International Rice Research Institute

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The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is an agricultural research and training facility that was established in the Philippines in 1960 and now has offices in over ten countries worldwide. It is an independent non-profit organization that aims to develop new strains and new techniques of planting rice that will not only help rice farmers increase their yield, but also prove to be environmentally sustainable. Majority of IRRI's projects are done in collaboration with national agricultural research and development institutions, local communities that live on farming, and organizations attached to the agricultural institutions of other rice-producing countries.

IRRI was founded in 1960 by the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation with the support of the Philippine government. The institution began agricultural research in 1962. Since then, the knowledge and technology that IRRI has accumulated regarding new techniques in farming rice has helped increase the yields of thousands of rice-farming communities across the globe. The institution also developed new breeds that made rice-farming more ecologically sustainable.

IRRI's headquarters, laboratories and experimental farms are based in Laguna, in the campus of the University of the Philippines, Los Baños (UPLB). The institution helps its surrounding communities by offering training programs and scholarships, and creating agricultural projects that generate livelihoods for the local farmers.


IRRI has gained international recognition for its research. Among others, it received the prestigious UNESCO Science Prize in 1970, which it shared with CIMMYT; the first King Baudouin International Agricultural in1982, for breeding IR36; and the Third World Prize also in 1982, for valuable contributions to developing countries.

IRRI Researches and New Breeds of Rice

IRRI has conducted numerous studies in order to improve the quality and productivity of rice. A few of the researches conducted with and in collaboration with IRRI are as follows:

  1. “Sequencing the rice genome” (McNally, Bruskiewich, Mackill, et al.)
  2. “Improving the yield potential of rice” (Peng, Cassman, Virmani, et al.)
  3. “Increasing productivity of rice-wheat cropping systems” (Alam, Ladha, Foyjunnessa, et al.)
  4. “Breeding for abiotic and biotic stress tolerance in rice” (Ali, Xu, Ismail, et al.)
  5. “Breeding for Salt Tolerance in Rice” (

Singh).

Through collaborative efforts, IRRI has likewise developed new varieties of rice which are salt-tolerant (CSR series), flood-tolerant (Swarna Submergence 1), drought-tolerant (IR52, IR43, IR5931-110-1), iron-dense (IR68144-3B-2-2-3), and insect and disease-resistant (IR36, IR56).


References



“IRRI-bred rice varieties for the Philippines.” (Accessed on 20 August 2010).