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Manila to Host World's Largest Rice Congress: Co-organized by Philippine Agri Dept & IRRI

The Philippine government considers rice to be a priority area for achieving food self-sufficiency and improving the livelihoods of Filipino farmers.

Shivam Dwivedi
Manila to Host World's Largest Rice Congress: Co-organized by Philippine Agri Dept & IRRI (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Manila to Host World's Largest Rice Congress: Co-organized by Philippine Agri Dept & IRRI (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The sixth edition of the International Rice Congress (IRC) will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Philippines on 16-19 October-2023. The Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Philippines has committed to supporting the organization of the world's largest gathering focused on rice-based food systems. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will co-host the event.

The upcoming IRC in 2023 will provide an opportunity to learn about recent advancements in genetic, digital, and nature-based solutions. These insights will be invaluable in addressing the diverse challenges faced by the rice industry in the Philippines, according to Leocadio Sebastian, the DA Undersecretary for Rice Industry Development.

The IRC, which began in 2002, serves as a platform for scientists, experts, and decision-makers from the public, private, and government sectors to develop evidence-based solutions for the global rice sector. Rice is a critical commodity that serves as a staple food for over half of the world's population. Hence, it is crucial for farmers, consumers, and government decision-makers to collaborate and find sustainable solutions.

The IRRI Director General, Jean Balié, expressed excitement about showcasing cutting-edge technology, breakthrough studies, and innovations from around the world during IRC 2023. However, Balié also emphasized the need to focus discussions on holistic science-based solutions to address the combined impacts of climate extremes, potential rice crises, conflicts, and economic shocks on the rice value chain. The conference aims to bring together long-time partners, collaborators, as well as new players in the agricultural, climate change, and nutrition sectors to foster knowledge exchange.

The theme for this year's IRC is "Accelerating Transformation of Rice-Based Food Systems: From Gene to Globe." It aims to highlight solutions and innovations that can address critical issues related to agriculture and climate change, food and nutrition security, environmental sustainability, and human and economic development.

The conference presents a unique opportunity to gather leading experts from the agricultural industry, research and development, academia, and civil society. It allows for networking and collaboration among individuals and organizations, harnessing their potential to find areas of cooperation.

During the previous IRC, approximately 1,500 delegates from 64 countries participated. The event saw the presence of high-level representatives from organizations such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development, as well as the governments of India, Uganda, and Singapore.

Notable companies like Bayer Crop Science and Corteva Agriscience, along with NGOs like Oxfam, were also in attendance. The conference featured over 300 poster presentations and showcased at least 400 research presentations covering various studies conducted worldwide.

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