Global donor agencies share investment approaches and priorities for developing rice systems in Asia and Africa

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MANILA, Philippines (16 October 2023) — International donor organizations presented their priorities and approaches for investing in rice systems in Asia and advancing rice production in Africa at the recent 6th International Rice Congress. These include nutrition, water management, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, sustainable agricultural practices, and capacity building.

Food Security and health are two of the priorities of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to Ryan Washburn, USAID mission director for the Philippines and Mongolia.

“Golden Rice is an example of a key investment for us,” said Mr. WashBurn. “USAID has a partnership worth USD 1.5 million with IRRI to advance the development and adoption of this nutritious rice variety in the Philippines and Indonesia.”

Other priorities of USAID connected to rice systems and agriculture in the region include climate-change mitigation, market system development, and economic opportunities for women.

Ijsbrand de Jong, lead water resource management specialist for the World Bank, highlighted their investments in rice value chain financing, reducing methane emissions of rice systems, and advancing water management and irrigation services in Asia.

“Many Asian cities are freshwater-insecure,” said Mr. de Jong. “Greater productivity and efficiency of water resources can reduce competition and pressure between urbanization and agriculture.”

He emphasized that this required close engagement with the public and private sector as well as funding for infrastructure and innovation.

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) invests in various initiatives, such as greenhouse gas mitigation and sustainable intensification and diversification.

“Flying in outside experts is not a sustainable solution, not to mention it contributes to carbon emissions,” said James Quilty, ACIAR chief scientist and research program manager for soil and land management.

Strengthening partnerships and institutional capacity are key to fruitful…

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