News and events

The latest on IRRI-Nepal's initiatives, research, and events.


Nepal: IRRI signs 5-year rice research and development work plan with NARC

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC signed a 5-year work (2014-2019) plan to strengthen the country’s rice research and development program on 21 October in Kathmandu.


NARC-IRRI work plan 2014-2019 document was signed by Dil Bahadur Gurung, NARC executive director, and Matthew Morell, IRRI deputy director general-research, signed the plan in the presence of Bhartendu Mishra, Honorable Member in-charge for Agriculture, Science, and Labor in National Planning Commission.

Dr. Mishra, the chief guest of the function stressed the need for increased collaboration with IRRI because rice is the most important crop of Nepal. He acknowledged the role of IRRI in providing rice technologies and capacity building of research facilities, scientists and extension officers of Nepal.  Dr. Mishra said he will work with the Government of Nepal to make more resources available for rice research and development.

He also praised the contribution of scientists working on rice with very limited resources and advised them to continue to work on 14 collaborative projects identified and included in the current work plan. Dr. Mishra encouraged them to develop farmer-friendly rice technologies for easy adoption to enhance the productivity of rice in Nepal from the present levels of 3.2 tons per hectare.  He acknowledged that several climate resilient varieties have been developed jointly with IRRI by NARC scientists and these need to be made available to the farming communities by adopting faster dissemination methods.

Dr. Gurung expressed his gratitude for all the help IRRI has been providing Nepal in developing new rice varieties and technologies, and training for its scientists for over four decades. He said that the five year work plan is a very important and significant step that will further strengthen the ongoing collaborative rice research between Nepal and IRRI. He expressed full confidence that Nepal’s science community will make full use of IRRI’s global experience in addressing and overcoming local problems and impediments that hinder rice productivity. He also urged IRRI’s help in improving Nepal’s biotechnology and pathology facilities and hybrid rice development.

Dr. Gurung also acknowledge the guidance and leadership JK Ladha, IRRI representative for India and Nepal, has been providing to Nepal’s agricultural scientists during the past two decades through RWC, CSISA projects, and training of a new generation of rice scientists in the country.

Dr. Morell mentioned that, though IRRI HQ is located in the Philippines, the work it is doing is nothing but the sum of all the work carried out the collaborators across the rice growing world. He emphasized the Institute’s intent to work together and establish stronger partnership with national programs. He informed the gathering that the present work plan is just the start of building a systematic engagement in Nepal.

Dr. Ladha presented the Rice Research Strategy for Nepal, a document prepared by IRRI in collaboration with NARC, where the overall goal of the rice program is to increase rice yields by at least 3% per annum for the next two and a half decades. He highlighted the challenges rice cultivation facing and also provided a list of priority research portfolio for rice research and development.

Also present at the event were principle rice collaborators, directors and division heads of NARC. Dr. Bhaba Tripathi, senior associate scientist, IRRI Nepal Office facilitated proceedings. A detailed presentation of the 14 projects included in NARC-IRRI work plan was prepared by Mr. N. K. Yadav, rice coordinator and Mr. Ram Baran Yadav, NARC senior scientist.

IRRI and NARC launches the IRRI Nepal web site

Coinciding with the 5-year NARC-IRRI work plan signing, the two agencies launched the IRRI Nepal website on 21 October in Kathmandu. The website, designed developed by IRRI HQ and India IT teams,   contains information on IRRI collaborative work in Nepal and information on Nepal nationals who worked or are working in IRRI, Nepal scientists trained by IRRI, updates and IRRI events in Nepal. The web site was formally launched by Dr. Dil B. Gurung, NARC executive director, and Dr. Matthew Morell, IRRI deputy director general-research before NARES representatives and local media.

JK Ladha, IRRI representative for India and Nepal, demonstrated and navigated through the live website and explained contents and importance having the information accessible to the public. Dr. Ladha appealed to national partners to help make the web site a repository of knowledge on rice research in the country by contributing information from time to time. Read more





Workshop on “Regional Cooperation on Seed Issues”,  Jointly organized by the Ministry of Agricultural Development, Government of Nepal and the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines was held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 18 October 2014. Around forty five delegates from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, IRRI and International organization
​s​
 in Nepal participated in the workshop.

High level meeting on “Enhancing rice productivity in stress prone areas of Nepal”

posted Oct 7, 2014, 7:03 PM by Isabella Mari Jhocson ‎(IRRI)‎

A high level meeting on “Enhancing rice productivity in stress prone areas of Nepal” was jointly organized by Seed Quality Control Centre (SQCC)/Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD), Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in NARC on 27March 2014. The objective of the meeting was to develop strategies for the promotion of new climate resilient rice varieties in drought and submergence areas of Nepal.

