QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES — The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) have renewed their partnership to further collaborate and address challenges within the Philippine rice sector, particularly climate change and food security.

Signed by DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and IRRI Director General Matthew Morell, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) highlights areas of collaboration between DA and IRRI that prioritize rice and rice-based research and development projects geared toward increasing yield, income and cropping intensity, reducing cost and postharvest losses, and enhancing marketing and resiliency to changing climate.

“This renewed partnership solidifies IRRI and the DA’s commitment to accelerate the development of research and technologies that will improve the lives of Filipino rice farmers and consumers,” Morell said. “IRRI will continue to provide research, innovative solutions, technical and policy support for DA programs. We hope to increase our contribution to demand-driven market analysis and policy development, small-scale mechanization, crop insurance, and rice straw management.”

One of the issues addressed by the MoU is climate change. The Philippine government through the department of agriculture is taking steps to improve the resilience of the rice sector to adverse climate change effects, which include the El Niño phenomenon and increasingly more frequent and intense flooding and drought.

The IRRI will continue to contribute through research and development in climate change adaptation (climate-smart rice and cropping practices), mitigation (water saving technologies and rice straw management), and policy.

Other projects under the MoU include improving extension services and building the capabilities of public institutions to deliver various farm services.

This is the latest partnership renewal the IRRI has continued. On Feb. 13, the IRRI  and Nagoya University extended their 15-year partnership by signing a MoU to strengthen cooperation in rice research and education.

Through this partnership, the 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.