Farmer Learning and International Research Centres: Lessons from IRRI

"The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is one of 16 centres in the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). IRRI’s broad mandate is to conduct research and training to improve the lives of rice producers and consumers, particularly those with low incomes. This is a huge task and means that whilst IRRI creates products, typically in the form of either knowledge (eg. improved pest management or fertiliser application methods) or physical technology(new varieties or machinery), it is the role of extension workers from other organisations to promote and disseminate the product to the farmers. However, some recent innovations by IRRI researchers have involved 'decision aids' as a means for farmers to adopt and adapt technologies on a much wider scale than can be achieved through focused research projects alone. In this paper we highlight one of these innovative approaches, the development and promotion of the 'no early spray'(NES) technique in integrated pest management in Central Luzon, Philippines, and discuss its implications for farmer learning within the institutional culture of IRRI. We close with policy and research implications of this research for IRRI and other international institutes."
rice, agriculture, pest control