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IRC2010: IRRI director general welcomes participants at 3rd International Rice Congress

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Uploaded on Nov 9, 2010

Robert Zeigler, director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI; http://irri.org ), gives his welcoming remarks during the opening ceremonies of the 3rd International Rice Congress, held 8-12 November.

"It's particularly appropriate that Vietnam has generously agreed to host IRC2010," said Dr. Zeigler, who is also the executive chairman of the IRC2010 Steering Committee. "Vietnam's adoption and adaptation of rice technologies have helped it become a major rice exporter and the country is an example of how rice science can benefit a nation and its people."

More than 1,700 top rice scientists, researchers, policymakers, and industry representatives from 66 countries around the world are gathering in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi for the 3rd International Rice Congress (IRC2010) on November 9-12.

Opened by Vietnamese Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, IRC2010 comes at a key time for an international rice industry grappling with a host of challenges, including pressure on prices and production; threats from climate change and a lack of water, and an urgent need to make rice farming more profitable for the millions of poor farmers who play a crucial role in feeding the billions who depend on the vital grain.

During the Opening Ceremony, Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung presented IRRI with a prestigious Friendship Medal, one of the highest honors Vietnam bestows on an international organization. In addition, 9 IRRI scientists were presented with Merit Medals "For the cause of science and technology development of Vietnam" and another 6 received Merit Medals "For the cause of agriculture and rural development of Vietnam".

Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung also welcomed and congratulated the IRC2010 for choosing the theme Rice for Future Generations for: "focusing on practical solutions and policies for the problems we are facing. Of particular importance are scientific and technological advances to help global rice production overcome the challenges it faces, and help poor farmers and rice consumers improve their livelihoods."

IRC2010 marks the 50th anniversary of IRRI, which was founded in the Philippines in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. IRRI is widely recognized for pioneering the application of modern science to rice production in Asia, thus helping to increase rice production and aid the region's development, which helped lay the foundation for its subsequent economic growth.

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