Ninety-one representatives from ten countries in South and Southeast Asia participated in the 13th Review, Planning, and SC Meeting in Danang City, Vietnam on April 8-11, 2014. Organized by the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE), researchers and scientists of IRRI and partner institutions discussed milestones on rice varietal development and adoption in unfavorable areas. Capping the event was the announcement of the approval of the second phase CURE-IFAD funded project, entitled “Reducing Risks and Livelihoods in South-East Asia through the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments.”
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Nguyen Van Tuat, Vice-President of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science (VAAS), emphasized the anticipated negative effects of climate change on rice yields in Vietnam and stressed the importance of stress-tolerant rice varietal development work to help farmers cope with climate change to guarantee sustainable rice production.
To show how unfavorable environment would impact rice production, participants visited the salt-affected rice fields of Binh Giang commune, Thăng Bình district of Quang Nam province. During this visit, participants were able to dialogue with the local farmers and hear their sentiments on rice crop diversification.
During the program, CURE also honored Dr. Ganesh Thapa, Senior Economist of IFAD-Asia Pacific Region for his strong support of CURE in the last nine years. Giving the keynote address was Dr. Nguyen Nhu Cuong, Deputy Director of Sciences, Technology and Environment Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). His message hammered on Vietnam’s response to climate change by expanding the area for research on rice and other crops in unfavorable areas.
Back-to-back with the SC meeting was the IRRI Multi-Environment Testing (MET) meeting led by Dr. Edilberto Redoña.
CURE is a regional platform for partnerships among institutions from South and Southeast Asia. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as the host institution provides the coordination function. Scientists from IRRI and the national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) of partner countries work together to help raise productivity and contribute to improved livelihoods in unfavorable rice environments.