Princess Maha Charkri Sirindhorn of Thailand opens IRRI's 50th Anniversary Exhibit





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Published on Nov 16, 2009

On 17 November 2009, IRRI embarked on its 50th anniversary celebrations to acknowledge how rice science has helped address food security, and to emphasize the ongoing need for rice science to address the challenges of poverty and climate change. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand formally launched IRRI's 50th anniversary at IRRIs headquarters in the Philippines, which will include 12 months of special activities to draw the worlds attention to rice—the crop that feeds half the world—and opportunities to achieve global food security.

The plight of over 1 billion people stricken with poverty, 70% of whom live in Asia and depend on rice as their staple food, is the driving force for our research, said IRRIs Director General Robert Zeigler.

We must find solutions to help increase rice yields and improve the sustainability of rice production because as rice yields increase the incidence of poverty decreases, he added.

In 50 years, IRRIs high-yielding rice varieties and other technologies, plus extensive training, have contributed to the doubling of average world rice yields. This has averted famine and prevented millions of hectares of natural ecosystems being converted to farmland.

See more about Thai-IRRI cooperation at


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