November 24,Thimphu: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Banos, Philippines for collaboration in research and development and training in rice and rice based systems. The Hon’ble Agriculture Secretary, Dasho Rinzin Dorji and the Director General for IRRI, Dr. Matthew K. Morell signed the document on behalf of both parties.
As per the MoU, the high priority will be given to high yielding quality and stress tolerant varieties including traditional ones. It will promote mechanisation and post-harvest and crop and nutrient management technologies. The MoU will further help to develop staff’s capacity building and strengthen seed systems by expanding south Asian regional collaboration.
All the research materials used in the collaboration will be transferred using the material transfer agreement and results of the collaborative research will be published jointly.
The MoU will be valid for five years and will be implemented through a prioritised work plan developed jointly.
Both parties have a long history of fruitful partnership in rice research systems since 1984 when the Bhutan-IRRI project on rice was implemented. According to a spokesperson, the collaboration with IRRI have enabled Bhutan to enhance its national agricultural research capacity which will be continued with the MoU in place.
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