IRRI Director General’s visit in Burundi underlines the need to foster collaboration between IRRI and Burundi

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To strengthen the partnership between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Burundi, IRRI Director General Dr. Jean Balié visited the IRRI-Burundi office from December 10-11, 2022. The visit underscores IRRI’s active role in the development of the rice sector of the country, and of the Sub-Saharan African region.

During his visit, he met with the Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, the Director General of ISABU (Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi / Burundi Institute of Agricultural Sciences) , the Director General of SRDI (Société Régionale de Développement de l’Imbo / Imbo Regional Development Corporation) , and the Rector of the National University of Burundi.

IRRI DG Dr. Balié acknowledged the high level of collaboration between IRRI-Burundi and its partners, the recognition and trust partners are displaying for IRRI which is the basis of good success as he stated, “Success is not possible without partnership.”

The IRRI Director General was accompanied by Dr. Abdelbagi M. Ismail (Principal Scientist and IRRI – Africa Representative) and Dr. Ajay Panchbhai (Regional Breeding Lead – East and Southern Africa Seed Systems and Product Management Lead – Africa) during his stay.

The partnership of IRRI and the Burundi government goes way back in 2008, when a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed. The second MOU signed in 2013 resulted in the establishment of the IRRI-Burundi Office as a Regional Office and a breeding hub for East and Southern Africa. In 2018, a diplomatic status was granted to IRRI which was therefore registered as an International Organization governed by a Host Country Agreement with the Government of Burundi.

In the breeding section, forty (40) rice varieties have been released in…

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