22 June 2023, Philippines: The Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust) visited the International Rice Genebank, hosted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), to review the Long-Term Partnership Agreement (LPA) as the current 5-year cycle concludes.
The review process, which occurred from 5-9 June, 2023, involved a comprehensive review of the International Rice Genebank’s operations, performance targets, and reported data to ensure compliance with the standards set by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). During the first day of the review process, the review panel provided an overview of the procedure, while on the final day, they presented their recommendations to the Genebank Manager, Venuprasad Ramaiah, and the Genebank staff, including the Executive Management Team of IRRI. The panel of reviewers consisted of external experts Paula Bramel, an independent consultant, and Sally Norton from the Australian Grains Genebank. Facilitating the review process on behalf of the Crop Trust were Sarada Krishnan and Nelissa Jamora.
The diligent efforts of the Fit-for-Future Genetic Resources (FFGR) staff in preparing for the week-long review process bore fruit, as the reviewers provided positive comments and reassured the genebank that the LPA would continue. This review is one of the crucial steps for the renewal of this partnership agreement, which will ensure the continuity of vital support for the Genebank’s operations for the preservation of rice genetic resources and their continuous use, which are essential for future research and crop improvement initiatives.
The initial signing of the LPA took place during the International Rice Congress in Singapore in 2018. This fund, provided by the Crop Trust Endowment Fund, supports the vital operations of the Genebank and its staff in the FFGR Unit of the Rice Breeding Innovations Department.
Notably, IRRI is the first CGIAR center to receive the LPA. The International Rice Genebank plays a crucial role in conserving and sharing genetic diversity in rice, a staple food for millions of people worldwide. By renewing the LPA, it will reaffirm IRRI’s commitment to securing the world’s crop diversity and strengthening global food security.
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