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ASEAN endorses major initiatives to boost regional rice production

Singapore -- Rice production in Southeast Asia arguably the regions most important industry has received a major boost with the endorsement of three new strategies by the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry of the ten-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Implemented and coordinated by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the new measures are aimed at three major challenges facing rice production in ASEAN:

  1. The environment. ASEAN has endorsed the development of a series of environmental indicators for rice production in the region focused on production, biodiversity, pollution, land degradation, and water.
  2. Getting the latest knowledge and information to rice farmers. ASEAN has endorsed the further development of the Rice Knowledge Bank (RKB) for rice farmers (www.knowledgebank.irri.org/), Asias first digital extension service in agriculture. The RKB is a repository of rice information contributing to the development of localized and integrated Web sites with credible, reliable, and demand-driven information for rice farmers.
  3. Developing the next generation of rice farmers and scientists. Few young people in Asia today are interested in rice production, despite its obvious importance to the region, so ASEAN has endorsed the development of rice camps for young Asians to encourage them to consider a career in rice.

The decision to endorse the three new activities was made at the 28th meeting of the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) in Singapore on 16 November 2006. In a joint press statement issued at the end of the annual meeting, the AMAF endorsed:

The further development of a series of environmental indicators for ASEAN rice production as presented as a joint activity with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The ministers also endorsed the continued development of a digital R
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Contact: Duncan Macintosh
d.macintosh@cgiar.org
632-580-5673
International Rice Research Institute
28-Nov-2006


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