Dr. Tek B. Gurung, Officiating Executive Director (ED), NARC chaired the session. A total of 55 high level government officials representing MoAD, SQCC, Department of Agriculture (DoA), NARC, and donars such as International Finance Cooperation (IFC), Agriculture Food Security Project (AFSP) funded by World Bank, Farmers’ SEED project funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), High Value Agriculture Project of IFAD, as well as National Seed Company (NSC), Seed Entrepreneur Association of Nepal (SEAN), private seed companies/cooperatives and Journalists were present in the meeting. Dr. Uma S. Singh and Dr. Bhaba P. Tripathi represented IRRI in the meeting. 

Director, Crops and Horticulture Research, NARC, Dr. Yagya P. Giri welcomed the Guests and participants and delivered the objectives of the Meeting. Dr. Uma S. Singh delivered STRASA-An example of successful technology dissemination in stress prone areas of South Asia. Two papers, mainly focusing on seed and inputs subsidies and seed policy were presented by two high level officials of MoAD. The system of dissemination of rice varieties followed by DoA in Nepal was presented by Department of Agriculture. The scenario of seed production and distribution by NSC was delivered by Managing Director, Mr.Nanu Jha. Two Senior Rice Breeders from National Rice Research Programme (NRRP), NARC provided the characteristics of stress tolerance rice varieties particularly drought and submergence and their available seeds for the coming rice growing season. Development of seed-net for disseminating stress tolerant rice varieties was presented by Dr. Devendra Gauchan, Chief, Socio-economic Division, NARC. Senior Rice Scientist, Bhola M.S. Basnet highlighted on the role of IRRI and NARC in developing rice technologies and contribution of rice in national economy. Private Seed company/Seed Producers’ Groups raised the issues that they have been producing the seed of stress tolerant rice varieties and government should make necessary arrangements for seed quality control and marketing of seed. 

Speaking from the chair of Chief Guest, Mr. Jaya Mukunda Khanal, and Secretary of MoAD emphasized that different rice technologies are available for different rice environments of Nepal and advised Department of Agriculture and Regional Directors from different regions to extend these rice technologies in the farmers’ fields, which will enhance the food security of the country. He also indicated that government of Nepal have been providing subsidies for seeds and fertilizers and will give priority for the newly released rice varieties in future. He appreciated the IRRI’s contribution in Nepal for many years. 

In the closing remark, Dr. Tek Gurung, Chairperson of the meeting highlighted that such meetings will help to disseminate climate resilient rice varieties and technologies in the farmers’ fields. He also emphasized that agriculture research and extension of Nepal should work together to show impacts of the technologies in the farmers’ fields. At the end, Dr. Bhaba P. Tripathi, IRRI-Nepal Office provided vote of thanks to distinguished guests and participants.

Seed-net Meeting in Bhairahawa, Nepal

posted Oct 7, 2014, 6:59 PM by Isabella Mari Jhocson ‎(IRRI)‎

A seed-net meeting was organized in National Wheat Research Programme (NWRP) of Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Bhiarahawa,Nepal on 20 April 2014. A total of 26 participants representing different private seed companies and farmers’ seed producers’ groups, National Seed Company (NSC) and NARC research centers of the government took part in the meeting. Dr. Bhaba P. Tripathi, IRRI-Nepal welcomed and highlighted the objectives of the meeting particularly on creating awareness about stress tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) in the target areas through the dealers’ net-work, organizing seed plots for demonstration of STRVs in the stress prone areas through the selection of lead farmers by the seed dealers, promoting STRVs in their marketplaces to enhance the sustainable production and delivery, and providing feedback from the farmers on the performance and seed demand. 

Dr. Manzoor Dar, IRRI-India provided the details of the rationale of the meeting as well as delivered the success stories of minikits and demonstrations in the farmers’ field in India and Bangladesh, which showed good impact of disseminating new STRVs in larger areas in a shorter period of time. He also mentioned that similar type of impact is expected in Nepal when all the stake holders involved in seed business run the minikits and demonstrations in farmers’ through their dealers’ net-work. Ram B.Yadaw, Senior Rice Breeder, National Rice Research Programme (NRRP) of NARC presented the key characteristics of released rice STRVs particularly Sukha Dhan 1, Sukha Dhan 2, Sukha Dhan 3, Sukha Dhan 4,Sukha Dhan 5 and Sukha Dhan 6 and their seed availability in Nepal. Mr. Yadaw presented the mechanism of monitoring and data collection from demonstrations. He asked the participating seed companies and farmers’ seed producers’ groups to collect breeder seeds of the above rice varieties from NRRP Hardinath and other research centres of NARC to grow in the coming rice season so that they can have sufficient foundation seed to grow in the following season. 

Dr. Devendra Gauchan, Socio-economics Divion of NARC delivered the structure of seed-net in Nepal and its use for upscaling STRVs. He also highlighted on the importance, challenges and opportunities of seed-net in Nepal. Then feed back from the participants were collected during question-answer session. The allocation of minikits to different seed companies and farmers’ groups as well as planning for monitoring and evaluation system were discussed. The number of minikits for demonstrations in the coming season by all the seed companies, seed producers’ groups and NARC research centers were finalized according to their capacity. 

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