LOS BAÑOS, THE PHILIPPINES — The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Nagoya University continues its 15-year partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen its cooperation in rice research and education.

Through this partnership, IRRI and Nagoya University will exchange organization members and research fellows, academic materials, information and publication; and conduct joint research projects and organize symposiums, jointly supervise students’ research, dissertations, theses and fieldwork, and develop projects for fundraising.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Seiichi Matsuo, president of Nagoya University, and by Dr. Matthew Morell, director general of IRRI, outlines the scientific and technical collaboration.

“Driven by our shared goal to educate and train the next generation of ASEAN leaders in agriculture, this cooperation and exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge will help pave the way for developing innovative solutions to achieve food security in Asia,” Matsuo said.  

According to IRRI, population growth, dwindling land and water resources for agriculture, lack of interest and engagement of youth in agriculture, and the adverse effects of climate change are some of the urgent issues that Asia and Africa regions need to confront.

“We are committed to build strategic alliances with universities and research institutions to accelerate delivery of excellent research, generate knowledge, and build scientific and leadership capacity that will propel progress in Asia and Africa,” said Dr. Abdelbagi Ismail, IRRI’s regional representative for Africa. “We are grateful for the trust of Nagoya University in IRRI’s expertise and technologies that will help countries attain sustainable food security.”

The partnership between IRRI and Nagoya University through an exchange and joint supervision of PhD students through the IRRI-Japan collaborative project. In 2012, a research project titled “Wonder Rice Initiative for Food Security and Health (WISH)” funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was initiated. IRRI noted that through the project 200 new rice varieties, both high-yielding and tolerant of unfavorable conditions were developed for Asia and Africa regions.