INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (IRRI) DG, DR. JEAN BALIE’ VISITS MIAD CENTRE
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Director General (DG) Dr. Jean Balie’ visited Mwea Irrigation Agricultural Development (MIAD) Centre on 26th June, 2022. He was accompanied by IRRI Africa representative, Dr. Abdelbagi Ismail, IRRI Kenya and Tanzania representative, Dr. Rosemary Murori, among other IRRI officials. He was received by the National Irrigation Authority’s Deputy General Manager, Research, Planning and Strategy Eng. Vincent Kabuti, OGW and other senior officers from the Authority, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) – Industrial Crops Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture Rice Promotion Unit and Capacity Development Project for Enhancement of Rice Production in Irrigation Schemes in Kenya (CaDPERP) project. The DG visit was a courtesy call to forge collaboration with NIA in the enhancement and improvement of rice production in the country.
The DG acknowledged the long history of collaboration between NIA and IRRI, which dates back to 1970, and the important role NIA plays in ensuring sustainable rice production in the country. NIA, therefore, is a key strategic partner for enabling IRRI achieve its mandate of promoting rice production in Kenya. The importance of adopting sustainable irrigation water use in rice systems to mitigate the effects of climate change was emphasized. IRRI is keen on initiating and strengthening collaborations and partnerships with key actors in the rice sector to ensure the development of innovative solutions to the multiple challenges facing the sector.
In line with this, the teams agreed to forge collaboration to develop joint programmes in the areas of acquisition of new rice varieties for NIA schemes/projects, capacity building of its staff and farmers, strengthening of rice production water systems, enhancing of competitiveness of Kenyan rice to be commensurate with global rice markets, promotion of climate-smart rice production technologies, policy intervention to create an enabling environment for technology adoption and fundraising for expansion of rice production in the country.