John R. Evans, noted plant physiologist at the Australian National University, in which he discussed improving the efficiency of photosynthesis in rice and other crops. Evans is the son of Lloyd T. Evans (1927-2015), renowned Australian plant physiologist, for whom IRRI’s new Australian-funded climate change research facility has been named. The symposium concluded with the dedication of the Lloyd T. Evans Plant Growth Facility, which is destined to become a critical location for climate change research. Other Australian presenters included Basford, University of Queensland; David Edwards, University of Western Australia, Saul Newman and Steve Swain, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; and Spencer Whitney, Murray Badger, and Florence Danila, Australian National University. Since 1960, IRRI has contributed groundbreaking research in rice science and innovative farm management systems to improve the global rice industry and those of many rice-producing countries. From an average yield of 2 t/ha in the 1960s, the figure increased to a hundredfold at the turn of the century. Now, some countries like India and China have achieved much higher yields of up to 10 t/ha. But now, more than ever, IRRI’s role in shaping rice research cannot be understated as greater challenges like input scarcity, land usage, labor availability, ecological degradation, and climate change confront the rice sector. In the years ahead, IRRI will secure new donors, build revenue streams for intellectual assets and services, and increase operating efficiency. IRRI’s rice science will continue to be relevant and anchored on solid ground. “We have great track record, great people, great ideas, and great projects,” Morell concluded. “IRRI remains essential, well-supported, and has a well-stocked pipeline. The Institute will continue to evolve, broaden its support base, thrive, and deliver.”
Rice Today is published by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on behalf of CGIAR’s Research Program on Rice. IRRI is the world’s leading international rice research and training center.
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