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International rice-sector experts offer insightful review of forthcoming book on global rice policies at IRC2023

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18 October 2023, Philippines: Policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders from across the globe attended the book launch session of Global Handbook of Rice Policies at the  6th International Rice Congress on 17 October.

The new book,  which expands on the coverage of the Handbook on Rice Policy for Asia published in 2013,  is set to launch in 2024. Like its predecessor, it is expected to revolutionize the understanding of global rice policies and offer crucial insights to researchers, trade analysts, and policymakers.

Valerien Pede, head of the Impact Evaluation, Policy and Foresighting Unit at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) highlighted the significance of Global Handbook of Rice Policies in understanding rice policies, and  trade dynamics as well as how this initiative was formed in collaboration with the University of Arkansas, University of Missouri, and Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice).

“This handbook is intended to be used in many ways for research, foresight, and policy engagement for every country where rice is grown or where rice is still very important,” said Dr. Pede.

Dr. Alvaro Durand-Morat (University of Arkansas), Dr. Mandiaye Diagne (AfricaRice), and Mr. Jeremy San Antonio and Dr. Harold Glenn Valera from IRRI presented an overview of Global Handbook of Rice Policies and the current status of rice markets, challenges, and policies in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, respectively.

Samarendu Mohanty, Asia regional director of the International Potato Center (CIP), and Ms. Shirley Mustafa, an economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Trade and Market Division in Rome, provided their critical insights on the handbook.

“Rice is a very politically sensitive commodity,” Dr. Mohanty said about the handbook’s potential value.“Everybody’s trying to achieve their self-sufficiency. This handbook can provide information which policies are effective and are not effective, so that they don’t go into that route.”

Other renowned authorities at the event who lent their expertise for fine-tuning the book before its release in print and online were Dr. Shenggen Fan, CGIAR Board System member, Dr. Cao Duc Phat, chair of the IRRI Board of Trustees (BOT), Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng, former chair of IRRI BOT, and Dr. Bruce Tolentino, member of the Monetary Board at the Central Bank of the Philippines.

Dr. Lawton Lanier Nalley from the University of Arkansas moderated the discussion.

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