PhilRice and IRRI collaborate to protect elite rice varieties in the Philippines

PhilRice-shahnur a alam sxc.huThe collaboration includes varietal improvement and the development of rice-based technologies to enhance rice productivity and profitability in the Philippines. (Image source: Shahnur A Alam/sxc.hu)Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have signed an agreement to mutually protect elite breeding lines of rice varieties

Elite breeding lines are next-generation varieties that contribute to feeding half of the world’s population — more than 3.5bn people — who rely on rice as a source of sustenance and livelihood. These varieties, bred to help address the world’s most pressing food security challenges, have traits such as high yielding ability, disease resistance, flood, drought, heat, or salinity tolerance, IRRI said.

Eufemio Rasco, executive director of PhilRice, said, “I am happy to represent PhilRice in this important agreement. Without IRRI, we could not have done our work in the past. I look forward to breaking new grounds of research with IRRI.”

IRRI director general Robert Zeigler described PhilRice and IRRI’s partnership as one worth emulating. “Ours is a model of how an international institution like IRRI, should work with a national partner.”

The collaboration reportedly includes the improvement and the development of rice-based technologies to enhance rice productivity and profitability in the Philippines.

IRRI and PhilRice have said that they will continue to jointly develop personnel capacities through training and postgraduate studies support. The intellectual property and exchange of materials, as well as a business continuity plan that includes providing mutual back-up of elite breeding lines in off-site seed storage, are also among the conditions of the agreement.

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