The Philippines-based rice institute, which focuses on the development of more productive rice strains, as agreed to share its scientific knowledge with the Food and Agriculture Organisation so the two organisations can “expand and intensify their work globally”.
The partnership will first analyse sustainable rice-based farming systems and help governments draw up sustainability strategies.
"The world faces very significant changes over the next few decades to produce the volume and quality of nutritious food to feed a global population heading for 10bn people," said Irri director-general Matthew K. Morell. "Addressing these issues relies on global partnerships."
With almost half of the world’s population eating rice every day, the crop is central to the world’s food security plans. At the same time, its production is vulnerable in many countries to the growing impact of climate change, said the FAO’s official for climate and natural resources, Maria Helena Semedo.
“By teaming up with Irri, already a long-standing partner, we will be able to scale up, complement and amplify our work towards reaching this goal."
Both organisations have been actively promoting more sustainable rice practices. Irri has also been working to improve rice’s nutritional properties, while the FAO is promoting enhanced crop resilience across Asia-Pacific.
Together, they plan to help rice producers adopt adapted rice varieties and enhance the availability of certified seeds. They will also train growing communities on issues like pest management though initiatives such as schools for farmers.