Myanmar: IRRI inaugurates second office in Yezin

 Alaric Santiaguel   |  
Front row, from left: DAR Director General U Ye Tint Tun, Agriculture and Irrigation Minister U Myint Hlaing,
and IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler.

Myanmar Agriculture and Irrigation Minister U Myint Hlaing inaugurated a second office of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), bolstering further the cooperation between Myanmar and IRRI. The new office is located at the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) compound in Yezin.

Since 1965, IRRI has been involved with Myanmar researchers, extension personnel, and farmers in introducing rice breeding material, hybrid rice technology, and locally adaptable designs for rice transplanters and threshers. The rice variety IR8 was introduced in Myanmar in 1967. The Myanmar government has recognized IRRI’s contribution in the development of the country’s agriculture sector.

In his message, Minister Hlaing said that “DAR and IRRI needs to cooperate very closely” to pave the way for a food-secure Myanmar.

The IRRI-DAR office was inaugurated on 20 May with IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler and DAR Director General Ye Tint Tun.  Dr. Zeigler expressed his gratitude to Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI) and DAR for their continuous collaboration with the Institute.

Another IRRI-Myanmar office, in Yangon, opened in 2013. For the past 2 years, the IRRI-DAR office has been a base for IRRI researchers working on the development of rice varieties suited for rainfed-lowland environments. IRRI scientists, Drs. RK Singh and Bert Collard, are the lead scientists in managing IRRI research at this office.

The inauguration took place right after the launch of the Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy (MRSDS). The MOAI started to develop the MRSDS in 2013, with the support of IRRI, to boost its rice production through a carefully planned strategy that engages donor agencies and builds rice science capacity.