Dr.R.S.Zeigler Director General, IRRI and Dr.Mangala Rai, Director General ICAR signed the ICAR-IRRI Collaborative Work Plan 2009-2012 on January 20, 2009 in New Delhi . The Work plan comprises agreements on 20 ongoing and 17 new projects including two major projects supported by the Bill & Melinda gates foundation: Stress-tolerant rice for poor farmers in Africa and South Asia (STRASA); the Cereal systems initiative for South Asia (CSISA); and one project in frontline research area Creating the second green revolution by supercharging photosynthesis: C 4 rice .
“The agreement will develop, promote, and accelerate rice research and training efforts between IRRI and ICAR,” said Dr.Zeigler on the occasion. He added that “The renewed collaboration will also provide important support for India 's other investments in agriculture and help India strengthen its science capacity.”
Secretary DARE and Director General, ICAR, Dr.M.Rai's stated that the work plan for the next three years will focus on genetic resources conservation, evaluation, and enhancement; enhancing productivity and sustainability of intensive cereal systems; improving productivity and livelihood for fragile environments; impact, mitigation and adaptation to climate change; and strengthening linkage between research and development. Dr. Rai further stated that by converting rice from C3 photosynthesis to the more efficient C 4 photosynthesis, more carbon dioxide could be utilized and more grain could be produced. There will be enhanced crop information management system through India-IRRI Collaborative breeding programmes.