Members also agreed to subsume the International Service for National Agricultural Research within the International Food Policy Research Institute, with effect in May.
by the joint Indian Council of Agricultural Research-IRRI project that documents and analyzes patterns of change in rice production systems of eastern India over the past 30 years in order to inform technology design and policy improvement.
Rice in drought-prone areas
Participants at an IRRI-hosted workshop in November for the Challenge Program on Water and Food Theme 1 examined ways to improve water and food productivity in drought-prone and saline areas. The five research themes of the program are 1) crop water-productivity enhancement, 2) multiple uses of upper catchments, 3) aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, 4) basin-level water management, and 5) national and global policies for water management.
Highland strategies explored
A workshop on “Strategies for sustainable development of agricultural production systems in the highlands of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries” took place on 12-16 September in Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan Province, beginning with a 2-day study tour of upland areas showing how land use has changed with crop intensification. The workshop was jointly organized by the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments, Bureau of Agriculture of Yunnan Province, Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences and IRRI, with sponsorship from the Asian Development Bank and Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. 5
Brown rice revival
The Asia Rice Foundation will launch this year a national campaign to promote brown rice. Foundation Chair Emil Javier announced the campaign at a symposium on the supply and demand of brown rice at IRRI in November (see page 38).
Systems workshop in India
More than 40 senior policymakers, researchers and agricultural development practitioners participated last November in a workshop on “Socioeconomic dynamics of rice production systems in eastern India” in New Delhi. The workshop was sponsored
Rice Today January 2004
The CGIAR agreed at its annual general meeting in October to freeze the activities of
RICE IN THE NEWS
I R R I
r e c e n t l y g a r n e r e d a f a i r s p l a s h o f p r e s s c o v e r a g e i n S o u t h A s i a
n a speech delivered on 18 September in the Indian capital of New Delhi, IRRI Director General Ronald Cantrell commented on how funding constraints were hindering the development of water-saving rice varieties. This provided the focus for an 18 September Reuters report picked up the next day by the Economic Times newspaper. “There is no doubt the most important issue in rice over the next 20 to 30 years is the availability of freshwater,” Dr. Cantrell said, citing the effect of deforestation and pollution on freshwater supplies and competition from households and industry. He added that evidence now exists that farmers can grow highyielding varieties of rice much like wheat, with alternate wetting and drying of the soil. Dr. Cantrell cautioned, however, that research into how to grow more rice using less water was “a slow process” that funding cuts were making even slower. The Financial Express newspaper focused its coverage of Dr. Cantrell’s speech on his encouraging the Indian rice industry to diversify its export-bound production of aromatic rice beyond basmati varieties. A policy of promoting traditional non-basmati aromatic varieties would improve farmers’ income, the director general said. Dr. Cantrell was speaking at the launch in New Delhi of A Treatise on the Scented Rices of India, a book co-edited by R.K. Singh, rice geneticist and IRRI liaison scientist for India, and Prof. U.S. Singh of G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology. (The same month saw the launch in New Delhi of the book Boro Rice, a collaboration by R.K. Singh, IRRI Social Sciences Division Head Mahabub Hossain, and scientists in eastern India and at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute.) Funding slump The next day, 19 September, found Dr. Cantrell speaking at the Directorate of Rice Research in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. A report in The Hindu Business Line attributed to Dr. Cantrell the observation that international assistance for agricultural research had slumped by 40 percent. Dr. Cantrell was quoted as saying that funding for research in Asia in particular was suffering from a “little bit of success” — the achievement of food security without solving the problem of poverty — and from the redirection of funds to Africa. In Dhaka on 9 September, The New Nation newspaper ran a story looking ahead 6
R.K. SINGH launches his book on scented rice flanked by H.K. Jain (left), former director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and Ronald Cantrell.
to the communication fair of the IRRImanaged project Poverty Elimination Through Rice Research Assistance (PETRRA) on 10-11 September, coinciding with the IRRI Board of Trustees meeting in the Bangladeshi capital. The Daily Star newspaper placed on that day’s front page a report on the 8 September dialogue on “Sustainable agricultural growth in Bangladesh: Should we go for biotechnology for rice improvement?” — which included IRRI Social Sciences Division Head Mahabub Hossain and IRRI biotechnologist Swapan Datta. The Daily Star then ran a story per day about rice research. On Wednesday, 10 September, it featured an editorial by Abdul Bayes, professor of economics at Jahangirnagar University, on saline-affected rice-growing areas, touching on the Coastal Water Management Project under PETRRA. On Thursday it offered front-page coverage of Agriculture Minister M.K. Anwar’s opening of the PETRRA communication fair. On Friday it covered the reception of Dr. Cantrell and IRRI Board Chair Angeline Kamba by Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia in her office (picture on page 24). And on Saturday the paper reported on its front page the succession of incoming Board Chair Keijiro Otsuka and how “Bangladesh saved US$229 million a year [in food imports] through an annual investment of $18 million in rice research, irrigation development and agricultural extension.” The Daily Star covered a PETRRAsponsored dialogue on 28 September on how Bangladesh could boost its exports of aromatic rice, which featured IRRI Agricultural Engineering Unit Head Joe Rickman emphasizing the need for careful milling. It published on its 1 November front page a warning from IRRI’s Dr. Hossain that, despite progress in controlling its birth rate, Bangladesh must feed 2 million more people
Rice Today January 2004
each year (a story picked up by China’s Xinhua News Agency). On 18 November, an editorial by Prof. Bayes considered a paper coauthored by Dr. Hossain that demonstrated the benefits that infrastructure development confers on farm income. In Sri Lanka, the 22 November issue of the Daily News covered the participation over the previous 2 days of IRRI Deputy Director General for Research Ren Wang as chief guest of the 15th Annual Congress of the Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture of the University of Peradeniya. At the congress, Dr. Wang reportedly listed the challenges facing rice research as 1) achieving food security at both the national and household level, 2) improving farmers’ livelihood and eliminating poverty, 3) balancing the intensification of production with sustainability goals to produce more and better food using fewer inputs while conserving the environment, and 4) nurturing a new generation of rice scientists and farmers. Journal papers • Plant Disease, the journal of the American Phytopathological Society, published in October a 14-page paper, Using genetic diversity to achieve sustainable rice disease management, co-authored by Hei Leung (IRRI), Youyong Zhu (Yunnan Agricultural University), Imelda Revilla-Molina (IRRI), Jin Xiang Fan (Agriculture Department of Yunnan), Hairu Chen (Yunnan Agricultural University), Ireneo Pangga (IRRI), Casiana Vera Cruz (IRRI) and Twng Wah Mew (IRRI). • Crop Protection, the journal of the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences, published a 7-page paper, A participatory exercise for modifying rice farmers’ beliefs and practices in stem borer loss assessment, co-authored by IRRI scientists M.M. Escalada and K.L. Heong, which details findings in pesticide reduction research in the Philippines.
he British Broadcasting Corporation reported on 21 October that archaeologists had found 15,000-year-old rice in central Korea. The discovery of 59 carbonized grains by Lee Yungjo and Woo Jong-yoon of Chungbuk National University pushed back the date for the earliest known cultivation of rice by 3,000 years. Feast on the story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ sci/tech/3207552.stm.
Food for the spirit
he most ambitious exhibition in the 40-year history of the Fowler Museum of Cultural History is its current offering, The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance in Asia. The thought-provoking and eye-opening show is also proving to be a delicious coup for this museum at the University of California at Los Angeles. As a detailed and buoyant Los Angeles Times review stated: “The Fowler has demonstrated that the popular grain [rice] has provided a lot more than bodily nourishment for the diverse peoples who have been eating it every day for the last 10,000 years, and that this hardy crop has had a remarkably civilizing influence on a large swath of humanity.” In a similar vein, the magazine Humanities asserted that the Fowler Museum has shown that, “over the centuries, rice has been more than a diet staple: it is a symbol of spirituality.” The periodical is published bimonthly by a major funder of the exhibition, the National Endowment for the Humanities.
THE ART OF RICE
As they enter the hall, visitors witness a key moment in Javanese mythology, depicted in traditional Indonesian shadow puppetry, when the beloved rice goddess Dewi Sri creates the sacred grain. In nine thematically arranged galleries, exhibits range from Japanese Zen paintings and rare stone-glazed sake bottles from the 17th to 19th centuries, to intricate Indonesian textiles and modern works created for popular festivals marking the agricultural cycle. The final display, named The Future of Rice, features a photograph, by Ariel Javellana, of IRRI’s seed-storage facility, preserv-
ing for future generations the genetic heritage of rice. The guiding force and indefatigable planner of the exhibition is Roy Hamilton, curator of the Fowler’s Asian and Pacific Collections. A textiles specialist by training, Dr. Hamilton can also lay claim to being a rice expert after 7 years’ researching, selecting and acquiring items for The Art of Rice — a wealth of ceramics, sculptures, rice goddess statues, puppets, woodblock prints, vessels, plain and extraordinary farm tools, woodcarvings, baskets, and paraphernalia for performing rice rituals (see the inside back cover). “This took a tremendous amount of work and time, particularly negotiating loans and signing agreements with other museums and private parties,” Dr. Hamilton recalled. “I could give a 30-minute lecture on each of the more than 200 THE EXHIBITION BOOK shows on its cover a detail of a 1930s painting on cloth of rice farming in Bali; Dr. Hamilton (below) in his office. items in the show.” Guiding a tour of the galleries, he pointed out an early 20th century February to April. Japanese bridal robe. “The sake imps — or Accompanying the exhibition is a book shojo — decorating this material provide a that, weighing in at 552 pages and more sign of good luck for the bride,” he said be- than 2 kg, ranks as the Fowler’s largest-ever fore turning to granary figures of the Ifugao publishing venture. Also called The Art of people of the northern Philippines. “These Rice, the book, which is available through bulul, consisting of a male and female pair, the University of Washington Press, preinclude an infant, which makes explicit serves the structure of the exhibition with the connection between rice and human sections corresponding to galleries. fertility.” “Both the exhibition and book have cast a very broad net, so I think there is something to interest almost everybody,” Mix of materials Dr. Hamilton is most excited about the Dr. Hamilton said. “For the book, I worked exhibition’s wide-ranging mix of materials with 27 experts from a dozen countries and from many Asian countries. “I had never encouraged them to write about what they before dealt with contemporary paintings,” found inspirational.” Among the essays, both scholarly and he said, “and the ones from Korea and the personal, is one regarding the disappearing Philippines are simply fantastic.” From its gala opening on 4 October, rice rituals of the Ifugao. The contributors the exhibition will continue at the Fowler are Aurora Ammayao and her husband, until April. It will then move to Napa, Cali- Gene Hettel, head of IRRI’s Communicafornia, where it will run from September to tion and Publications Services. An adapted November, before shifting again in 2005 excerpt from this chapter follows on the to Honolulu, Hawaii, for a final run from next page.
Rice Today January 2004
COURTESY UCLA FOWLER MUSEUM OF CULTURAL HISTORY
THE ART OF RICE
CONTOURS OF CHANGE
by Aurora Ammayao with Gene Hettel
A member of a celebrated Philippine mountain tribe contemplates the erosion of her native culture and the ancient rice terraces that have nurtured it
Excerpt from . . .
y American husband certainly is not alone as a foreigner with a keen interest in the Ifugao and our rice terraces. My people have been the subject of articles that date back to the early days of National Geographic magazine. Dean C. Worcester, then the secretary of the interior of the Philippine Islands, featured the Ifugao in a special September 1912 issue of the publication devoted entirely to the headhunters of northern Luzon. In that issue, he considered the Ifugao to be barbarians who were nonetheless excellent hydraulic engineers, as demonstrated by their marvelous rice terraces. Nine decades later, foreigners are still fascinated with headhunting. The practice was abandoned long ago by the Ifugao, but we still have not escaped that moniker. In the 2000 book The Last Filipino Head Hunters by David Howard, we are described, along with our sister tribes the Bontoc and Kalinga, as having among our elders the last living headhunters in the Philippines. I seriously doubt that anyone now alive has ever been a headhunter.
Throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century, there has been continued interest in the direction and pending disappearance of our 2,000-year-old rice terraces and related rituals and culture. In 1995 there was a flurry of activities and meetings in Manila and Banaue — some of which I attended — to formally nominate our rice terraces for inclusion in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List as a protected cultural landscape. Later that year, when officially adding the terraces to the list, UNESCO stated: “For 2,000 years, the high rice fields of the Ifugao have followed the contours of the mountain. The fruit of knowledge passed on from one generation to the next, of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they helped form a landscape of great beauty that expresses conquered and conserved harmony between humankind and the environment.” During its annual summit in December 2001 in Helsinki, UNESCO noted its continued deep concern for the rice terraces by putting them on its List of World Heritage in Danger. It stated, in part: “Despite efforts to safeguard the site by the Banaue Rice Terraces Task Force and the
Ifugao Terraces Commission, more resources, greater independence and an assurance of permanence are needed.”
