Centering around the theme: “Capitalizing on gains made: Towards enhanced nutrition, livelihood, and equity in unfavorable rice ecosystems,” the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) through the project, Reducing Risks and Raising Rice Livelihoods in Southeast Asia, held a workshop in Bangkok, Thailand on February 21-22.

Led by IRRI Regional Representative to Southeast Asia, David Johnson, and IRRI Theme Leader for Equitable Innovation, Ranjitha Puskur,  consortium partners from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam participated in the workshop’s plenary sessions, discussions and brainstorming activities to reflect on the outcomes and learning, major successes and gaps, distill implications for succeeding plans by building on key learning, and articulate a new vision for the future.

Participants represented either one or two of the four (4) work groups led by Yoichiro Kato for drought and submergence prone areas, Rakesh Kumar Singh for the saline prone areas, and Casiana Vera Cruz for the upland systems. The workshop was also attended by Fabrizio Bresciani, Regional Economist, Asia Pacific Region, of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the donor of CURE. The organizing committee from IRRI was composed of Ana Cope, Crisanta Bueno, Joyce Luis, and Ma. Angeles Quilloy.

To date, over a hundred stress-tolerant varieties have been developed and released through the consortium, wherein 43 are drought-tolerant, 22 are flood-tolerant, 37 are salinity-tolerant, and 19 are suitable in marginal upland areas. These stress-tolerant varieties were adopted by more than 10,000 farmers through the successful acceleration of scaled-up CURE technologies in various national programs in Southeast Asia.