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IRRl Collaborates with Indonesian Govt to Help Rice Farmers Make Science-Based Decisions

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) recently held an inception workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the Indonesian government and the country's leading telecommunications provider to support Indonesian rice farmers with science-based decision-making and contribute to the Indonesian government's goal of rural prosperity.

Shivam Dwivedi
IRRI and its partners hope to increase the yields and incomes of Indonesian rice farmers through this project
IRRI and its partners hope to increase the yields and incomes of Indonesian rice farmers through this project

IRRI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) during the workshop along with a Letter of Intent to collaborate with the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Instrument Standardization (IAAIS) of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia.

Furthermore, IRRI also signed a 'Letter of Agreement' with Viamo, the country's leading telecom service provider, to implement its Rice Crop Manager (RCM) Project.

The RCM Project will create and disseminate a digital agriculture platform that will provide science-based information to help rice production become more efficient. RCM provides recommendations for field-specific nutrient management based on the principles and algorithms of the site-specific nutrient management approach developed by IRRI and its Asian partners. The platform's recommendations calculate fertilizer rates based on a target yield adjusted for farmers' reported historical yield.

IRRI and its partners hope to increase the yields and incomes of Indonesian rice farmers through this project and contribute to the Indonesian government's goals for rural prosperity, food security, environmental sustainability, and climate mitigation and adaptation. The South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs fund the project. It is also a larger version of IRRI's locally known project, Layanan Konsultasi Padi (LKP), which was developed and introduced on a smaller scale in 2075.

"I am pleased to announce this collaboration between IRRI and BAPPENAS, which will contribute to farmers' sustainable livelihoods and increased food security for the nation. On behalf of the Director for Food and Agriculture and BAPPENAS, we would support the project through enabling policy frameworks," said Noor Avianto, Coordinator of Food and Agriculture. Meanwhile, Dr. Fadjry Djufry, Director General of the IAAIS, stated, "We are very excited about this collaboration because we will be assisting with implementing this project in Indonesia.

"We anticipate a positive impact on the ground in terms of increased yield and income for the nation's rice farmers. Viamo is proud to partner with IRRI and work towards the digital empowerment of Indonesian rice farmers and allow them to not only enhance their knowledge of agriculture but also help increase their yield and incomes," said Viamo Country Manager Diah Setiawaty.

"The use of digital technologies for sharing best practices for crop management is a highly viable and scalable mechanism to transfer knowledge and transform data, especially with the increase in mobile phone penetration in recent years, and digital tools like RCM can enable the delivery of these agronomic management practices to farmers at scale," said AJ Poncin, Chief of Staff and Head of Portfolio Development and Management, IRRI.

Kang Gyeong-Mi, Deputy Director, General Division of International Cooperation) and Jang Minjeong (Policy Officer, Deputy Director, General Division of International Cooperation) from MAFRA, South Korea, were also present, as was Dr. Wonkyu Cha, Head, Multilateral Cooperation & Evaluation Team, Center for International Agricultural Partnership, Korean Rural Economic Institute; and Wook Jong Ju, Deputy Director, Overseas Project Office During the inception workshop, there were also group discussions about the project work plan's implementation, collaboration on specific activities, and project frameworks.

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