Fewer tourists preferred
Teodoro Baguilat, governor of Ifugao Province, stated in the local press that he would prefer to have fewer tourists in the area to facilitate the terraces’ preservation. He also said that once the terraces are commercialized, more hotels and establishments will sprout like mushrooms. During a conversation I had with him in May 2002 in his office in the town of Lagawe, he clarified that tourism could be part of a strategy to help develop the rice terraces and provide additional income for the people. “Although part of the country’s cultural heritage, the terraces are still primarily agricultural land,” he said. He is afraid that the goals of tourism
THE BANAUE RICE TERRACES, seen from the popular tourist viewpoint (previous spread) and more closely (bottom left), received in 1995 recognition as a protected cultural property on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Teodoro Baguilat (top left), governor of Ifugao Province, emphasizes the need to preserve the rice terraces more for the Ifugao people than for tourists. The priests, or mumbaki, Yogyog Dogapna (this page top, at left) and Buyuccan Udhuk, pictured here in April 2001 after their last performance, are now in their 80s and too ill to continue their ritual duties. The author’s father, Ammayao Dimmangna (pictured below in 1975), was a mumbaki until he became a Christian in the mid-1980s.
officials may not always support what is really needed to preserve our rice terraces and best serve the people. “Let’s not preserve the terraces for the tourists, but for the Ifugao themselves,” he told me emphatically. I agree with Mr. Baguilat that the government should focus on issues of concern to Ifugao rice farmers, including infestations of rats and golden snails as well as enhancing the irrigation systems for mountain farms. Perhaps most important of all is educating our youth to appreciate that their culture revolves around rice cultivation — and to consider staying in the region instead of moving to the lowlands to seek their fortunes.
Glimmer of understanding
As politicians continue to discuss what to do, some ordinary Ifugao citizens, for their part, express a wide range of feelings and are engaged in a variety of activities related to the preservation of the Ifugao rice
terraces and the traditions and culture tied to them. Since 1995, when my husband was stationed in the Philippines as a science writer and editor for IRRI, we have made an effort to record on videotape the various rituals associated with the rice-growing calendar. With the help of Ana Dulnuan-Habbiling, the matriarch of the tumoná (leading family) in Tucbuban village for whom my late father sometimes officiated as a mumbaki (priest) at various rice rituals, we have been able to document many hours of ceremonies, particularly the post-transplanting (Kulpe) and the harvest (Ingngilin) rites. We felt that we could at least show these tapes to our three half-Ifugao children and future grandchildren, giving them a glimmer of understanding of what their mother’s culture once was. Some professional Filipino videographers and filmmakers
Rice Today January 2004
— namely Fruto Corre and Kidlat de Guia — have had the same idea. Mr. Corre recently won recognition from the Film Academy of the Philippines for his ethnographic work Ifugao: Bulubunduking Buhay, a 45-minute
GENE HETTEL (3)
THE KULPE RITUAL being performed by Buyuccan Udhuk (left) and the Ingngilin, which involves offerings to the gods (center). Ana Dulnuan-Habbiling (right), pictured here with her granddaughter, strives to maintain traditional rice rituals despite being a practicing Catholic. Women transplant rice (below) on one of the Ifugao Rice Terraces.
video that documents the painful dilemmas experienced by my people today. He skillfully establishes the connections between the terraces and our traditions — indeed, how they enrich and nourish each other. The video’s message is that if the terraces disappear, so will our tradition and culture. This tape has been commercially packaged and is sold in many video stores and bookstores in Manila and elsewhere. Mr. de Guia’s work debuted internationally on the Discovery Channel on 26 December 2001, as
part of its Young Filmmaker series. In it, he shows how we Ifugao ourselves can document our disappearing rituals and traditions using small, handheld video cameras. This is exactly what my husband, Gene, and I have been doing since 1995, albeit as amateurs. Even though the production of these programs may have been motivated in part by profit, I think it is still a good thing that our rituals and culture are being documented for both Ifugao and the world at large. In viewing these programs, however,
I could not help noticing that many of the rituals depicted appear to have been staged expressly for the camera. This is something that Gene and I avoided — at least initially — in our own videotaping. In 1995, this was still possible when, in July, we taped several hours of the rice harvest ritual in Lugu, performed by local mumbaki Yogyog Dogapna and Buyuccan Udhuk. The ritual would have been held regardless of whether or not they had known that we were coming to record it. Only 6 years later, in June
2001, in an attempt to rerecord the Ingngilin with better camera equipment and from different angles, I had to pay three mumbaki from outside the area to perform the ritual at Ana Dulnuan-Habbiling’s family granary. If we had not come, it would have been the first time that a harvest ritual was not held in Ana’s granary.
I asked Ana, who has been a practicing Catholic for many years, why she still persists to preserve the post-transplanting and harvest
rituals. She replied that it is her family, after all, that has been traditionally responsible for taking the lead in performing the rice rituals. “I do not want to be the one remembered for ending this centuries-old tradition here in our village,” she said. Most likely neither Yogyog nor Buyuccan, who are now in their 80s and both ill, will be able to continue their ritual duties. So, emulating Mr. de Guia’s effort, she requested that Gene and I provide her with a copy of the videos of the rituals
that we recorded in her granary over the years. “We will make do with watching your tapes on television,” she said. “It will be better than nothing.”
Excerpted and adapted with permission from Chapter 31, Let's Hope the Bile Is Good!, in The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance in Asia, edited by Roy W. Hamilton, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, which is available from the University of Washington Press (www.washington.edu/ uwpress).
DARSHAN BRAR, shown standing before IRRI’s greenhouses and (top) pollinating a modern rice variety with a wild relative, is pushing the envelope of what is possible in transferring useful genes and traits into modern cultivars. Matatag 9 (above), a commercial cultivar with tungro disease resistance that Dr. Brar and his colleagues recruited from wild rice, has been released to farmers in the Philippines.
Crop scientists use wide crosses to breed into cultivated rice varieties the hardiness of their wild kin
AILEEN DEL ROSARIO-RONDILLA
utbreaks of grassy stunt virus once ruined rice harvests and brought hardship to poor farmers in South and Southeast Asia. Today, most commercial rice varieties developed by IRRI and its national partners have effective resistance to the virus — resistance borrowed from a wild cousin of cultivated rice that may no longer exist in nature. “In the 1970s, grassy stunt virus was a major problem,” said Darshan Brar, a rice breeder in IRRI’s Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biochemistry Division. “IRRI scientists screened 7,000 rice lines for resistance to the virus. Fortunately, one of the wild rice lines, a single line of Oryza nivara from India, was found to be resistant.” In 1974, IRRI released three varieties with grassy stunt resistance derived from O. nivara. “It’s a classic example of a gene that wasn’t available in cultivated rice being taken from wild rice,” added Dr. Brar, a specialist in such wide crosses. “It has had a major impact on developing varieties.” This early success in wide crossing — so called because of the large genetic gap separating the two parental lines — suggests the potential benefits of tapping wild species for agronomically desirable traits. It also illustrates the practical value of preserving natural habitats and the biodiversity they harbor. “That population of O. nivara from Uttar Pradesh, India, has never been found again,” reported Gurdev Khush, former IRRI principal plant breeder and 1996 World Food Prize laureate. If these “truly priceless seeds,” as Dr. Khush described
them, had not been gathered for conservation in the International Rice Genebank at IRRI, the trait of strong resistance to grassy stunt might have been lost forever. Drive a species to extinction, and you stand to lose far more than the plant itself. Every minute of every day, native habitat disappears somewhere on earth. The reasons for this destruction are many. Homes and infrastructure are built for an ever-growing population. New farmland is created. Some natural areas are cleared out of necessity and some out of greed, but every loss of natural habitat risks impoverishing biodiversity. No one knows how many species exist on the planet. It is estimated that, for every one of the 2 million or so species that scientists have described, between 5 and 50 others have yet to be discovered. Habitat destruction is driving to extinction species we never even knew existed. Included among them may be wild rice varieties potentially useful to the wide-crossing work of Dr. Brar.
“Wild species themselves are agronomically very poor,” he explained. “For example, they may be low yielding and have a long harvest period, poor plant type, seed-shattering — seeds that fall off the plant before maturity — and other traits that breeders and farmers don’t want. But they may also have a unique property or novel genes — some useful factor, like resistance to diseases or insects, or tolerance of environmental stresses. We want to introduce those kinds of traits from the wild species into cultivated rice, so the cultivated rice will have stronger resistance to a particular stress.”
“Because wild germplasm is not yet thoroughly exploited,” added Dr. Khush, “there is still great potential to develop new modern rice varieties. IRRI’s research in this area is at the forefront. No other rice wide-crossing program exceeds it in scope and productivity.” Scientists have identified 20 wild rice species, within each of which are up to hundreds of different genetic lines. It is impossible to speculate on how many more wild rice lines may be out there, or how many have already been lost to land clearing. Wild rice certainly tolerates a wide range of extreme conditions, including arid environments, acidic soils and high altitudes. David Mackill, head of
IRRI's Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biochemistry Division, points out that this natural variability makes wild species valuable. “To look at them, diversity within each wild species doesn’t appear as great as in cultivated rice,” said Dr. Mackill. “But there’s a lot of genetic variability in wild species, often more than in cultivated rice. There are likely to be alleles — different forms of genes — in wild species that are not present in rice. Wide crossing is a way to cast our net more broadly and get some of these diverse genes into the rice genome. “One of the things that Darshan has done is push the envelope of what can be transferred by crossing plants
DR. BRAR RESCUES an embryo from a wide cross and (top right) places it in a nutrient medium that will allow it to grow. Nafisah (top left), a masters scholar from Indonesia who works with Dr. Brar, examines rice chromosomes from a wide cross to determine the relationship between cultivated and wild rice.
that are not really even compatible,” Dr Mackill added. “He’s developed a number of ways to get genes out of these very difficult species into cultivated rice.”
The more distantly related any two parent plants are, the more difficult it is to produce viable offspring. Crossing two lines of cultivated O. sativa is relatively easy. Try crossing O. sativa with, for example, the African wild species O. brachyantha, and you have trouble producing anything at all, let alone a viable plant that possesses desired traits. This is where a painstaking technique known as embryo rescue comes in (see sidebar opposite). Because the crosses between two distantly related species of rice rarely produce viable seeds, promising embryos need to be physically removed under the microscope and grown in the lab. Even when a wild rice species is related to O. sativa closely enough that a direct cross is usually successful, the progeny always inherit undesirable traits from the wild parent. Weeding these out by crossing and re-crossing with the O. sativa parent is a long and laborious process. “This kind of technology — genetic enhancement through wide crossing — is an exciting way to capture useful genes for increasing resistance to pests, diseases and environmental stresses,
Rice Today January 2004
and improving sustainability and nutritional quality,” said Dr. Brar. “During the last 10 or 20 years, there has been a revolution in molecular biology. The answers to many questions for which we weren’t expecting answers are becoming clearer and clearer.” Since IRRI started experimenting with wide crossing a few decades ago, the institute has notched up some impressive successes in the area of pest resistance. In addition to grassy stunt resistance, scientists have transferred to cultivated varieties resistance to the debilitating bacterial blight (BB), blast and tungro diseases. A wide-crossed tungroresistant variety (Matatag 9) has been released in the Philippines as a stop-gap variety for tungro hot spots. Wide crossing has also produced rice resistant to brown planthopper, the insect pest that carries a double whammy by transmitting grassy stunt virus. Four such varieties — derived from a wide cross with O. officinalis, an Asian wild rice — have been released in Vietnam. The transfer of BB resistance from the wild species O. longistaminata, found in Africa, tells the tale of how the combination of wide crossing and new techniques in molecular biology is having impact. A specific gene found in O. longistaminata — known as Xa21 — offers rice a broad spectrum of resistance. There are many races of BB, and any resistant plant is unlikely to be immune to all of them. Xa21 does an excellent job, though — in the Philippines, for example, there are nine prevalent BB races, and Xa21 offers resistance to all of them. Traditionally, finding out whether a new line of rice was resistant to a disease entailed physically inoculating each individual plant. Today, a technique known as molecular marker-assisted selection has made this process — and the subsequent development of resistant commercial varieties — far quicker and easier. Researchers take a sample of a rice plant, extract its DNA and examine it in the lab to determine whether a particular plant has inherited
M a n a g in g a m is m a t ch
rossing cultivated rice, Oryza sativa, with a distant wild relative can be difficult. Any of a number of barriers can combine to prevent a successful cross. There is no guarantee of producing any sort of progeny at all — and even if a hybrid results, it will almost certainly be sterile. Into the breach step Darshan Brar and his colleagues in IRRI’s Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biochemistry Division, who are expert at a technique called embryo rescue. Embryo rescue requires the physical excision under a microscope of promising embryos from their impoverished seeds. These embryos then grow in tissue culture in the lab until the resulting plants are DR. BRAR SELECTS a promising embryo and places it mature enough to be transferred to soil and in the nutrient medium. eventually crossed with their cultivated rice parent. The process of determining whether they exhibit their wild parent’s useful trait can then begin. Breeders cross the rescued hybrid with its O. sativa parent; the progeny from that cross is crossed again with O. sativa and so on — using embryo rescue each time. This backcrossing is repeated until the resulting plant is almost identical to the original O. sativa parent and yields a fertile seed. If things go according to plan, the only significant difference in the new plant is that it possesses the desired wild rice trait. Although embryo rescue is not a technically difficult procedure, the painstaking nature of the process derives from the sheer number of times it needs to be performed. As many as 98% of the seeds created from wide crosses don’t even carry an embryo, and any resulting embryo won’t necessarily possess the sought-after wild rice trait. Therefore, breeders need a very large sample of wide-crossed seeds — up to several thousand, hundreds of which may be embryo rescue candidates — to have a chance of finding at least one with the desired trait.
a specific trait. This method has facilitated the transfer of Xa21 and its associated BB resistance to many commercial rice varieties in the ricegrowing world.
