Nepal and IRRI
Cooperation between the government of Nepal and IRRI began in 1985. This covers research on improvement of rainfed lowland and irrigated rice varieties, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, agronomy, and farming systems.
IRRI and Nepal share more than 50 years of productive collaboration. IRRI has contributed to the development of nearly 70% of 83 high yielding inbred rice varieties developed and released in Nepal until 2017. The IRRI Genebank also currently holds 3,000 rice accessions from Nepal.
In 1985, the partnership embarked on varietal improvement and involved education and training of Nepalese scientists and technology transfer. The country, through various projects with IRRI, was able to improve rice varieties and farmers’ yield and income. It has been actively taking part in the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) to improve farmer livelihoods since 2002; has become a key player in the Stress-tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) since 2007, and in the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) since 2009.
The IRRI-Nepal Country Office was established in Kathmandu in 2005, facilitating closer collaboration on different rice researches and rice-based system activities. IRRI has included Nepal in the Consortium of Rice Research in Asia, the Temperate Rice Research Consortium, and the Hybrid Rice Development Consortium in 2013.
Moreover, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh signed a protocol on cooperation in the evaluation data of rice varieties developed by IRRI and public sector organizations in 2014. The country also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IRRI to further improve varietal development through sharing of genetic resources and capacity building in 2017.