IRRI, USAID, and Bayer launch global DSR initiative “Scale Direct” for Asia and Africa smallholder farmers

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09 March 2023, India – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Bayer agreed to support and co-invest in a four-year project “Scale Direct” that aims to accelerate the global efforts of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on direct seeded rice (DSR) research and development for smallholder farmers in Asia and Africa. The Project got Launched through a ceremonial event hosted at IRRI South Asia Regional Centre, Varanasi on 9th March , 2023.

Underpinned by IRRI’s DSR research flagship, the project titled “ Improving the quality of life of smallholder rice farmers in Asia and Africa through introduction, on-farm testing and scaling of improved germplasm and climate smart agronomy ” and also named as “ScaleDirect” is a comprehensive integration of breeding specific varieties for DSR establishment methods, on-farm validations, DSR specific agronomic practices, and seed systems and enterprise development activities.

“Smallholder farmers are an integral part of the agriculture system and advancements in farming are key to their growth. We are elated to partner with USAID and IRRI to bring the latest innovation and Agri-focused technology to smallholders across the globe, building a better agriculture system and staying true to Bayer’s vision of ‘Science for better’ in agriculture,” said Simon-Thorsten Wiebusch, Country Divisional Head – Crop Science Division of Bayer for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka .

USAID General Development Officer, Dr. Jim Gaffney lauds the project for its alignment with the US government’s Feed the Future Initiative to end hunger. He also expressed his optimism for the returns this investment will bring given its strong backing from multiple national agriculture research systems (NARS) partners, among other collaborating sectors.

“USAID is pleased and excited to be a part of Scaling Direct Seeded Rice because it directly impacts many…

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