Product line 6.3. Effective systems for large-scale adoption of rice technologies in Southeast and East Asia
Demand is strong for new rice technologies from large numbers of farmers in Southeast and East Asia. This is reflected nationally, for example, in the Philippines with the government’s Rice Self-Sufficiency Program and provincially with the local government and IRRC investment in An Giang Province, Vietnam, which promotes good agricultural practices (GAP) for rice. Indonesia has a concerted government effort to achieve national self-sufficiency in rice. In Laos, IRRI provides support for NAFRI and is actively involved in technology development through support for delivery in the irrigated and rainfed rice ecosystems. Considerable unsatisfied demand remains, however, in Southeast and East Asia for support in the delivery of agronomic, postharvest, and processing innovations. Further, the resources, skills, and approaches required to provide such support are lacking. The development of the rice knowledge banks as a resource for extension and farmers is in its early stages, with a lack of strong links between the research scientists and communications or training personnel. The development of information resources, training materials, communication methods, and capacity development is required to facilitate the large-scale delivery of resources. To support the delivery of innovations, this product line will aim to develop the means to underpin and facilitate the large-scale dissemination of rice technologies in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand in accordance with national priorities.
A new team of extension agronomists and business development specialists will be formed to support the design and development of improved business models for large-scale roll-out of technologies, to build awareness, and to develop links to national and regional investments. This team will support the large-scale diffusion of new technologies and provide links for investments to enhance the dissemination of improved rice systems technologies. To develop awareness of current practices and innovations, an NGO summit will be held to strengthen NGO-IRRI partnerships. Linkages will be strengthened between RKBs and consensus developed among various scientists in the respective institutions. Country RKBs will be linked to a regional network that is, in turn, supported by the IRRC and CURE consortia. Innovative communication media (e.g., mobile technology for SSNM recommendations) will be developed to incorporate emerging technologies.
Activities to support delivery of technologies will include (1) the development of innovative diffusion pathways for AWD and SSNM in the Philippines; (2) development of training and extension materials, and technical backstopping for IRRC technologies in the curriculum for 70,000 farmer field schools on integrated crop management in Indonesia; (3) an IRRC Country Outreach Program (ICOP) on NRM of rice in Myanmar in three divisions; (4) delivery of “good agricultural practices” for rice (rice GAP) through ICOP in five provinces in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam; (5) linkages established with IFAD investment programs for out-scaling of CURE technologies for upland and drought-prone areas; (6) delivery of GAP for unfavorable areas; and (7) delivery of technologies for salinity and submergence-prone conditions in the Mekong Delta along with support for capacity in seed processing.
6.3.1 New models for seed multiplication and targeted delivery systems
6.3.2 New platforms for delivering agronomic, postharvest, and processing innovations
6.3.3 New models for jointly building extension capacity
Partnerships in Southeast Asia in research-extension are diverse. Consortia such as CURE and the IRRC have developed strong partnerships with more than 150 institutions. Examples of these partnerships in the public sector for specific countries include Indonesia (ICRR, ICATAD, Dinas Pertanian), Cambodia (three ministries associated with agriculture and water development), Laos (NAFRI, NAFREC), Myanmar (MAS), the Philippines (PhilRIce, DA, PCCARD, ITA, local government units), Thailand (Rice Department, a range of universities), and Vietnam (CLRRI, provincial DARDs, PPD, various academies of VAAS, universities). Private-sector and civil society partnerships are also many and include, for example, Syngenta, World Vision (Vietnam and Laos), CRS (Philippines), Kellogg, Myanmar Rice and Paddy Traders Association, GrainPro, and many private companies associated with the rice value chain (see theme 4). We will continue to build a platform for delivery on three pillars: adaptive research, which has active involvement of end-users (e.g., smallholder farmers, small and large millers), learning alliances, and effective partnerships with key actors in national, provincial, and local extension. Nationally, we actively work to establish effective communication with key policy advisors, and work closely with national extension partners to establish and test innovative pathways for the delivery and dissemination of technologies and processes for improving rice productivity. The establishment of learning alliances early in the development of projects has provided a highly effective pathway for the diffusion of NRM technologies. Effective environmental stewardship of rice agroecosystems for future generations is facilitated through partnerships with FAO, UNEP, local university partners, etc., and is exemplified by the project on agricultural engineering of lowland rice landscapes in Thailand and Vietnam, and our engagement with the SP-IPM program of the CGIAR. We will also work closely with national partners in fostering the development and implementation of “good agricultural practices for rice.”
The public sector has a dominant role in the dissemination of production technologies in Southeast and East Asia, though in postharvest options the private sector has a major role. In consequence, IRRI’s support to uptake and impact pathways will be differentiated according to pre- and postharvest production technologies. In common, however, activities will provide support to planning in national and regional programs (an example, RSSP-Philippines). In the Philippines and Vietnam, accredited extension agronomists will support grass-roots extension capacity in farmer intermediary institutions and organizations.
Large-scale dissemination will build on experience derived from the IRRC’s ICOP dissemination experience that provides linkages between adaptive research and extension. RKBs, along with innovative communication products, will support the capacity development of extension and resources for their training of farmers. To support innovative delivery mechanisms for NGOs, particularly for poorer farmers and women, and potentially for farmer associations to support emerging leadership, a limited grass-roots competitive fund will be established.
There will be strong linkages to product development under themes 1, 2, 3, and 4 and also with the IRRC and CURE. Impact pathway monitoring and evaluation will be linked with theme 5.
Financial support is currently provided through a number of research and development initiatives—SDC, ADB, ACIAR, and private-sector grants (IFA, IPNI, IPI, Kellogg) for supporting the IRRC; an IFAD grant for CURE; and Philippine government grants for the RSSP. Co-investments are being made through national and provincial extension and development efforts in all countries to which this product line contributes. IRRI has been approached concerning larger-scale investment opportunities with the World Bank for Vietnam, AusAID for Cambodia, and USAID for Cambodia. The IRRI expert technical group will actively seek such links as a subcontractor for the rice component of larger projects. Project funds will be sought to develop the partnerships, and innovative communication and extension approaches required to support large-scale delivery. New funding is required to build up a strong, professional extension support team at IRRI to link science with development efforts on the ground. Further support is required to support the development of communication approaches and information systems.