The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and The Rice Trader (TRT) have now been successfully producing the magazine together for two years. The partnership is going strong and is leading us into new territory as it takes advantage of the vast reach of the Worldwide Web and opens up to more advertising opportunities to help support the magazine and share information about private-sector products and services.
To further help Rice Today grow, this year, we will appoint an Editorial Board that will represent the different rice-growing regions of the world and the various facets of rice research and development embodied in the new Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP). We look forward to having a more diverse mix of people to share with us new ideas and keep us updated with the latest rice science innovations and stories that make a difference to rice farmers and consumers worldwide.
In line with our efforts to strengthen Rice Today and support its growth, we have made some changes in the current editorial team’s structure. Duncan Macintosh, who had been the IRRI publisher of Rice Today since 2004, is concentrating his expertise on fund-raising and philanthropic investments for IRRI. Hence, I have now taken on the role of associate publisher to support Jeremy Zwinger—the publisher. We thank Duncan for his leadership with Rice Today and we look forward to his continued contributions in a different capacity. Mia Aureus (TRT) and Lanie Reyes (IRRI) continue in their editing roles, with Lanie now a full-time editor with extra responsibility to establish the Editorial Board, build our subscribers, and develop an e-Rice Today.
On that note, and with this issue, we are proud to launch the email version of Rice Today, extending our reach even further to more rice scientists, extension practitioners, farmers, traders, policymakers, and rice enthusiasts worldwide. You can sign up to get e-Rice Today now by emailing email@example.com.
As of this writing, the world is celebrating International Women’s Day (8 March 2011), a time to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of all women globally. In this issue, we have some stories that highlight the role of women in rice farming and rice science.
In the article The hand that rocks the thresher, Dr. Thelma Paris, IRRI’s socioeconomist and gender specialist, discusses the underappreciated role that women play in rice production and how we must pay special attention to supporting women in rice science and rice production.
We also have a feature on the women in Africa who, apart from their domestic chores, are taking on larger roles in rice farming as more men in the household leave for the big cities in search of greener pastures.
Furthermore, in the state of Tamil Nadu in India, mechanization is reducing the backbreaking labor for women farmers who do most of the rice transplanting task. Farmers are rapidly adopting drum seeders and are learning different weed management practices to accompany the new technology.
We also have a great cast of women (and men!) involved in Rice Today. I am looking forward to working with the entire Rice Today team to build on this great publication.
If you haven’t visited the Rice Today Web site recently, please do so. The current issue and all the back issues are available for free. The site is being upgraded and we hope to see continued improvements. We also need your feedback and ideas to help make it better.
Finally, the Rice Today staff sends best wishes to the people of Japan as they continue to face a most difficult time in the wake of the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and (as of this writing) contend with the threat of nuclear contamination. Japan is an important and highly valued partner in supporting and conducting rice research and our thoughts are with all our Japanese colleagues and friends at this time.