Decades ago, the science community dreamed of enhancing the quality of life for the smallhold farmers in fragile rice ecosystems. The challenge continues even to this day, with a lot more difficulty because of the ever-fluctuating climatic conditions. But breakthroughs in varietal development and packaging of best crop management options have favorably provided significant leaps in solving low yields because of abiotic and biotic stresses in rice fields.
For lack of unity, an army can very easily yield to its opponent. That is why, for such a formidable war to wage, our unity and oneness through this CURE (consortium) remains one way to defeat the war of poverty in unfavorable rice areas. More than 26 research and development institutions in ten countries in Asia, namely, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myamar—we are proud to be one in our goal to make farms climate-resilient and productive. Appropriate germplasm and other science‐based solutions in submergence‐, salinity‐, drought‐prone rice areas and rice‐based upland rice systems are central to our efforts. Currently supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and related projects from other donors, we at CURE are committed to be at the helm of addressing the complex challenges in these rice environments.
As part of our culture at CURE, years ago we started a yearly review and planning workshop. This year marks the 13th CURE Review, Planning, and Steering Committee (SC) Meeting. Here in this venue, we share and discuss among member‐nations our accomplishments, experiences, learning, and challenges of the past four years as well as the plans for the coming year.
This meeting marks also the inception of the second phase of CURE supported by IFAD, with the new project titled, “Reducing Risks and Raising Rice Livelihoods in South-East Asia through the Consortium for Unfavourable Rice Environments”. This meeting also highlights the achievements of other projects, such as the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA), and IFAD-European Community-funded project, in contributing to the consortium’s role in raising productivity and enhancing livelihoods through technology development, knowledge sharing, and support to technology dissemination in South Asia.
For this year’s meeting, our objectives include: (1) exchanging technologies, information, processes, and learning for wider application; (2) planning and identifying targets for achieving set objectives; and (3) identifying strategies to package the technologies and information, and identify delivery mechanisms to reach greater number of target beneficiaries in the coming years.