Philippine Department of Agriculture &

International Rice Research Institute

2016-2021 Collaboration

The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and its agencies have worked closely with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on several projects to help improve rice production in the country.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) under the Duterte Administration, DA and IRRI aimed to build on past successes and forge new collaborations in:

  • increasing the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers,

  • improving the quality of rice,

  • enhancing the sustainability of rice production systems,

  • strengthening rice value chains, and

  • developing the next generation of rice science leaders.

This legacy site features six (6) key projects that DA and IRRI have collaborated on in recent years:

  • Water-efficient and risk-mitigation technologies for enhancing rice production in irrigated and rainfed environments (WateRice)

  • Pest Risk Identification and Management (PRIME)

  • Rice Crop Manager Advisory Service (RCMAS)

  • NextGen

  • Heirloom Rice

  • Specialty Rice

The following DA agencies have been major catalysts in these efforts:

  • DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR)

  • DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)

  • DA-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI)

  • DA - Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE)

  • DA-Regional Field Offices (RFOs)

  • DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI)

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“We know that rice is a vital crop for millions of people around the world, especially in the Philippines. That’s why we are committed to helping smallholder farmers produce more rice and improve their livelihoods. Stronger ties between IRRI and DA can make even more progress in this important work."

William Dar, DA Secretary

DA's support has been invaluable to IRRI. Our hope is to continue working together to provide solutions to the world's most pressing food security challenges.

Romeo Recide, IRRI PH Representative



  • Developed information and communication technology (ICT)- and Internet of Things (IoT)-based tools for improving decision making on water and weed management

  • Recommended best practices for rainfed environments

  • Introduced mechanization for land leveling and planting to improve water-use efficiency

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  • Developed and implemented a national pest surveillance and early warning system

  • Mapped potential outbreak risks for brown planthopper, bacterial blight and blast

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Rice Crop Manager (RCM)

  • RCM provided farmers with a field-specific crop and nutrient management recommendation for their rice fields through a one-page printout and text messages to the farmer’s phone.

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  • Used recent advances in plant breeding, such as the use of molecular biology, stratified multi-environmental testing (MET), and improved computational power to make the country’s rice breeding program more efficient

  • Developed breeding lines that earned commendable advances in rice genetics over the past five years, offering us the opportunity to develop better and higher quality rice varieties for “mega” or to more “localized and specialized” environments.

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Heirloom rice

  • Worked with Cordillera farmers through research on heirloom rice

  • Enhanced the productivity and enriched the legacy of heirloom or traditional rice through empowered communities in unfavorable rice-based ecosystems

  • Conserved and increased productivity and value of Heirloom Rice in the Cordillera

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Specialty rice

  • Selected for quality and speciality traits through taste, flavor, texture, and identifies components in grain that determine sensory and cooking properties

  • Explored opportunities for empowering local farmers to increase local production in response to the increasing demand for specialty rice.

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Sustainable food systems for future Filipino generations

As local and global food systems face increasingly complex challenges, DA and IRRI's collaboration will be even more critical in ensuring that rice remains a stable and affordable food source for the Filipino people.

Moving forward, DA and IRRI will continue to explore ways to work together that will benefit rice farmers and consumers in the Philippines. Future initiatives will build on the work that has been done under the Duterte Administration, and will aim to:

  • improve the resilience of rice production systems to climate change,

  • enhance the quality and safety of rice products,

  • promote dietary diversity through increased production of value-added rice products, and

  • support the development of the next generation of rice scientists and leaders.

DA - IRRI2016 - 2021