Coming of age
Wild rice and wide crossing are also integral to the production of most of the hybrid rice grown commercially in the world today. Hybrid rice — rice with two different varieties as parents — came of age in China and is now becoming increasingly popular in subtropical Asia. Although farmers must buy new seed each season because seed saved from a hybrid crop performs badly, hybrid rice can yield up to 20 percent more grain than traditional inbred varieties. To produce hybrid rice, you need distinct male and female parents. To achieve this, one of the parents must possess a trait known as cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), which renders that parent purely female.
Rice Today January 2004
“The vast majority of commercial hybrid rice has a CMS source derived from wild rice,” said Dr. Brar. “The discovery of CMS, by Chinese scientists, is another major example of how wild rice has contributed to a widening of the gene pool.” Just as crops that are resistant to pests greatly reduce the need for pesticides, crops that compete successfully with weeds could lead to major cuts in herbicide use. In collaboration with the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) – The Africa Rice Center, IRRI is currently working with an African rice, O. glaberrima, to achieve that result. Oryza glaberrima is cultivated in a small area of West Africa and so is not, strictly speaking, a wild rice, but it is a relatively distant relation of O. sativa. More to the point, it has a trait that Dr. Brar and his team are keen to breed into some of IRRI’s commercial varieties — weed-competitive ability.
DR. BRAR EXAMINES an example of the wild species Oryza rufipogon, which donated tolerance to acid sulfate soils to IRRI’s popular, highyielding variety IR64, as Philippine staff researcher Joie Ramos and Kofi Bimpong, a masters scholar from Ghana, look on. The resulting cultivar, AS 996 (bottom), is popular among farmers in Vietnam.
quite new. We call it aerobic rice.” Everyone these days is trying to do more with less, and rice farmers are no exception. If wide-crossed rice varieties help farmers produce more grain using fewer resources — particularly water, pesticides and herbicides — farm communities will prosper, poor rice consumers will have more cash for necessities other than rice, and pressure to plow under the last remaining areas of relatively undisturbed nature will decrease. On top of the better-known benefits of conserving natural habitats, successful deployment of rice cultivars improved through wide crossing helps maximize the chances of discovering, preserving and benefiting from as-yet-undiscovered species of wild rice. Given the right traits in wild rice, scientists like Dr. Brar and his team will develop commercial varieties that are both friendlier to the environment and better able to nourish the poor. “I come from a rural farming family and I really know, practically, how essential it is to improve crop plants,” said Dr. Brar. “More broadly, if you want to help society — to contribute to humanity as a scientist by improving access to better-quality food — then I think this is a good approach.”
Mr. Barclay is an Australian Youth Ambassador assigned for a year to IRRI, where his duties include serving as deputy editor of Rice Today.
A weed-competitive plant suppresses the growth of weeds that would otherwise stifle its own growth. Researchers still have much to learn about the mechanics of weed competitiveness — how plants compete underground for water and nutrients and how some even exude substances that inhibit the growth of their rivals — but rapid early growth that shuts out competitors and denies them the energy of the sun appears to be a major factor. Such weed competitiveness, said Dr. Brar, is especially useful where farmers adopt direct seeding of rice fields in place of
the more labor-intensive practice of transplanting seedlings. “When you grow rice by direct seeding, the weeds may overpower it and strongly affect rice productivity and yield,” he explained. “If we can transfer weed-competitive ability into cultivated rice, then the rice grown by direct seeding will automatically suppress weeds and reduce the need for herbicides.” IRRI’s success in breeding rice varieties with resistance to pests and diseases offers encouragement as the institute now refocuses on breeding for tolerance of so-called abiotic
Rice Today January 2004
stresses such as drought and saline or acid soils. “There’s good potential to find alleles in wild species that will contribute to agronomic traits related to abiotic stress,” said Dr. Mackill. “Darshan has shifted his emphasis toward fishing for desirable genes that may not be obvious at first sight.”
Dr. Brar and his colleagues have already crossed IRRI’s popular IR64 cultivar with O. rufipogon, a wild species that naturally grows in acid sulfate soils in Vietnam. In
collaboration with Vietnam's Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute (CLRRI), one of the resulting lines (AS996) has been released in Vietnam for commercial cultivation. It now occupies 100,000 ha of moderately acidic soil and recently netted CLRRI a prize from the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations for its popularity with farmers in lessfavorable rice-growing areas. Dr. Mackill continued: “Drought is the No. 1 abiotic stress in rainfed rice. If you could calculate the damage in terms of yield loss, it would be very high, probably at the top of the list.
But the thinking is that there will be water shortages even in irrigated areas. And we are looking at trying to breed rice that is adapted to using less water. Perhaps the soil would not be flooded as it usually is with rice. This idea of developing high-yielding rice for nonflooded conditions is really
Rice Today January 2004
BUI CHI BUU / CLRRI
Special section: RICE AND MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
by the IRRI-led project Poverty Elimination Through Rice Research Assistance (PETRRA) in cooperation with the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute. The PETRRA fair attracted some 2,000 visitors each day to see for themselves the progress made by the 45 research-for-development subprojects under the innovative PETRRA umbrella. All PETRRA subprojects use rice research and extension as the entry point to spur rural development and improve the lives of rice growers and consumers alike. This reflects the conviction that research to help farmers grow rice more efficiently, profitably and sustainably is the essential first step toward achieving six of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: Most of the world’s poorest and least foodsecure people live in riceproducing Asia. Many are rice farmers and even more are slum-dwellers or landless farm laborers who buy their daily rice. Rice is so central to their lives that any solution to global poverty and hunger must include research that helps farmers earn a decent profit while growing rice that is affordable to consumers. Promote gender equality and empower women: Women traditionally shoulder many of the chores of rice farming and today are assuming additional responsibilities as their menfolk seek off-farm employment. Research that makes rice farming more efficient frees women to grow cash crops and independently pursue remunerative activities to support personal fulfillment and cover school fees for all of their children, boys and girls alike.
Millennium Development Goals DEPEND ON RICE RESEARCH
Reduce child mortality and improve maternal health: Because Asia’s poorest depend on rice for most of their calories and protein, many suffer dietary deficiencies of iron, zinc and vitamin A. Globally, “hidden CAROLYN DEDOLPH hunger” for these essential micronutrients afflicts more than half of humanity, especially women and young children. Making rice more nutritious will help protect those most vulnerable to hidden hunger. Ensure environmental sustainability: Rice occupies more farmland in Asia than any other food crop — 60% or more in the poorest countries. Rice research that improves the productivity of existing fields boosts harvests in line with growth in the number of mouths to feed, without encroaching on forests and other natural areas. Research that optimizes farmers’ pesticide and fertilizer use improves their income as it protects the environment.
CHRIS STOWERS (4)
chieving most of the Millennium Development Goals spelled out by the United Nations 3 years ago hinges on policymakers recognizing the essential role rice plays in the lives and livelihoods of most of the world’s poor. A renewed emphasis on this reality has marked recent gatherings in international agricultural research. IRRI’s parent organization, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), welcomed almost 1,000 policymakers, scientists and development specialists to the group’s annual general meeting on 28-31 October in Nairobi, Kenya — the only country to host the headquarters of two CGIAR research centers, the World Agroforestry Center and International Livestock Research
Institute. Much of the discussion at the CGIAR meeting focused on defining the achievements and challenges of the CGIAR research centers in terms of the Millennium Development Goals. “People are discovering that the goals have practical value,” said Mike Jackson, IRRI’s director of program planning and coordination. “They provide research organizations with a touchstone for assessing the relative merits of different projects in a tight funding environment. And they provide policymakers and funding agencies with a framework to guide their investments.” Some 7 weeks before the CGIAR confab, an IRRI Board of Trustees meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, coincided with a 2-day communication fair sponsored
Achieve universal primary education: Asia’s poorest spend 20-40% of their income on rice. Helping farmers grow rice more efficiently means cheaper rice for consumers, higher income for producers, and more money for both to invest in their children’s education. More efficient rice farming techniques also lighten the labor burden on farm households, leaving children more time for their studies. ARIEL JAVELLANA
Rice Today January 2004
Rice Today January 2004
Annual General Meeting 2003
Scientific Support Team award celebrates Filipinos’ role in sustainable development
distributing 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 farmers throughout the world,” said Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, head of the GRC. “We are open to any nation, including those who do not deposit their traditional varieties with us, provided they agree not to infringe the sovereign rights of nations over their biodiversity.” establishing and upgrading genetic resources facilities and conducting genebank and data-management training in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines. Genebank Manager Flora de Guzman, who traveled to Nairobi to receive the award, said that IRRI has been actively conserving rice biodiversity for 4 decades, since the establishment of the genebank in 1962. “Over the past decade, there have been significant changes and improvements to genebank facilities and operations, particularly in seed production and conservation, data management and research,” said Ms. de Guzman. Since 1986, the genebank has distributed 250,000 seed samples, facilitating the free movement of germplasm among 96 countries. This includes repatriating 32,000 rice samples to 34 countries of origin. Restoring traditional rice varieties can increase farmers’ income — and so advance Millennium Development Goals — as dramatically demonstrated in the IRRI-led project Exploiting
ilipino researchers have won for the 3rd consecutive year the world’s most prestigious award for a scientific support team in publicly funded agricultural research. The award was announced on 27 October at the annual general meeting in Nairobi of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which each year presents the CGIAR Excellence in Science Awards. The winning team comprises 33 Filipino scientists working in the Genetic Resources Center (GRC) at IRRI. The researchers operate the GRC, which manages the International Rice Genebank, and play a central role in the center’s achievement of significant scientific advances in the conservation and use of rice genetic resources. The team is responsible for storing, testing, multiplying, characterizing and documenting seed samples from the world’s most comprehensive collection of rice genetic resources — 110,000 samples of traditional and modern varieties of cultivated rice, as well as wild species — and
Reputation for excellence
The Filipino team has been instrumental in building the genebank’s reputation for excellence. The recent external review of CGIAR genebank operations cited it as the “best in the CGIAR system” and “a model for others to emulate.” The team developed an online Manual of Operations that documents all daily management operations and is used by many national and regional genebanks as a guide and distance-learning tool. The GRC team has also supported national and regional genebanks by
MEETING CHALLENGES WITH ENERGY AND CHARISMA
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ANGELINE KAMBA with the Earth Institute’s Jeffrey Sachs (left) and CGIAR Chairman Ian Johnson at the CGIAR annual general meeting in Nairobi.
Rice Today January 2004
YUSUF WACHIRA / IMAGE HUNTERS (3)
wo of the most remarkable years of my life,” said Angeline Kamba, summing up her term as chair of the IRRI Board of Trustees. “IRRI faces some enormous challenges, not least of which is the urgent need to continue to develop reliable new sources of funding. This was one of the central issues during my time as chair, and I’m pleased to say that some promising new strategies are being developed by the institute.” Mrs. Kamba, IRRI’s first female or African board chair, took over from Sjarifudin Baharsjah of Indonesia in January 2002. She was scheduled to hand over to the incoming chair, Keijiro Otsuka, a respected Japanese agricultural economist, at the end of December. “As someone with no direct connection to rice or rice research, I had some concerns about what I could contribute to an institute like IRRI,” she recalled. “Now, at the end of my term, I’m pleased at what I and my fellow
THE AWARD-WINNING Genetic Resources Center support team: (left to right, 1st row) Amita Juliano, Nelia Resurreccion, Emerlinda Hernandez, Teresita Santos, Adelaida Alcantara, Ma. Elizabeth Naredo, Flora de Guzman, Ma. Socorro Almazan, Digna Salisi and Renato Reaño; (2nd row) Alicia Lapis, Imelda Boncajes, Jacqueline Manuel, Isabelita de Mesa, Yolanda Malatag, Veronica Mangubat, Minerva Eloria, Lydia Angeles, Minerva Macatangay, Maridee Pontipedra, Wilma Lumaybay, Gregorio Mercado and Florencio Villegas; (3rd row) Bernardo Mercado, 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.
