Press Release

Myanmar collaboration aims to enhance rice and fish production

12 October 2017

WorldFish and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will join forces with Myanmar Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation to improve the productivity, profitability and development outcomes of rice-fish systems in Myanmar.

The ACIAR funded project, Development of rice fish systems in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar, brings the skills and knowledge of rice and fish scientists together to adopt a more integrated approach to improving the benefits for farmers and fishers from the rice fish system as a whole.

Rice-fish systems are diverse, spanning capture fisheries and aquaculture, with fish and rice growing concurrently in rice fields and canals or, alternatively, fish raised between rice crops. The systems are common in many South and Southeast Asian countries as well as in some areas of Africa.

WorldFish has developed several approaches to increasing fish production and productivity in rice-fish systems. In northwest Bangladesh, culturing carp species and mola in homestead ponds connected to rice fields led to a 3.5-fold increase in total fish production compared to stand-alone ponds, as well as a higher nutritional quality of the production. In Cambodia, improved governance and management of community fish refuges have led to increased fish production and fish species diversity in the surrounding flooded rice fields, resulting in increased fish consumption in the communities.

Michael Phillips, Director of Science and Aquaculture, WorldFish and Program Director FISH: “This new strategic alliance, cemented today with the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) will aim to align management of rice and fish systems, which in Myanmar, have been previously been managed independently. The work will play an important role in developing global learning on rice-fish systems under the CGIAR Research Programs of FISH and RICE.”

“This joint research initiative will support the Ministry’s goals by providing an evidence-base for informed decision-making and policy development and building local farming and scientific capacity.” said Grant Singleton, IRRI Principal Scientist and Program Leader of the ACIAR-funded MYRice project. “Further, it is a demonstration of IRRI’s commitment to deliver tailor-made, efficient solutions that address the specific needs of the partners and countries we work with.”

Since 1965, IRRI has been working with the Myanmar government to improve the country’s rice sector by developing modern rice varieties and best rice production practices. Recent surveys of IRRI’s MYRice farmer beneficiaries have shown an increase of 20% in yield and 30% in income.

IRRI has on-going initiatives in the major rice-producing areas in Myanmar: providing small farmers with better access to rice varieties that can cope with the effects of climate change; building the capacity of farmers and agricultural researchers and extension staff to become sustainable, self-sufficient and resilient; and, enhancing grain quality and farm productivity.

Mostly focused on the Ayeyarwady delta, the rice-fish project will benefit small-scale rice farming households, and fishers, through diversification of production, enhanced resilience and delivering increased farmer incomes, improved food and nutrition security and enhanced gender equity.

WorldFish photography from Myanmar.

For more information or to request an interview contact:

Toby Johnson, Head of Communications
Mobile Tel: +60 (0) 175 124 606
Email: t.johnson@cgiar.org
Web: worldfishcenter.org
Photography: flickr.com/photos/theworldfishcenter/

About WorldFish

WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

About FISH

Pursuing a research agenda through a network of multistakeholder partners, The CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agrifood Systems (FISH) enhances the contributions of fisheries and aquaculture to reducing poverty and improving food security and nutrition. FISH brings together a unique set of multi-stakeholder partnerships to harness emerging science in aquaculture and fisheries to deliver development outcomes at scale. FISH is led by WorldFish, together with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, Australia; the International Water Management Institute; Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich (NRI), England and Wageningen University, Netherlands. In regional contexts, the program partners closely with governments, NGOs, the private sector and research organizations to influence national, regional and global policy and development practice.

About the International Rice Research Institute

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. IRRI is an independent, nonprofit, research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations with support from the Philippine government. The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa, and over 1,000 staff.

Working with in-country partners, IRRI develops advanced rice varieties that yield more grain and better withstand pests and disease as well as flooding, drought, and other harmful effects of climate change.

About RICE

The CGIAR Research Program on Rice (RICE) is a forward-looking, holistic, global partnership that focuses on the win-win proposition of the social, economic, and environmental sustainability aspects of rice. RICE fosters impact-driven rice research and development to reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, promote gender equity, and enhance ecosystem resilience in rice production systems. It harnesses 600 research and development partners from both the public and private sector to deliver measurable impacts on the overall goals of CGIAR.

About CGIAR

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partners.

Related sustainable development goals: