Rice is important to the people and the economy of Nepal, where agriculture employs around 80% of the population and contributes 37% to the country’s gross domestic product. Rice is grown on more than 1.5 million hectares, producing a total of about 5 million tons and an average yield of 3.3 tons per hectare in 2011-12.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) started working with Nepal in 1985. The first collaboration covered rice varietal improvement for rainfed lowland and irrigated fields, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, agronomy, and farming systems. It also involved education and training of Nepalese scientists and technology transfer.

The IRRI-Nepal partnership boasts of key achievements such as improved crop management and productivity, more rice information sources, better rice varieties, and capacity building.

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