Biodiversity for Sustainable Pest Management, which netted last year’s support team award. The research saw high-value but diseasesusceptible traditional rice varieties interplanted with disease-resistant hybrids to produce, with reduced spraying of fungicide, a healthy crop worth nearly US$281 more per hectare than a crop of hybrids alone. Access to the traditional varieties stored by the GRC was pivotal to the project’s success. Genetic resources also support IRRI’s hybrid rice breeding team, which won the award in 2001.
Other winners this year included Abdul Mujeeb Kazi of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, who was named Outstanding Scientist for generating and making available new genetic diversity for wheat improvement. Honored as Promising Young Scientist was Jonathan Crouch, the global theme leader for biotechnology at the International Center for Research in the Semi-Arid Tropics, who led the effort to develop the upstream biotechnology and genetic enhancement program at the center and was instrumental in establishing its Applied Genomics Laboratory. Two papers received the Outstanding Scientific Article award. Dietary aflatoxin exposure and
impaired growth in young children from Benin and Togo was published in 2002 in the British Medical Journal, Vol. 325. The co-authors are three researchers at the International Institute for 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. Hall of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The study documented a striking association between malnutrition in children and their exposure to aflatoxin, thus revealing the need to address aflatoxin contamination in stored food grains. The prize-sharing paper African pastoralism: Genetic imprints of origins and migrations was published in 2002 in Science, Vol. 296, by Oliver Hanotte, Joel W. Ochieng, Yasmin Verjee and J. Edward O. Rege of the International Livestock Research Institute, and Daniel G. Bradley and Emmeline W. Hill of the Smurfit Institute at Trinity College in Ireland. The first continent-wide study of the genetic diversity of cattle in Africa, the paper reports 7 years’ research in characterizing, conserving and using indigenous animal genetic resources for the benefit of Africa’s poor. The Outstanding Partnership award recognized the Vitamin A for Africa (VITAA) Program, coordinated by the International Potato Center, for its work with 44 local and international development organizations to
Rice Today January 2004
implement the program in seven African countries. VITAA is a research and public health initiative to combat widespread vitamin A deficiency by promoting new varieties of orangefleshed sweet potatoes. The winner of the award for Outstanding Journalism was Indian journalist Pallava Bagla for his article Drought exposes cracks in India’s monsoon model, published in 2002 in the prestigious journal Science, and for a body of scientific articles published in mainstream media and reputed journals. M.J. Williams of the WorldFish Center received the Outstanding Communications award for the Fish for All Campaign, which raised awareness of the ways fish contribute to the food needs of 1 billion of the world’s poor, provide livelihoods to 120 million low-income wage earners, and are challenged by a degrading natural resource base.
CGIAR CHAIRMAN Ian Johnson arrives at the meeting flanked by Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori (left) and Agriculture Minister Kipruto Arap Kirwa.
AILEEN DEL ROSARIO-RONDILLA
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board members have been able to achieve — with the energetic support of IRRI management, for which I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude.” IRRI Director General Ronald P. Cantrell praised Mrs. Kamba’s enormous contribution to the institute during what has been a challenging period. “Clearly the most painful and difficult experience during her term,” he said, “was the retrenchment in 2002, which saw the institute lose 170 staff because of a funding downturn. Thanks to her leadership and steady hand, the institute was able to emerge stronger and with a brighter future.” The energetic and charismatic Mrs. Kamba brought to the job a wealth of experience. A librarian by training, she has served the government of Zimbabwe as public service commissioner, director of the National Archives (which led to a term as vice president of the International Council on Archives), and Zimbabwean representative (and later chair) of the Inter-governmental Council for the General Information Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In the international arena, she has served on the boards of CAB he IRRI-led project Poverty Elimination International and the journal Information Development. Through Rice Research Assistance (PETRRA) Mrs. Kamba played a key role at many IRRI-related and Bangladesh Rice Research Institute jointly events. “One of the highlights for me was the International organized a 2-day communication fair at the Rice Congress in Beijing in September 2002, which Chinese Sheraton Hotel in Dhaka on 10-11 September. The President Jiang Zemin graciously opened,” she recalled. “This event coincided with a meeting of the IRRI Board of confirmed the enormous respect IRRI is privileged to enjoy Trustees in Dhaka, its first-ever meeting in Bangladesh. among the rice-producing nations of the world.” The objective of the fair was to publicize the Mrs. Kamba’s swan song representing IRRI was at portfolio of ongoing research, experiences and results the annual general meeting of the Consultative Group on of the PETRRA project (www.petrra-irri.org), a International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in Nairobi at research-for-development project funded by the United the end of October. “It pleased me greatly that the CGIAR Kingdom’s Department for International Development. was finally able to hold one of its annual get-togethers in Since its launch in 1999, PETRRA has explicitly aimed Africa,” she said, “and that I could participate as an IRRI to contribute to Millennium Development Goals by representative.” halving extreme poverty by 2015. Mrs. Kamba said that her one regret was leaving IRRI The fair displayed progress to date on the 45 before the events marking International Year of Rice 2004. subprojects operating under the PETRRA umbrella. “As a cultural activist, I hope that there will be an It also provided an opportunity for stakeholders extensive cultural component in the events marking the PRIME MINISTER Begum Khaleda Zia received IRRI Board Chair Angeline Kamba during the September International Year of Rice,” board meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Viewing an experimental field (top left, from left) are Adilshe added, referring to her son Serrãp, board member; Keijiro Otsuka, incoming board chair; Mahabub Hossain, Social work with the Southern Sciences Division head; and Mike Jackson, director for program planning and development. Cutting the ribbon at the PETRRA Communication Fair (above right) is Minister African Association for for Agriculture M.K. Anwar, flanked by IRRI Director General Ronald P. Cantrell Research into Culture and (left) and State Minister for Agriculture Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. Development, Harare Dr. Cantrell and Minister Anwar (bottom far right) huddle. (Zimbabwe) International Farmers (bottom right) learn about seed health. Festival of the Arts, and UN/UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development. “I understand very well that rice is more than just food in Asia — it’s a way of life.”
Sustainable development in Dhaka
engaged in PETRRA subprojects to touch base with each other and see how their subprojects fit into the larger picture of sustainable rural development and achieving Millennium Development Goals. Donors and prospective donors, meanwhile, had a chance to learn more about this innovative and competitive approach to organizing and delivering development aid. Finally, the fair was an opportunity to emphasize the central role agriculture plays as an engine of poverty reduction. The fair featured 47 stalls presenting research-inprogress on technology development, dissemination pathways and methods, and policy. Displayers included PETRRA and its subprojects, the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, Bangladesh Rice Foundation, and Forum for Information Dissemination on Agriculture. Some 80 farmers, male and female, were available alongside researchers in the stalls to discuss their experiences. The estimated 4,000 people attending the fair included students, donor representatives, civil servants, members of nongovernmental organizations, development workers, agricultural scientists, journalists, farmers and housewives. Presiding at the opening ceremony, which attracted some 500 guests to the Sheraton ballroom, was M.K. Anwar, minister for agriculture of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. In his speech, Mr. Anwar emphasized the need to develop an agricultural marketing system and pursue crop biotechnology. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, member of Parliament and state minister for agriculture, also spoke, reporting that the government had lowered bank interest rates for investments in agriculture. Speaking for IRRI were Board Chair Angeline Kamba and Director General Ronald P. Cantrell, who stressed that ensuring a balanced diet for Asian rice consumers and profitability for Asian farmers meant growing more rice on less land so that farmers could plant other crops. Other speakers included Agriculture Secretary Ayub Quadri and Fazle Hasan Abed, the distinguished founder of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee and IRRI board member. A seminar on PETRRA and the Poor took place in the afternoon of the launch day, followed the next day by a seminar on Challenges for Communication of Agricultural Research Results. Panelists emphasized crop diversification and marketing, as well as the dissemination to farmers of information on new research and technologies. They also noted that missing links between scientists and breeders on the one hand, and the farming community on the other, could be bridged by strengthening agricultural extension and information services and by using print and electronic media.
Rice Today January 2004
NATIONAL COMMITTEES PLAN FOR INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF RICE
n the run-up to International Year of Rice 2004, several Asian countries established national committees to coordinate observance of the year and made progress in formulating plans. This report describes the state of play when Rice Today went to press at the beginning of December and should not be taken as definitive or complete. Partly to stay up-todate on national plans for the year, IRRI will set up an International Year of Rice homepage to complement the homepage operated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations at www.rice2004.org. Keep an eye out at www.irri.org for a new link. The Philippine National Steering Committee for International Year of Rice agreed at its meeting on 14 November that the flagship joint activity for the year would be a World Food Day program on 16 October, to which
it plans to invite as guest of honor FAO Director General Jacques Diouf. The committee resolved to introduce a rice component into Environment Week in June, in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and that all participating agencies should feature rice in their anniversary programs during the year. Additionally, the Department of Tourism will take the lead in organizing Rock for Rice concerts at various state universities and tourist sites such as the historic Intramuros district of Manila. The department will seek private-sector sponsors for the concerts. The committee has adopted the mascot of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Palayman, as its official mascot for International Year of Rice. IRRI, which has its headquarters at Los Baños, in the Philippine province of Laguna, will host three separate visiting days for farmers, diplomats and Philippine Palayman
Year launched in New York
acques Diouf, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, formally launched International Year of Rice 2004 at a special event on 31 October at the United Nations headquarters in New York. International Year of Rice 2004 is an international drive led by the FAO and supported by governments and international organizations, including IRRI, to focus attention on the vital role of rice in ensuring global food security and alleviating poverty and malnutrition. Forty-four UN member countries endorsed a proposal initiated by the Philippines to dedicate 2004 to this important crop. “Almost a billion households in Asia, Africa and the Americas depend on rice systems as their main source of employment and livelihood,” Dr. Diouf told UN delegates during the launch. “About four-fifths of the world’s rice is produced by small-scale farmers and is consumed locally. Rice systems support a wide variety of plants and
animals, which also help supplement rural diets and incomes. Rice is therefore on the frontline in the fight against world hunger and poverty.” Dr. Diouf added that rice production and consumption is a pivot of many cultures around the world, shaping religious observances, festivals, customs, cuisine and celebrations. “It’s time for the global community to work together to increase rice production in a sustainable way that will benefit farmers, women, children and, especially, the poor,” Dr. Diouf stressed. “The Year of Rice will act as a catalyst for country-driven programs throughout the world. We aim to engage the entire community of stakeholders, from rural farmers to the scientific institutions that mapped the rice genome, in the mission to increase rice production in a manner that promotes sustainability and equity. Many member countries have already formed national committees for the International Year of Rice, and they will serve as the dynamic link between our
Rice Today January 2004
DAVY SURYADI (left) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat looks on as Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China joins ASEAN heads of state in signing an International Year of Rice poster at the ASEAN+3 Summit in Bali on 7 October. At a meeting on 18-22 August in Kuala Lumpur of ASEAN, Chinese, South Korean and Japanese ministers of agriculture and forestry, IRRI Director General for Partnerships William Padolina led IRRI’s first active participation in an ASEAN event.
IRRI SPOKESPERSON Duncan Macintosh (right) with Mahmoud Solh, director of the Plant Production and Protection Division of FAO’s Agriculture Department, at the launch.
international vision and the practical realities in local people’s lives.” Launch activities included an International Year of Rice exhibition on 27-31 October at UN headquarters in New York that featured rice plants from Cornell University, literature on rice (including Rice Today, International Rice Research Notes, Rice Almanac and Graindell), a slide show, photographs and posters, and demonstrations of the FAO and IRRI Web sites, including the Rice Knowledge Bank and the educational children’s site developed by IRRI to accompany its Graindell storybook.
government officials. The institute is refurbishing the Riceworld Museum and Learning Center to accommodate the expected surge in the number of visitors in 2004 and is planning special exhibitions on rice and the environment (February-April), biotechnology (MayAugust), and Graindell and rice culture (SeptemberDecember). The National Commission on Culture and the Arts' Subcommittee on Science and Technology Museums of the Philippines will use rice as a major theme for activities next year. Four of the 14 member museums have submitted plans. UST Museum, at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, will present in June and July an exhibit of paintings on rice themes and a science exhibit from the UST Research Center for Natural Sciences. The Philippine Science Heritage Center will print posters featuring outstanding scientists in rice research and technology, tapping PhilRice to publish a book, 100 Years of Rice Research, expected out in May. Malabon Zoo in Manila will plant rice gardens around the grounds to create a “see and feel” exhibit of the rice plant. Museo Pambata ng Maynila will display a special exhibit on rice varieties and sponsor monthly activities for children, including cooking
with rice, rice arts and crafts, folk dances on planting rice, and storytelling. The National Steering Committee Secretariat met on 18 November to prepare for the media briefing set for 12 December. Agriculture Secretary Luis P. Lorenzo serves as chairman of the National Committee, and Tourism Secretary Richard J. Gordon and Asia Rice Foundation Board Chair Emil Q. Javier are co-chairs. PhilRice, headed by Executive Director Leo Sebastian, serves as the National Committee Secretariat, with assistance from IRRI.
