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IRRI, DOST-PCAARRD aim to renew partnerships for rice research

IRRI, DOST-PCAARRD aim to renew partnerships for rice research

In a dynamic exchange of ideas and collaboration, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) embarked on a courtesy visit to the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) on February 26, 2024.

Back row, from left to right: PCAARRD-Crops Research Division (CRD )Industry Strategic Science & Technology Program (ISP) Manager for Rice Alvin Quiel Sabanal; CRD Director Leilani Pelegrina;PCAARRD Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development Juanito T. Batalon; Science Research Fellow Ramil Mauleon; Platform Leader Jon Hellin;  and Science Research Specialist II of the Socio-Economics Research Division (SERD) Pollianne Tiamson.

Front row; left to right: Dr. Lilian Bondoc, Director of the Policy Coordination and Monitoring Division (PCMD) Director Lilian G. Bondoc; Senior Specialist for Portfolio Development Jamaica Angelica Deriquito-Dela Cruz;Deputy Director General for Strategy, Engagement, and Impact Joanne Kane Potaka; PCAARRD Executive Director Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora; and SERD’s Science Research Specialist II Monica Castiullo. (Image credit: Paul Czesar Katimbang, ACD, DOST-PCAARRD)

Led by IRRI’s Director General for Strategy, Engagement, and Impact Joanna Kane-Potaka, the delegation delved into vibrant discussions aimed at fostering partnerships, particularly on rice genomics—a frontier with vast potential for innovation and impact.

The visit catalyzed reinvigorating the partnership, with the intent to renew the lapsed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOST and IRRI initially signed on March 26, 2018. This strategic move underscores IRRI’s steadfast commitment to nurturing alliances and supporting groundbreaking research initiatives in rice.

Dr. Kane-Potaka, alongside key members of the IRRI team –  Strategic Partnerships Senior Manager Melinda Limlengco, Science Research Fellow Ramil Mauleon, Platform Leader for Sustainable Impact through Rice-based Systems Jon Hellin, and Senior Specialist for Portfolio Development Jamaica Angelica Deriquito-Dela Cruz expressed their eagerness to leverage collective expertise and resources to benefit the agricultural sector.

DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora extended a gracious welcome, setting the tone for an enriching exchange of ideas and perspectives. Dr. Kane-Potaka elucidated the purpose behind IRRI's visit, emphasizing the potential synergy in addressing shared research priorities.

DOST-PCAARRD’s Deputy Executive for Research and Development Juanito T. Batalon shared DOST-PCAARRD's ongoing initiatives and programs, paving the way for fruitful dialogues on collaborative endeavors. As discussions unfolded, Dr. Kane-Potaka articulated IRRI's interest in collaborative efforts focused on training and education, highlighting the significance of capacity-building initiatives in nurturing sustainable agricultural practices.

Dr. Joanna Kane-Potaka and Dr. Reynaldo Ebora during the courtesy visit. (Image credit: Paul Czesar Katimbang, ACD, DOST-PCAARRD)

Ms. Jamaica Angelica Deriquito-Dela Cruz identified an opportunity for joint research endeavors on low glycemic index rice, where IRRI has made substantial investments. Dr. Ebora, cognizant of the potential collaborations, emphasized the imperative of formalizing collaborations through the renewal of the MOU. This was a sentiment resonated by Ms. Melinda Limlengco that provided insights into IRRI's ongoing consultations with DOST and its Councils, reaffirming the unwavering commitment to streamlining the renewal process.

Among the meeting participants were Crops Research Division Director Leilani D. Pelegrina, Mr. Alvin Quiel Sabanal, Ms. Monica Castillo, Ms. Polianne Tiamson, and representatives from the PCMD Secretariat.

As the courtesy visit concluded, IRRI underscored its fervent dedication to the renewal process of the MOU, a testament to the enduring alliance poised to initiate significant transformative strides in the rice sector toward sustainability and prosperity.