Around the world, value chains and food systems are being transformed at a rapid pace. As countries continue to grapple with this reality along with the realities of climate change, pandemics, and increasing poverty and hunger, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) stands ready to ensure the sustainability of the global rice sector, which provides food for half the world’s people.
For 60 years, IRRI’s work on rice has played a pivotal role in increasing agricultural productivity and providing technological and innovative solutions for governments and farmers across Asia and Eastern and Southern Africa and it continues to work with AfricaRice to adapt solutions across African landscapes. As a decentralized international organization, IRRI is able to rapidly move ideas, technology, and people across the globe to accelerate innovation, development, and adoption.
Transforming the world’s rice-based agri-food systems and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are no small challenges. In these crucial times, IRRI is focused on bolstering the resilience of the global rice sector against economic shocks while attempting to help meet the deadlines for many SDG indicators and targets. IRRI is committed to working across its 17 offices and with its trusted network of partners to ensure that in the race for impact, no one gets left behind.
Director General's Message
This year, I was anticipating reporting to you about the positive year we’ve had at IRRI in 2019. However, as I sit down to write this, 2020 has delivered us a global pandemic that threatens to permanently alter the most fundamental aspects of our lives–not least of all for the rice-based farmers and consumers that we serve.
Our partner governments are facing incredible challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the world food supply chains have been interrupted and individuals and families face pressing hardship. At IRRI, we have a moral obligation to help our partner governments find the best way forward towards a smooth supply chain, consistent pricing, and adequate support for farmers. We are actively engaging with our partners' needs and stand ready to help further as needs become clearer.
Create and support a network of catalytic agents to drive wide-spread adoption of high-level innovations and technologies
IRRI provides optimal solutions for changing consumer preferences and nutritional requirements, climate resilience, resource scarcity, and other issues that impact those who depend on rice for food and livelihood. In 2019, IRRI launched multi-stakeholder initiatives around nutritious and climate-resilient rice varieties, sustainable farming practices, and resource-efficient cultivation and mechanization that provide further pathways for improved agri-food systems across Asia and Africa.
Awards and Accolades
Statement by the Chair of the IRRI Board of Trustees for the year ended 31 December 2019
2019 was a significant year with regards to the advancement of IRRI’s mandate of creating impact. The institute continues to pursue and strengthen relationships with governments and private sector partners around the world, taking the lead in strategic initiatives and supporting transformative innovations in both policy and technology. Research remains a core strength, as numerous projects in IRRI Headquarters, the South Asia Regional Centre in India, and the regions gain momentum and deliver key outputs. While the global financial situation continues to be challenging, enhanced management of resources and fiscal responsibility have led to the institute’s first net surplus in six years.
IRRI continues to be the lead center for the CGIAR Research Program on Rice (RICE CRP), joined by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and over 600 other partners across the globe. RICE CRP aims to address nine of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDCs) and 26 of their 169 targets. The RICE CRP has been approved for operation through 2021.
Despite continued budget cuts in the CGIAR Fund in 2019, IRRI’s financial position remains stable, with total assets of USD 73.664 million compared with USD 83.829 million in 2018. The decrease of USD 10.165 million was balanced by a corresponding decrease in total liabilities and net assets. The liquidity and long-term stability indicators remained above CGIAR benchmarks. After six (6) consecutive years of losses, IRRI reported a net surplus of USD 1.187 million in 2019.
In 2019, IRRI’s grant portfolio was USD 63.791 million, which included USD 4.063 million of RICE CRP Windows 1 and 2 funds for the flagship expenses of our CGIAR partners, AfricaRice and CIAT.
In 2018, the Institute's financial statements became fully compliant to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and are now aligned with international quality standards for financial reporting that are recognized inter alia by donors, the banking industry, partners, and potential collaborators. Further, compliance to this standard allows for comparability with other organizations and enhances the annual audit report.