DR. LEOCADIO S. SEBASTIAN Executive Director PhilRice, Maligaya Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija Tel: (+63-44) 456-0354 email@example.com DR. ROGELIO C. CUYNO Asia Rice Foundation SEARCA, UPLB Campus College, Laguna Tel: (+63-49) 536-2285 firstname.lastname@example.org MS. KAREN ELOISSA T. BARROGA Program Leader PhilRice Technology Promotion, Maligaya Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija Tel: (+63-44) 456-0651 to 52, ext 500 email@example.com MS. JENNIFER C. JARA-RABARA Executive Assistant Office of the Executive Director PhilRice, Maligaya Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija Tel: (+63-44) 456-0112 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rice Today January 2004
Indonesia got the process off to a good start in October. Minister of Agriculture Bungaran Saragih marked World Food Day by announcing, at an event in Ambarawa, Central Java, the island nation’s participation in International Year of Rice and, at the same time, the release of a new rice cultivar. Representatives of ministry agencies met in midmonth to plan activities — as did the Indonesia Rice Foundation (IRF). The IRF will work closely with the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD) in several activities throughout the year. In January or February, an all-night puppet show will usher into full operation a museum dedicated to agro-tourism and rice in the Kuwiran district of Solo, Central Java. In March and April, the Indonesian Institute for Rice Research (IIRR) will organize separate rice walks for policymakers, students, farmers, extension workers and children designed to instill appreciation of rice research and technology. The IRF will hold in May or June its fourth seminar on the cultural aspects of rice, addressing specifically rights to rice lands of the indigenous Minangkabau people in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra. In July or August, a seminar in Jakarta will focus on gender issues in rice production and related activities. September and October will bring another celebration of World Food Day and the launch of an IRF-sponsored book entitled Rice is Beautiful, a collection of drawings
GERMPLASM SPECIALIST Appa Rao (center) explains Lao-IRRI Project work to Australian Ambassador Jonathan Thwaites (left) and Claes Kjellström, first secretary at the Swedish Embassy responsible for development cooperation, during an International Year of Rice VIP visit.
by Indonesian elementary school children. Finally, in November or December, Jakarta will be the venue for a special conference on rice and poverty alleviation with the expected participation of IAARD, IRF and IRRI. Pending the naming of an official national committee for International Year of Rice, the interim contact persons for the year are:
DR. JOKO BUDIANTO Director General Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD) Jl. Raya Ragunan No. 29, Pasarminggu Jakarta Selatan 12540 Tel: (+62-21) 7801242 Fax: (+62-21) 7800644 Email: email@example.com DR. IRSAL LAS Director Indonesian Institute for Rice Research Jl. Raya No. 9, Sukamandi 41256 Subang, West Java Tel: (+62-260) 520157 Fax: (+62-260) 520158 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DR. HARYONO Division Head, Science and Technology and Public Relations IAARD Jl. Raya Ragunan No. 29, Pasarminggu Jakarta Selatan 12540 Tel: (+62-21) 78831114 Fax: (+62-21) 7800644 Email: email@example.com DR. SJARIFUDIN BAHARSJAH Chairman Indonesia Rice Foundation Tel: (+62-21) 7657608 Fax: (+62-21) 7660220 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Year of Rice, call home!
ur thanks to IRRI country offices and the International Programs Management Office (IPMO) for news about International Year of Rice preparations in host countries. We encourage national committees and organizations marking the year anywhere in the world to keep us up-to-date regarding plans and to supply reports and photos of events as they happen. Contact IRRI Spokesperson Duncan Macintosh, and please copy your message to Rice Today (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org). Additionally, IRRI’s collaborators can communicate through IRRI IPMO. Media inquiries should go to Mr. Macintosh. Duncan Macintosh Spokesperson International Rice Research Institute DAPO Box 7777 Metro Manila Philippines Tel: (+63-2) 580-5600 ext. 2725 Fax: (+63-2) 580-5699 Email: email@example.com Ma. Angeles (“Pong”) Quilloy IPMO IYR Coordinator International Rice Research Institute DAPO Box 7777 Metro Manila Philippines Tel: (+63-2) 580-5600 ext. 2837 Fax: (+63-2) 580-5699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Food and Agriculture Organization has established a special secretariat to support national committees’ and organizations’ efforts to publicize International Year of Rice activities and an information office for media inquiries. International Year of Rice Secretariat FAO, Room C-789 Viale delle Terme Caracalla 0100 Rome, Italy Tel: (+39-06) 5705-5133 Fax: (+39-06) 5705-6347 Email: Rice2004@fao.org Public Information Officer International Year of Rice Secretariat FAO, Viale delle Terme Caracalla 0100 Rome, Italy Tel: (+39-06) 5705-6257 Fax: (+39-06).5705-6347 Email: IYR-Information-Officer@fao.org
Laos got a jump on International Year of Rice as the National Agricultural Research Center set a series of VIP visits between late October and mid-November 2003. The visits were scheduled early because the next big harvest will not occur until November 2004, near the end of International Year of Rice. Among the scheduled visitors were the ambassadors of India, Australia, Switzerland, Japan and the United States; the deputy ambassador of Germany; the country directors of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank; staff of AusAID, Japan International Cooperation Agency, U.S. Agency for International Development, and World Food Program; the resident representatives of the United Nations Development Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United
Rice Today January 2004
Nations; and a representative from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation office in Hanoi. Host of the 2004 summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Laos has named its National Committee for International Year of Rice, as follows.
H.E. DR. SIENE SAPHANGTHONG (CHAIR) Minister of Agriculture c/o Dr. Phouang Parisak Pravongviengkham Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry P Box 811, Vientiane, Lao PDR .O. Fax: (+856-21) 412349 Email: email@example.com MR. KOUANG DOUANGSILA Head, National Rice Research Program National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) P Box 4195 .O. Vientiane, Lao PDR firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (+856-21) 770082, 770092 Fax: (+856-21) 770082 DR. LEENA M. KIRJAVAINEN FAO Representative P Box 1640 .O. Vientiane, Lao PDR Tel: (+856-21) 413205, 414503 Fax: (+856-21) 414500 Mobile: (020) 5-508910 Email: FAO-LA@fao.org (and copy to personal email: Leena.Kirjavainen@ fao.org) KARL GOEPPERT IRRI Representative to Laos P Box 4195 .O. Vientiane, Lao PDR Tel: (+856-21) 770082, 770201 Fax: (+856-21) 770082 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
IRRI scientific publication offers $3,000 in prizes for research papers
or 28 years, International Rice Research Notes (IRRN) has actively disseminated rice research results to the larger scientific community. To mark International Year of Rice — and to recognize how rice researchers from national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) advance rice-related knowledge and technology — IRRN has announced its Best Article Award. The IRRN editorial board and invited reviewers will evaluate submissions on the basis of scientific content, originality, relevance and organization. There will be up to six winning papers, one each from the six sections of IRRN: • plant breeding, molecular biology and biotechnology • genetic resources • pest science and management • soil, nutrient and water management • crop management and physiology • socioeconomics Evaluators will consider all submissions for publication received by IRRN between 1 August 2003 and 31 July 2004 that report on research conducted in a developing country and list a NARES rice scientist as the first author (additional authors may come from any organization). The format and rules for publishing in IRRN are available on the Web at www.irri.org/publications/irrn/IRRNInstructions.asp, and back issues can be viewed at www.irri.org/publications/irrn/index.asp. The first author of each winning paper will receive a US$500 cash prize. Winning papers will be published in the December 2004 issue of IRRN. In addition, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations will select one winner each from the entries submitted in two categories, genetic resources and agronomy (that is, crop management and physiology), for its International Year of Rice 2004 Global Contest for Best Scientific Articles. The two FAO winners will be announced in Rome on World Food Day, 16 October. For details, contact the IRRN Managing Editor, IRRI, DAPO Box 7777, Metro Manila, Philippines. Fax: (+63-2) 580-5699, 891-1174. Email: email@example.com.
Thailand moved ahead at a meeting on 14 October that called for organizing a grand ceremony celebrating International Year of Rice at the Queen Sirikit Convention Hall in Bangkok. Organizers will invite foreign ambassadors, representatives of rice-export and -import companies and, to preside at the ceremony, one of Their Majesties. Also resolved at the meeting was to organize at the Impact Arena Convention Hall, Muangthong Thani, Bangkok, a workshop/poster session on the various aspects of rice — economic, social and technological. Another meeting was scheduled for late November. The members of the Thai National Committee for International Year of Rice (with additional responsibilities in parentheses) are: Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Chairman); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Vice Chairman); Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce; Director, Bureau of the Budget; Director General, Public Relations Department; Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Director, Thai Airways International Public Co., Ltd.; President, Thai Farmer Association; President, Rice Exporters Association; President, Thai Rice Mills Association; Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Secretary); Director General, Department of Agriculture (Assistant Secretary); Director DR. TAWEE KUPKANCHANAKUL National Coordinator General, Department of IRRI Cooperative Project with Agricultural Extension the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Assistant Secretary); and P Box 9-159, Chatuchak .O. Secretary General, Office Bangkok 10900 THAILAND of Agricultural Economics Tel: (+66-2) 5795249, 5799493, (Assistant Secretary). 5611581 Fax: (+66-2) 5614894 For more information, Office location: Rice Research contact the IRRI-Thailand Institute, Department of Agriculture, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900 national coordinator.
South Korea will celebrate International Year of Rice with an international conference on 1314 September, prior to the IRRI board meeting scheduled for 15-17 September at Suwon. The plan is to have two committees, international and national. Moon-Hee Lee, director general of the National Crop Experiment Station of the Rural Development Administration, is the chair of the national committee. Four other committee members have so far been named.
