Japan and IRRI kick off rice carbon neutrality project in the ASEAN region

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LOS BAÑOS, Philippines (24 June 2024) – The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and their partners gathered at IRRI Headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna on 24 June 2024 for the kick-off meeting of the “Development of Rice Cropping Systems Toward Carbon Neutrality and Food Security in ASEAN Countries” project.

Rice provides more than 20 percent of global caloric intake. While the crop has been crucial for food security, it is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with methane from rice fields accounting for about 11 percent of agricultural emissions globally. This five-year initiative, a key component of the ASEAN-CGIAR Innovate for Food Regional Program targets climate neutrality and circular agriculture by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in rice production. Starting in the Philippines and Vietnam, it aims to set the stage for sustainable agricultural practices across ASEAN countries.

Dr. Joanna Kane-Potaka emphasized the significance of the collaboration, “This project is a transformative milestone for agriculture in the ASEAN region. It signifies a concerted effort to integrate sustainability into rice farming, a critical step toward reducing the agricultural sector’s environmental impact. We are excited to further strengthen our partnership with MAFF and pioneer solutions that benefit the agriculture sector.”

“Japan is proud to be the first Asian country to contribute to this program, which aims to enhance the resilience of ASEAN agri-food systems against climate change while achieving food security. I believe in IRRI’s research, development, and communication capabilities in delivering and scaling low-carbon rice cropping systems successfully,” said Teruya Sakaida, MAFF Deputy Director General.

The project is set to initially focus on the Philippines and Vietnam, with potential expansion to other…

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