By Paul N. Fox
Senior Scientist II
IRRI Representative for Bangladesh
21 May 2015
Through a convergence of donor priorities for Bangladesh, IRRI will be involved in a radical restructuring of the rice breeding methodology for both the public and private sector. This goal is both donor-driven and congruent with IRRI's mandate. The activities that will be involved also mesh with my previous track record in public and private breeding.
In the future, the revitalization of plant breeding—with emphasis beyond major genes—could become a cutting-edge opportunity for IRRI in Asia, if mature and well-supported breeding software can underpin targeted breeding transformations.
IRRI Bangladesh will also migrate from basic agronomic extension—and related research into development processes— towards targeting the rice value chain, with emphasis on the milling industry and harnessing other private sector initiatives for the benefit of rural farming communities. Farmers will increasingly respond to the demands of emerging markets. I will discuss the application of some R&D lessons learned with maize in Indonesia to rice-based systems in Bangladesh and how we can stimulate food processing and packaging operations nearer to the sources of production.