The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has inked an agreement with multinational Bayer AG to develop and promote an efficient and sustainable rice-production method that would allow farmers to earn more.
Under the agreement, Bayer will be participating in the direct seeded rice consortium (DSRC), which is being led by the IRRI, and seeks to make direct seeded rice (DSR) accessible to farmers in a bid to make the production of the staple in Asia “economically and ecologically” sustainable.
“The DSR Consortium is developing a comprehensive, science-based, agronomic package adapted for direct seeded rice production in Asia, making direct seeded rice accessible and widely available to rice farmers, thereby enhancing the economic and ecological sustainability of rice production in Asia,” the IRRI said in a news statement issued on Monday.
Simon-Thorsten Wiebusch, country group head for Southeast Asia, Crop Science at Bayer, said their participation in the DSRC is a welcome development as it is aligned with the multinational’s initiative to support small-scale farmers.
“In line with our smallholder farming initiative, we are happy to join the DSRC, and contribute to the development and promotion of direct seeded rice production through various innovations, such as our SeedGrowth offering, mechanization and digital farming solutions, as well as linking up value-chain partners and service providers to the farmers who would have no access otherwise,” said Wiebusch, who also sits on the advisory board of the DSRC.
Remy Bitoun, head of IRRI Tech Transfer, said the institute’s partnership with Bayer would provide the DSRC more resources to develop an efficient and effective rice-production method for farmers.
“To improve food security and sustainability, all stakeholders—public and private—must work together and share their expertise. Our new public-private partnership, the DSR Consortium, will contribute to improved resource management that will benefit rice farmers and the environment,” he said.