DR. MOON-HEE LEE (CHAIR) Director General National Crop Experiment Station, RDA 209 Seodun-Dong, Suwon 441-100 Republic of Korea Tel: (+82-31) 290-6601 Fax: (+82-31) 295-5410 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DR. DAE-GEUN OH (INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY) Director International Technical Cooperation Center, RDA 250 Seodun-Dong, Suwon 441-707 Republic of Korea Tel: (+82-31) 299-2270 Fax: (+82-31) 293-9359 Email: email@example.com DR. HUNG-GOO HWANG (GENERAL SECRETARY) Director, Rice Genetics and Breeding Division National Crop Experiment Station, RDA 209 Seodun-Dong, Suwon 441-100 Republic of Korea Tel: (+82-31) 290-6635 Fax: (+82-31) 295-5410 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DR. JE-KYU KIM (ACADEMIC SECRETARY) Director, Rice Physiology and Production Division National Crop Experiment Station, RDA 209 Seodun-Dong, Suwon 441-100 Republic of Korea Tel: (+82-31) 290-6645 Fax: (+82-31) 295-5410 Email: email@example.com DR. KSHIROD K. JENA (MEMBER) Temperate Rice Breeder and IRRI Representative for Korea IRRI-Korea Office National Crop Experiment Station, RDA 209 Seodun-Dong, Suwon 441-100 Republic of Korea Tel: (+82-31) 290-6871 Fax: (+82-31) 294-8185 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rice Today January 2004
IRRI REUNION The next IRRI alumni reunion will be at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, in June on 25 (Asia Rice Foundation USA annual meeting), 26 and 27 (main reunion activities), and perhaps 28 (university activities). Housing and Reunion Central will be at the Kellog Center on the university campus, a short walk from downtown. A reunion room rate of $85 applies to a block of 100 rooms reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. For reservations, call (+1-800) 8755090 and mention the IRRI Alumni Reunion. If you can’t make 1-800 calls, contact Vermont-based IRRI alumnus Walt Rockwood (+1-802-685-2282, email@example.com). INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INTERNSHIP Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): Technology Transfer, Use and Management is an internship program on 11-16 July at Michigan State University (MSU) focused on technology transfer, use and management within the context of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)/World Trade Organization (WTO). The internship program will provide hands-on training in the day-to-day handling of IPR issues in university, business and legal environments. Application deadline is 15 June. The nonrefundable registration fee is US$250, and the course fee (nonrefundable after 30 June) is $3,100, including instruction, information packages, local travel, meals and lodging. Checks should be payable to Michigan State University and mailed to Internship Coordinator, Dr. K.M. Maredia, Institute of International Agriculture, 416 Plant and Soil Sciences Bldg., Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. Other contact information: tel (1-517) 353-5262, fax (+1-517) 432-1982, email firstname.lastname@example.org. FERTILIZER TRAINING The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) has announced its schedule of training programs for 2004. Program descriptions and online registration are available at www.ifdc.org: Integrated Soil Fertility Management (in French) on 19-23 April in Lome, Togo; Innovative Management Practices for Nitrogen Use Efficiency on 26-30 April in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Indigenous Resource Development for the Fertilizer Sector on 31 May-4 June in Dakar, Senegal; Agricultural Input Regulatory Systems on 16-20 August in Pretoria, South Africa; Market Information Systems on 13-17 September in Accra, Ghana; and Fertilizer Marketing Management on 22 November-3 December in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. IFDC reserves the right to cancel any program or change the dates and/or venue of any program without liability for compensation. 30
OTHER CONFERENCES, MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS Event Contact International Conference on Information Systems & Innovative Technologies in Agriculture, Food and Environment 16th Biennial International Plant Resistance to Insects Workshop and Conference Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020 11th International Symposium on Analytical Chemistry 15th International Plant Protection Congress ISTA Seed Symposium 2004 BIO 2004 International Biotechnology Convention and Exhibition 7th International Conference on Philippine Studies: “The Philippines: Changing Landscapes, Humanscapes and Mindscapes in a Globalizing World” 5th International Postharvest Symposium www.epegenorth.gr/secreteriat.html http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/ggpages/ calendarframe.html (IFPRI) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.seedtest.org www.bio.org firstname.lastname@example.org, www.iias.nl/ iias/agenda/icophil
Date/Location 18-20 Mar / Thessaloniki, Greece 21-24 Mar / Baton Rouge, USA 1-3 Apr / Kampala, Uganda 5-8 May / Beijing, China 11-16 May / Beijing, China 13-15 May / Budapest, Hungary 6-9 Jun / San Francisco, USA 16-19 Jun / LeidenAmsterdam, Netherlands 6-11 Jun / Verona, Italy 13-15 Jun / Guelph, Canada 23-27 Jun / Wageningen, Netherlands 4-8 Jul / Dunedin, New Zealand 24-28 Jul / Spokane, USA 31 Jul-4 Aug / Charleston, USA 1-4 Aug / Ottawa, Canada 7-12 Aug / Berlin, Germany 16-20 Aug / Pretoria, South Africa Coordinator(s)/ course facilitator A Arboleda/D Gavino G Atlin/E Castro H Leong/A Arboleda R Buresh/D Gavino V Bala/E Castro G McLaren/ V Bartolome/S Magadia D Shires/A Arboleda G McLaren/V Bartolome/ S Magadia A Arboleda/D Gavino S Datta/D Gavino V Bala/E Castro B Bouman T Paris/G Zarsadias A Arboleda/D Gavino G McLaren/V Bartolome/ S Magadia J Rickman/D Gavino TBA B Bouman J Lapitan/G Zarsadias J Rickman J Rickman J Rickman J Rickman KL Heong KL Heong KL Heong KL Heong
email@example.com, www.soihs.it/postharvest2004 Agricultural Biotechnology: Finding Common NABC@cornell.edu International Goals 7th International Symposium on Inorganic www.enaag.org Nitrogen Assimilation in Plants: From the Genome to the Agro-Ecosystems COL’s 3rd (Biennial) Pan-Commonwealth firstname.lastname@example.org, Forum on Open Learning www.col.org/pcf3 American Phytopathological Society Annual email@example.com, www.scisoc.org Meeting/4th International Weed Science Congress 31st Annual Meeting of the Plant Growth www.griffin.peachnet.edu/ Regulation Society of America pgrsa/events.html American Society of Agricultural Engineers www.asae.org/meetings/index.html Annual International Meeting 12th International Symposium on www.biologie.fu-berlin.de/SIP12-Berlin Insect-Plant Relationships IFDC 2004: Agricultural Input Regulatory firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Systems www.ifdc.org 2004 IRRI GROUP TRAINING COURSES (TENTATIVE LISTING) Duration Course Target date (wk) *English for Conversation 2 9-20 Feb Rice Breeding (with IRIS component) 3 9-27 Feb ARBN Genomics Workshop 1 23-26 Feb Developing Integrated Nutrient 2 1-12 Mar Management Options for Delivery Rice Production I 2 15-26 Mar Basic Experimental Designs and Data 1 19-23 Apr Analysis Using IRRISTAT for Windows Scientific Writing and Presentation 2 17-28 May Introduction to the SAS System 1 21-25 Jun *Intensive English 1 Genetic Engineering, Food Safety & Awareness Rice Production II Water Management Leadership Course for Asian Women in Ag R & D *Intensive English 2 Analysis of Unbalanced Data Grain Quality Management Intellectual Property Rights IN-COUNTRY COURSES ORYZA2000, China Rice Technology Transfer Systems in Asia (RDA) Grain Quality Management, Cambodia Grain Quality Management, Bangladesh Water Management, Myanmar Tractor Training, India Integrated Pest Management, Malaysia Integrated Pest Management, Vietnam Integrated Pest Management, Thailand Integrated Pest Management, Iran 12 1 2 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 5 Jul-10 Sep Sep 6-17 Sep Oct 8-19 Nov 15 Nov- 3 Dec 15-19 Nov TBA TBA Apr 27 Sep-8 Oct TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
TBA = to be arranged. * = after 5 pm classes only. For details, email IRRI-Training@cgiar.org.
Rice Today January 2004
continued from page 29
In Bangladesh, Hamid Miah, IRRIBangladesh liaison scientist, has assumed lead planning responsibility for IRRI-Bangladesh activities related to International Year of Rice. Assisting Dr. Miah is K.M. Enamul Kabir, administrative coordinator. After exploring possibilities for collaboration on events with the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Forum for Information Dissemination on Agriculture, Rice Foundation, Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, and representatives of rice exporters, Dr. Miah will initiate a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture. One focus of activities will likely be at least one subproject under the project Poverty Elimination Through Rice Research Assistance.
DR. M.A. HAMID MIAH Liaison Scientist IRRI-Bangladesh G.P Box 64 .O. Ramna Dhaka 1000 Tel: (+880-2) 882-7210, 881-7639, 881-7640 Fax: (+880-2) 882-5341 firstname.lastname@example.org Office location: House 39, Road 23, Block J, Banani, Dhaka 1213 MR. K.M. ENAMUL KABIR Administrative Coordinator IRRI-Bangladesh G.P Box 64 .O. Ramna Dhaka 1000 Tel: (+880-2) 882-7210, 881-7639, 881-7640 Fax: (+880-2) 882-5341 email@example.com Office location: House 39, Road 23, Block J, Banani, Dhaka 1213
G. Kalloo, with members drawn from various organizations. Committee meetings have so far developed a broad agenda for celebrating the year and calculated expenditures for various activities. The National Confederation of Agriculture is planning an Indian Agricultural Congress in March to mark International Year of Rice. Two farmers associations, one from Uttar Pradesh and one from Haryana, have committed themselves to celebrating the year with various activities including seminars, farmers fairs and field visits. Several state agricultural universities are finalizing plans for activities to mark the year.
DR. G. KALLOO (CHAIR) Deputy Director General (Crop Science) ICAR Horticulture Division Krishi Anusandhan Bhawan II New Delhi 110 012 Tel: (+91-11) 2585-1068, 25842284/85/62/70/71 Ext. 1422 firstname.lastname@example.org DR. R.K. SINGH IRRI Representative International Rice Research Institute 1st Floor, CG Block, NASC Complex Dev Prakash Sastri Marg, Pusa New Delhi 110012 Tel: (+91-11) 2584-1292/1295/ 2803/3299/3802 Fax: (+91-11) 2584-1801 email@example.com
China has selected Tang Shengyao as the official in charge of handling International Year of Rice issues.
In India, a national committee has been constituted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research under the chairmanship of its deputy director general for crop science,
MR. TANG SHENGYAO Division Chief International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Agriculture #11 Nongzhanguan Nanli, Beijing 100026, PROC Tel: (+86-10) 6419-2489 Fax: (+86-10) 6500-4635 firstname.lastname@example.org
2004 CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS
Japan-IRRI rice research conference IRRI’s flagship rice research conference in 2004 will take place in Japan on 4-7 November. Organized by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the conference will be held in Tsukuba City, 40 km northwest of New Tokyo International Airport, and will feature the latest in rice research from all over the world. For details, please contact Dr. K.L. Heong at email@example.com. FAO International Year of Rice launch conference The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN will hold its International Year of Rice inaugural conference — Rice in the Global Economy and Sustainable Production Systems — on 12-13 February at its headquarters in Rome, Italy. For details, please visit the official International Year of Rice Web site at www.rice2004.org. Mekong rice and development conference Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will host on 15-17 October in Ho Chi Minh City a 3-day conference focused on rice and development. For more details, please contact Dr. K.L. Heong at firstname.lastname@example.org. Korean international rice conference South Korea will host an international conference on 13-14 September on the theme Rice Science for Improving Human Welfare in the 21st Century. The meeting will take place in the city of Suwon. For details, please contact Dr. K.K. Jena at email@example.com. World Food Day On 16 October, all countries will celebrate World Food Day. FAO will lead these international activities with its own special events at its headquarters in Rome. In addition, most rice-producing and -consuming countries will organize special rice-focused World Food Day activities. For details, please visit the official International Year of Rice Web site at www.rice2004.org. FAO Asia-Pacific ministerial conference FAO will hold on 17-21 May its annual Asia-Pacific ministerial conference in Beijing, which will likely include activities focused on rice. For details, please visit the official International Year of Rice Web site at www.rice2004.org. 31
Rice Today January 2004
Keeping up with IRRI staff
GOVERNOR VISHU KANT SHASTRI (left) of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh presents IRRI Director General Ronald Cantrell with an honorary doctorate degree from the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology. The degree recognizes IRRI’s outstanding collaboration, under Dr. Cantrell’s guidance, with university scientists to develop new technologies to improve the lives and social status of Indian farmers.
Partners in progress
tephen Hall has been named the incoming director general of the WorldFish Center, effective in February. Dr. Hall’s recent positions include professor of marine biology at Flinders University and director of the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He succeeds Meryl Williams, who has led the WorldFish Center for a decade. Shellemiah Okoth Keya has been appointed director of research at WARDA, effective 15 January. Dr. Keya’s career in research management and administration, university teaching, scientific publishing, and research consultancy spans more than 3 decades. He was executive secretary to the CGIAR Technical Advisory Committee (1996-2000) and its replacement, the Interim Science Council (2001-03). Wilfried Thalwitz, former CGIAR chairman (1990-91), died on 3 September in Brussels. He was 71. During his tenure, the CGIAR expanded to include centers and programs on water management, bananas and plantains, forestry, agroforestry, and aquatic resources. He is survived by his wife, Margret, and two children. 32
onald L. Phillips of the U.S. and Ruth Oniang’o of Kenya have been elected to the IRRI Board of Trustees, 200406. Dr. Phillips is Regents’ Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Genomics and director of the Center for Microbial and Plant Genomics, University of Minnesota. Prof. Oniang’o is a professor of food science and nutrition at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. They replace Mike Gale, who is resigning to join the Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and Angeline Kamba, the outgoing board chair. Zhao Kai-jun became IRRI liaison scientist to China on 30 September. Dr. Zhao replaces Tang Sheng-xiang, who is returning after 6 years with IRRI to the China National Rice Research Institute in Hangzhou, where he will continue as national coordinator of the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice. Gerard F. Barry joined IRRI on 3 November as the new Golden Rice Network coordinator. Dr. Barry, who was director of research for product and technology cooperation at Monsanto headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, works with plant breeders, biotechnologists, intellectual property rights specialists, and biosafety and regulatory agencies in Asia to facilitate the development and deployment of Golden Rice. Zhikang Li, molecular geneticist in Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biochemistry, has begun a 3-year posting at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). Dr. Li continues to contribute to IRRI research in gene discovery, allele mining and germplasm improvement while under appointment at CAAS as chief scientist of the National Key Project on Crop Genetic Resources and Genetic Improvement. Robert S. Zeigler, former IRRI plant pathologist (1992-98), has been named director of the challenge program Unlocking Genetic Diversity in Crops for the Resource-Poor. Dr. Zeigler has more than 20 years’ experience in international agricultural research and management. He will be based at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico. Keijiro Otsuka, incoming chair of IRRI’s Board of Trustees, was elected on 22 August the International Association of Agricultural Economists vice president for programs. Prabhu Pingali, former IRRI economist (1987-96) and current director of the Division of Agricultural and Development Economics at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, was
Rice Today January 2004
elected president of the 3,000-member professional organization. David Johnson, principal scientist since 1999 at the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich, U.K., and earlier seconded for 7 years to the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) – The Africa Rice Center, joined IRRI in September as a weed scientist in Crop, Soil and Water Sciences (CSWS). He succeeds Andrew Martin Mortimer, who served as weed ecologist at IRRI from 1996. Christian Witt, affiliate scientist since 1998 and coordinator of the soil nutrition project Reaching Toward Optimum Productivity in CSWS, and a PhD researcher at IRRI in 1993-96, returned to Germany in December. Adam Barclay, IRRI’s first Australian youth ambassador, arrived in September for a year’s assignment in Visitors and Information Services and as deputy editor of Rice Today. Monina Escalada, a long-time IRRI collaborator, became an international research fellow in IRRI’s International Programs Management Office in October 2002, a change this page failed to note until now.
Peter Cox, agricultural economist with the Cambodia-IRRI-Australia Project (CIAP), 1998-2001, succumbed to cancer in Brisbane on 20 October. From 2001, Dr. Cox was the technical advisor to the director of the Catholic Relief Service. Prior to his stint at IRRI, he lived and worked in Zambia, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, India and his native Australia. Jose “Joe” Burgos, intrepid advocate of press freedom and founder of alternative Philippine newspapers, died on 16 November. He was 62. Mr. Burgos, who served as media consultant for the annual general meeting of the CGIAR in Manila in October 2002, initiated in 1998 the organization of the Philippine branch of the Asia Rice Media Advocacy Network. Dennis Melvin Wood, former crop protection specialist at IRRI (1983-85), died on 25 October in a hunting accident in Utah. He was 61. Following a 2-year mission in India with the Peace Corps, Dr. Wood embarked on a career in international agricultural development, living and working in the Philippines, Vietnam, Morocco, Indonesia, Holland and Tanzania. Zosimo Q. Pizarro, former IRRI associate director of human resources (1984-91), passed away on 8 November. Mr. Pizarro also served IRRI as administrative assistant (1962-69), associate executive officer (1970-74) and senior administrative associate (1975-83).
Cooperating for peace
by H.-Jochen de Haas
ormer German Chancellor projects, link these centers with the Willy Brandt once described active German research commudevelopment aid as “the nity, and raise public awareness for peace policy of the 21st century.” international agricultural research Cooperation for development, to for development. use the modern phrase, remains BEAF is supported by an advian important priority of the Gersory committee of members from man government and the Federal public research organizations, Ministry for Economic Cooperation the private sector and NGOs. The and Development (Bundesminismultidisciplinary group provides terium für wirtschaftliche Zusamadvice on German strategies in international agricultural research menarbeit und Entwicklung, or and gives recommendations on BMZ), which is responsible for the project funding. BEAF cooperates German government’s developclosely with development organiment policy. zations such as Capacity Building BMZ’s mission relates mainly International (Internationale to the following areas: Weiterbildung und Entwicklung • helping to fashion the global gGmbH, or InWEnt) and scientific framework for development, associations such as the Council • formulating bilateral and multifor Tropical and Subtropical Agrilateral support strategies, cultural Research (Arbeitsgemein• supporting partner countries’ schaft für Tropische und Subtropdevelopment programs and ische Agrarforschung, or ATSAF). projects and the development BEAF also hosts the co-secretariat cooperation programs of NGOs, H.-JOCHEN DE HAAS is the head of the Rural Development and Global of the national German Forum and Food Security Division of BMZ. on Research for Development • aiding in monitoring and evalu(Deutsches Forum für Entwickating the use of funds. lungsorientierte Forschung, or DFOR). BMZ does not implement indiscientific, human and technical resources. Rice is life for 2.5 billion people vidual development cooperation projects Since 1971, German financial support for around the world, and Germany is pleased and programs itself. This is the task of the research work carried out at the cento have found a valuable partner in IRRI. independent organizations working on its ters has surpassed US$300 million. Since 1974, German support for IRRI’s behalf. The largest two of those organizaToday, a quarter of Germany’s finanresearch has totaled approximately tions are the Kreditanstalt für Wiedercial support for the CGIAR is unrestricted US$30 million. Klaus Lampe, a renowned aufbau, which provides concessional loans core funding. The rest is targeted, or German specialist in agricultural developto developing countries, and the Deutsche project, funding that is awarded based on Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarguidelines set by both the CGIAR and BMZ. ment, served as IRRI’s director general in 1988-95, and German researchers beit (GTZ) GmbH, which supports techniBMZ has commissioned a GTZ projcontinue to be active at the institute. Gercal cooperation. ect, the Advisory Service on Agricultural many supports a broad range of research BMZ recognizes the need for urgent Research for Development (Beratungsareas, from the development of new rice action to help the 800 million people gruppe Entwicklungsorientierte Agrarvarieties suitable for various rice ecosyswho face hunger every day. Central to forschung, or BEAF), to administer Gertems to genome and biodiversity studies, improving the livelihoods of millions many’s targeted funding of international improved management of soil and water, of rural people in developing countries, agricultural research. BEAF has offices in integrated pest management, and the fighting hunger and alleviating poverty on Bonn and at the GTZ head office in Eschan environmentally sustainable basis is born. As part of its mandate, BEAF advises increasingly important question of how BMZ’s support for the research centers of BMZ on all issues related to international rice supplies can be assured in the context the Consultative Group on International agricultural research for development. Its of global warming. Agricultural Research (CGIAR). BMZ, a objectives are to organize and administer These challenges are likely to grow member of the CGIAR from the group’s German support to the CGIAR and some in the future. The German government, beginning and a committed supporter other international agricultural research BMZ and its implementing partners are of its research agenda, ranks among its centers, establish and improve contacts committed to working with IRRI to meet top 10 investors, contributing financial, between research centers and development them.
Rice Today January 2004
RRI has added four new titles to its inventory of more than 100 books currently available on rice research. Check the IRRI online publications catalog at www.irri.org/pubcat/ pubcontents.htm for pricing and ordering information on these and other titles and for announcements about other new books as they become available.
Breeding Rice for Drought-Prone Environments (by K.S. Fischer et al; fully funded by the Rockefeller Foundation; 98 pages) is a manual that aims to help plant breeders develop rice varieties for drought-prone environments. Many of the world’s poorest farmers work in rainfed areas where water supplies are unpredictable and droughts are common. In Asia, about half of all the rice land is rainfed. While rice yields in irrigated systems have doubled and tripled over the past 30 years, only modest gains have occurred in rainfed rice because of the complexity of improving rice varieties for changeable environments and the small investment made so far in breeding rice for drought tolerance. Drought tolerance must be integrated with mainstream breeding programs addressing agronomic adaptation, grain quality, and pest and disease resistance. This manual, prepared in collaboration with the University of Queensland, amplifies and updates the section on drought tolerance in the IRRI book Rainfed Lowland Rice Improvement (Mackill et al 1996). 34
Increasing Productivity of Intensive Rice Systems through SiteSpecific Nutrient Management (edited by A. Dobermann et al; co-published with Science Publishers, Inc.; 410 pages) summarizes research in 1994-2001 to develop a new concept for site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) in irrigated rice systems and the tools needed for applying it in farmers’ fields. Yield gains have slowed in recent years, particularly among early adopters of Green Revolution technologies. Although scientists are developing new germplasm to raise existing yield ceilings, future yield increases are likely to be smaller than in the past and will require more knowledge-intensive forms of soil and crop management that improve input efficiency and, at the same time, protect the environment. The integrated and efficient use of nutrients is one of the key issues for sustainable resource management in intensive rice systems. After reviewing the economics of rice production and productivity trends in Asia, most of the book presents the principles of SSNM and the results of the first phase of field-testing at numerous sites in Asia. This book demonstrates how longterm commitment to interdisciplinary on-farm research forges promising generic solutions for resource management. As new tools such as a nutrient decision support system and a Practical Guide for Nutrient Management (Fairhurst and Witt 2002) have been developed, the theoretical development of new nutrient management concepts continues. Hybrid Rice for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Protection
Rice Today January 2004
(edited by S.S. Virmani et al; 401 pages) offers papers covering progress made since 1996 in hybrid rice breeding methodologies, biotechnological applications, seed production, agronomic management and technology dissemination. Hybrid rice technology was successfully developed in China during 1964-75, where it is grown on half of the country’s 30 million ha of rice area. It is now under development in some 20 other countries, with 800,000 ha currently under rice hybrids in Vietnam, India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and the United States. This technology enables farmers to produce more rice per hectare and hour of labor, and so contributes to improved grain yields and farmers’ income, while creating rural employment in hybrid seed production. Having contributed significantly toward improved food security and environmental protection in China, hybrid rice also has good prospects in other countries. The papers in this book were presented at the 4th International Symposium on Hybrid Rice held in Hanoi, Vietnam, 14-17 May 2002, which was attended by 187 participants from 19 countries and three international agencies (IRRI, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Asia-Pacific Seed Association). Two-Line Hybrid Rice Breeding Manual (by S.S Virmani et al; with support from the Asian Development Bank; 88 pages) describes concepts and procedures in a stepwise manner for easy learning of the technique. Breeding hybrid rice requires several concepts, skills and procedures that are strikingly different from those used in breeding inbred rice. The availability of adequately trained technicians is an essential prerequisite for developing and using this technology. Experienced hybrid rice scientists from China and IRRI prepared this manual, which expands upon IRRI’s earlier Hybrid Rice Breeding Manual (Virmani 1997).
Rice publishing? Don’t make me pilaf!
The original backpacker explores the world of rice that thrives between crop science and cookbooks
onely Planet Publications, the Australian guidebook company that found success in serving up Asia — and then the world — to budget travelers, will soon publish a glossy coffeetable book entitled Rice Trails. “This is not in any sense a recipe book,” stresses author Tony Wheeler, who, with photographer Richard l’Anson, journeyed to 13 countries, 12 of them in Asia, to document the story of rice from field to table. “Nor is it academic. We wanted to tell the human story of rice and show how it differed from country to country and yet in many ways stayed the same.” “I can pinpoint exactly where and when I first fell in love with rice,” begins the author’s introduction to Rice Trails. “It was in East Java in ’74. I was in my mid-20s, recently married, and my wife, Maureen, and I had been traveling
Rice Today January 2004
LONELY PLANET (2)
through Indonesia for several months. I’d certainly seen (and eaten!) lots of rice by that time. I was familiar with beautiful rice terraces in Nepal and many other Asian countries, but in the country around Yogyakarta everything came together.” The Wheelers had earlier traveled overland from London to Australia, a journey that produced, in 1973, the first Lonely Planet publication, the seminal shoestring travelers’ guide Across Asia on the Cheap. When everything came together around Yogyakarta, the couple were researching their second guide, Southeast Asia on a Shoestring, one of the most popular guidebooks ever published. Today, Lonely Planet employs about 150 authors around the globe and more than 400 office staffers in Melbourne, Oakland, London and Paris. Rice Trails may appear timed to cash in on International Year of Rice 2004, but Messrs. Wheeler and l’Anson started their project more than 2 years years before the United Nations declared the year tag. The 160-page book, which will measure 24 × 30 cm and retail for US$40, is expected to be available in March. “Richard and I have both traveled extensively in Asia,” says Mr. Wheeler. “So we were aware of the enormous influence of rice, not just as the world’s most important food but also culturally, economi-
TONY WHEELER gets his feet wet in Bali, as Richard l'Anson (below) relaxes on a rice barge in Dhaka.
cally and visually. The book even covers rice tourism, those places where hotels or restaurants have been strategically sited to take in views of rice paddies.” The book starts with the history of rice and its contribution to the growth of civilization in Asia. Following a tour of the “ricescapes” of Bali, Bangladesh, Philippines, Nepal and Australia, four chapters detail how rice is grown, harvested, processed and sold in countries at various levels of development. A chapter on the uses of rice takes in Japanese tatami mats as well as the countless forms in which rice products reach the table. Next comes a chapter on the place of rice in ritual and religious belief. Finally, a chapter on rice research takes readers to IRRI and the Central Soil Salinity Research Center in Karnal, India. “Better rice plants, improved techniques and superior equipment are all part of the story, but at the end of the day it’s the rice farmer who is the key to the whole puzzle,” writes Mr. Wheeler. “Fortunately, IRRI and other rice researchers are uniform in their praise for farmers’ adaptability and interest in adopting new techniques and better plants. […] The quick spread of IRRI’s new varieties is a prime indicator of the close attention farmers pay to their productivity.” 35
A fresh look at the world rice market for Asians who still equate food security with self-sufficiency
by D D Economist
he world food crisis of 1973-75 continues to shape the attitude of Asian policymakers toward food security. Occurring as it did in a period of volatility in the world rice market, the crisis has encouraged policymakers ever since to pursue self-sufficiency in rice at all costs. Analysis of the changing structure of the post-World War II market, and in particular of sturdy trends over the past 2 decades, suggests that Asian rice importers can now afford to rely on the world market for assured access to adequate supplies of affordable rice more than was warranted in the past. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Asian rice harvests rose steadily in per capita terms and became more stable. Prices and their variability nevertheless exhibited three distinct phases. Rice prices were high and relatively stable in 195064, still high but substantially more variable in 1965-81, and low and very stable in 1985-96 (Table 1).
Trends in the level and stability of Asian rice production go a long way toward explaining recent trends in world rice prices. Most strikingly, the plunge in world prices in 1982-84 coincided exactly with a sharp increase in per capita rice production in Asia (Figure 1). Since this production surge, the magnitude of year-to-year fluctuations in per capita production has been markedly lower than previously, with fluctuations greater than 3% occurring only 4 times in the past 2 decades, compared to 22 times in the 29 years from 1952 to 1980. The average absolute value of annual changes in per capita production was 4.4% in 1952-64, 3.7% in 1965-81, and just 1.8% in 1985-96. This improvement in stability is due mainly to the spread of irrigation and improved pest and disease control achieved in part by the development of resistant modern rice varieties. But why were world rice prices relatively stable in the earlier 1950-64 period despite very unstable production? For most of the 20th century, Table 1. Characteristics of the world rice economy for selected periods. the major rice 1950-64 1965-81 1985-96 Pre-Green Early Green Late Green exporters were Revolution Revolution Revolution in mainland Production structure Level (per capita) Low Medium High Southeast Asia: Variability High Medium Low Thailand, MyanTrade structure Number of commercially Many Few Many mar, Cambodia oriented exporters Prices and Vietnam. Level High High Low (The United Variability Low High Low Average yield, world (tons/ha) 1.88 2.42 3.50 States is also a Modern variety adoption major exporter, (irrigated area) as percentage of planted but its shipments area, end of period of japonica rice Bangladesh 0 (5) 22 (13) 54 (30) India 0 (37) 48 (42) 77 (51) within the AmeriIndonesia 0 (–) 61 (64) 81 (72*) cas are periphMyanmar 0 (14) 53 (18) 61 (27) Philippines 0 (30) 79 (48) 87 (63) eral to the world Thailand 0 (26) 13 (23) 18 (20) Vietnam 0 (–) 17 (41) 83 (51) market, whose Sources: production structure, trade structure, prices discussed in text; yield from FAOStat prices reflect the on-line electronic database (2002); modern variety adoption, irrigated area from IRRI World Rice Statistics electronic database (2001). Asian trade in (–) data not available. * 1991 indica rice.) DurRice Today January 2004
ing the 1950s, Myanmar and Thailand dominated world rice exports, with Cambodia also being an important player (Table 2). More important, exports were a large share of domestic production for these countries (Figure 2), encouraging them to be commercially oriented, reliable suppliers. Thus, whenever a shortfall in Asian rice production occurred, one or more would typically step in to fill the breach and prevent world prices from spiraling out of control.
The situation had changed considerably by the mid-1960s, when a major El Niño event led to a sharp fall of 6% in per capita Asian rice production in 1965 (see Rice Today, Vol. 2, No. 2, pages 10-19). By this time, Myanmar was well into a period of sharp decline due to restrictive government policies, and the proportion of Cambodia’s production that found its way onto the world market was falling. South Vietnam banned exports in 1965 and even Thailand was becoming less commercially oriented and more willing to constrain exports to stabilize domestic prices. By the 1970s, the world market was even more unsettled, as production shortfalls caused by severe El Niño and La Niña events were exacerbated by the inaction of the traditional commercial rice exporters — the situation that snowballed into the world food crisis of 1973-75. The subsequent reemergence of Thailand and Vietnam as commercially oriented rice exporters was a major factor in buffering the world market in 1998 in the face of a major El Niño event. Other key exporters complement Thailand and Vietnam — notably Pakistan, China and India — and their willingness to supply the
world market lends added stability in times of crisis. What does the future hold for the world rice market? Prices declined substantially in the last half of the 1990s. The magnitude of this drop recalls the steep decline that occurred in the early to mid-1980s, and the reasons behind it are similar: broadly higher production, curtailed Indonesian imports and a weak Thai baht. Statistical analysis of these factors and other key trends suggests that prices will remain near their current low levels for the medium term. The one possible countervailing factor is the long-term slowdown in yield growth that has occurred throughout Asia. If yield growth continues to decelerate, and does so more quickly than population growth, per capita production will begin to decline, and this may cause rice prices to rise again. That said, world prices will likely remain generally stable in the near future, just as they have during the past 15 years, due to the prevalence of irrigation in rice production, the
Fig. 1. Inflation-adjusted world market rice prices and per capita Asian rice production, 1951-2001. Note: Asia includes Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, North and South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Fig. 2. Ratio of exports to domestic production, 1950-2000: Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Table 2. Leading rice-exporting and -importing countries for selected periods, with average annual level of exports/imports during each period (in millions of tons of milled rice).
Exports Country 1950-64 1.52 1.38 0.80 0.69 0.47 0.22 0.19 0.16 0.12 0.06 6.05 80% 93% 1950-64 0.70 0.66 0.58 0.53 0.47 0.31 0.25 0.20 0.13 0.11 6.10 48% 65% Country Indonesia Vietnam South Korea India USSR Hong Kong Sri Lanka Bangldesh Malaysia Singapore World Country USA Thailand China Myanmar Pakistan Italy Egypt Japan Australia N. Korea World 1965-81 2.03 1.75 1.62 0.59 0.58 0.34 0.32 0.30 0.18 0.17 9.23 71% 85% 1965-81 1.02 0.62 0.51 0.42 0.40 0.36 0.35 0.31 0.29 0.24 9.30 32% 49% Country Iran Brazil Indonesia China USSR/CIS Iraq Saudi Arabia Senegal Hong Kong Malaysia World Country Thailand USA Vietnam Pakistan India China Italy Australia Uruguay Myanmar World 1985-96 4.97 2.52 1.26 1.19 1.05 0.88 0.61 0.45 0.35 0.33 15.36 72% 89% 1985-96 0.79 0.62 0.60 0.50 0.46 0.43 0.42 0.39 0.38 0.36 15.11 20% 33% Myanmar Thailand USA China Cambodia Egypt Italy Vietnam Pakistan Brazil World % of world total: Top 5 Top 10 Imports Country Indonesia Japan India Malaysia & Singapore Sri Lanka Hong Kong E. Pakistan Cuba W. Germany Philippines World % of world total: Top 5 Top 10
Sources of raw data: Palacpac (1977) for 1950-60, FAOStat on-line electronic database (2002) for 1961-96. World exports and imports are not equal in any particular year in original data sources. USSR is not included in 1950-64 imports because of data availability constraints.
improved pest and disease resistance of modern varieties and — a factor that has received little fanfare — the renewed commercial orientation of major rice exporters. None of these trends is likely to reverse, and Myanmar and Cambodia may rejoin the ranks of stabilizing exporters within the next decade. Reduced price variability does not guarantee that the effects of instability are negligible.
The effects of even small price fluctuations on the welfare of producers and consumers, especially the poor, can have political repercussions. And, even in a quiet world rice market, financial-market liberalization may heighten exchange rate fluctuations that, under free trade, translate into changes in domestic rice prices as readily as do changes in world rice prices. Asian governments need to formulate cost-effective policies to deal with these issues. Nevertheless, the combination of low and stable prices on the international market will likely continue for the medium term, resulting in less risk for rice-importing countries that decide to rely on the world market more heavily than they have in the past. Adapted from Dawe D. 2002. The changing structure of the world rice market, 1950-2000. Food Policy, 27(4):355-370.
Rice Today January 2004
grain of truth
Let’s promote brown rice to combat hidden hunger
EMIL Q. JAVIER
Chair, Asia Rice Foundation
gricultural advances in the past 3 decades have made Besides the nutritional benefits of consuming brown remarkable progress in providing affordable cereals rice, there are two economic ones. First, foregoing polishing to most of the poor in the developing world. As a and whitening reduces the power demands of milling by as result — and despite the continuing much as 65%. Second, with the bran plight of 800 million desperately and the nutrient-rich embryo intact, poor — we hear less these days and with fewer broken grains, wholeWhole rice offers about famine and severe calorie and grain milling recovery is as much as protein deficiency in sub-Saharan 10% higher than for white rice. So, if Africa and South Asia, the two most all the rice grown in the Philippines, significant levels of protein vulnerable regions. for example, were consumed as Now we must overcome the brown rice, there would be no need and essential vitamins "hidden hunger" of the poor for for rice imports, which in 2002 cost essential vitamins and minerals. US$200 million. As cereals constitute the bulk of and minerals, Here’s the rub. Promoting the diet of those who can’t afford brown rice is a formidable challenge micronutrient-rich foods such as because most Asian rice consumers but polishing removes meat, milk, fruits and vegetables, have acquired a taste for polished any increase in the vitamin and white rice. Before the advent of mineral content of staple grains most of these nutrients machine mills, people dehulled rice helps combat this insidious form of manually by mortar and pestle. For malnutrition. High-quality protein most, brown rice was the only rice. maize, developed by the International Maize and Wheat Today, Asians associate white rice with modernization and Improvement Center in Mexico, is now being popularized affluence, and brown rice with backwardness and poverty. in many developing countries. Rice cultivars high in beta If brown rice were marketed in Asia as a fashionable carotene (provitamin A), iron and zinc are in the pipeline at health food, as in Europe and North America, people would IRRI and some of its national partners in Asia. become accustomed once more to its grittier texture and There is, however, another strategy that has not received nutty flavor. At the household level, people would learn the attention it deserves: encouraging the consumption of that cooking brown rice requires a little more water and whole grains. cooking time (or else 30 minutes of soaking). Rice millers Whole rice and wheat offer significant levels of protein would adjust their machines to produce brown rice — an easy and essential vitamins and minerals, but most of these procedure if demand makes the extra effort worthwhile. nutrients are removed in the polishing stage of the milling A significant drawback is shorter shelf life because the process. In rice, polishing removes 15% of the protein, 85% lipid-rich layer left on the whole grain is susceptible to microbial of the fat, 90% of the calcium, 75% of the phosphorus, and insect damage. The hulling process — particularly using 80% of the thiamine, 70% of the riboflavin and 68% of the metal rollers — breaks up the bran cells, releasing their lipase niacin. Additionally, whole-grain rice — popularly called enzyme, which breaks down the oil in the bran, producing free brown rice — is rich in dietary fiber, which protects against fatty acids that cause rancidity and spoilage. hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and colorectal cancer. And, The obvious solution is just-in-time hulling, but this of course, bran functions as a gentle laxative. isn’t always practical. Experiments in the Philippines have Brown rice also has high levels of phytic acid, which shown, however, that brown rice dehulled with rubber rollers, diminishes the availability of essential minerals such as which are now commonplace, can be kept for 90-150 days at iron, phosphorus and calcium but protects people prone to room temperature (23 to 34°C) without vacuum packing, if kidney stones by reducing urinary calcium. (A mutant rice the grain is dried to 14% moisture content. Brown rice with line low in phytic acid has been identified, and the character a higher moisture content can be packed in custom-sized has been bred into a popular rice variety in the United States, polyethylene bags (2-5 kg) and then sealed, which is good for halving its phytic acid content.) 2 to 3 weeks’ storage — or longer in a refrigerator.
Rice Today January 2004
DON COLE, COURTESY UCLA FOWLER MUSEUM OF CULTURAL HISTORY (7)
Art of Rice
OBJECTS FROM THE ART OF RICE: Thai rice goddess, Mae Phosop (top left), in a commercial print with incense and rice cakes offered for her pregnancy ritual, which is conducted when grains begin to swell in the rice fields (1980, Fowler collection). (Continuing clockwise) Korean painting of three elderly farmers in Eunhang Dong, by Jonggu Lee using acrylic on a paper rice sack, recalls time gone by (1991, collection of the artist); Japanese snow boots made from rice straw (Fowler collection); Indian tableau constructed of dried clay, mud, straw, wood, paint, cloth, metals, plastic, enamel and string, on commission by Gourishankar Bandophadaya in West Bengal, shows the blue-skinned deity Annapurna giving rice to yellow-skinned Shiva, who sits on a throne between porcelain-skinned Bhringi and dark-gray Nandi (2003, Fowler collection); Balinese figures of metal, wood, silk, plant fiber and glass, known collectively as Rambut Sedana, serve as receptacles for the rice goddess Bhatari Sri Dewi and her consort, Bethara Sedana, when a priest invokes the deities to take up temporary residence at the beginning of Balinese rituals (Mershon collection of Indonesian art); Javanese shadow puppet made of hide, horn, paint, thread and plastic, constructed on commission by Daniel Mulyana in East Java, Indonesia, represents the rice goddess Dewi Sri (2002, Fowler collection); Ifugao carved-wood granary figures, or bulul, from the northern Philippines, normally consist of a male and female pair, but this set includes an infant to make the connection between the rice crop and human fertility (Thomas Murray collection).
The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance in Asia, an exhibition in the Fowler Museum of Cultural History, University of California at Los Angeles, Sunset and Westwood Boulevards, Westwood. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5 pm (Thursday until 8 pm). No admission charge; parking $7. For information, call (+1-310) 8254361. Closes on 25 April and reopens at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, Napa, California, in September-November, and at Honolulu Academy of Arts, February-April 2005. Major funding from National Endowment for the Humanities, Rockefeller Foundation, Getty Grant Program, Henry Luce Foundation, and University of California Pacific Rim Research Program.
AsianGrain is a wellspring of everything Asian. Unmask the landscape of diversity that is Asia, as captured in magnificent photographs of its people, scenery, art, culture, history and lifestyle. A virtual journey of discovery begins this month.