Transforming Food Systems in Africa and Asia

IRRI Annual Report 2022

Message from the Director General

Dr. Jean Balié
Former IRRI Director General
CGIAR Regional Director - Southeast Asia and the Pacific

2022 was marked by a fresh beginning and new accomplishments as IRRI delivered on game changing innovations in rice-based systems, actively participate in the One CGIAR transition, and reopen our headquarters and country offices after 2 years of COVID-19 restrictions. Throughout the year, our scientists and staff remained focused on the core business of research-for-impact and through extraordinary teamwork delivered exemplary scientific and on-the-ground achievement.

As the world wrestles with the climate crisis, IRRI acted on its responsibility to provide solutions
in climate-change mitigation and adaptation. In 2022, we formulated a comprehensive institutional strategy for climate change that spans upstream and downstream activities, which we will implement through a portfolio of bilateral projects and CGIAR Initiatives. By leveraging our strengths in varietal development, crop cultivation, agronomy, spatial analyses, and policy guidance, we are investing in innovative research domains to spearhead the development of next-generation solutions such as methanogenesis (production of methane by bacteria or other living organisms), remote sensing of greenhouse gas emissions, low-carbon farming, rice-carbon credit markets, and policy support for rice-based systems transformation.

Message from the Board Chair

Cao Đức Phát
IRRI Board Chair

As more businesses opened their doors to additional in-person interactions in 2022, IRRI embraced the opportunity to operate in new ways in a post-pandemic world.
The transition to working onsite was a gradual process and challenges were met as staff navigated the hybrid working set- up. Nonetheless, the Institute and its staff proved to be resilient and adaptive. The great effort that went into the four Flagship Projects and One CGIAR initiatives and the outputs of those efforts can be attributed to the persistence of IRRI staff and their dedication to the mission and mandates of the Institute.

Financial Highlights

Good financial management across the research and corporate areas is highly welcomed and applauded and continues to strengthen the Institute. This is especially recognized given the last few years of a particularly challenging environment.

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic— aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict resulting in volatile market conditions and local currency fluctuations translating into unrealized investment losses—were the critical challenges in 2022. Through
the collective efforts across the Institute to effectively manage overhead costs, further strengthen donor engagement, and accelerate research activities made possible by the easing of restrictions in the second half of 2022, the Institute managed to end the year with a net surplus of USD 70,000 as IRRI’s grant portfolio increased to USD 56.262 million in 2022 from USD 52.462 million in 2021.

Research Highlights

IRRI’s Four Flagships for Research and Deployment  

IRRI has launched four flagships (three devoted to research and one to the dissemination of
the research outputs) to address the biggest needs and where we have identified the biggest opportunities for game changing innovations. This involves dynamic and rigorous prioritization for fast-tracking to success with high-value deliverables.

The underlying strategy is to lead to game changing success with a disruptive/ differentiating product. The renewed and reinvigorated credibility accruing from delivering innovative products under difficult circumstances has lead to the ripple effect of successes with other projects.

IRRI reoriented its research into four flagships, each of which has at least two such outputs, i.e., the flagship products, that can be with the stakeholders in 2 years, have broader implications on climate- resilient agriculture, and can affect transformative impact through the rice-based agri-food systems to be of wider interest on socioeconomic, environmental, and climate health.

The three research flagships are being supported by inputs from IRRI units or departments on Gender and Livelihoods, Digital Tools and Big Data, Impact Evaluation Policy and Foresight, and Markets and Consumers. Possible products, processes, and policy briefs from these three flagships will be deployed via the fourth dissemination flagship for adoption through various partnerships.

IRRI in Africa

IRRI-AFRICA has been developing and delivering solutions in Africa for nearly 60 years. Across the countries, we are working in over 15 countries in Africa with offices in five countries. IRRI-AFRICA leverages the extensive technologies and expertise from its work globally, to customize solutions for Africa in Africa.

IRRI in Asia 

Catalyzing change and impact in the region with science and technology

Asia, with millions of families coming from a wide diversity of socioeconomic, political, religious,
and cultural backgrounds, is united in one meal staple: a bowl of rice. Across the world, leading
rice producing countries are found in Asia (yields), with India (46.28 m/ha), China (29.92 m/ha), Bangladesh (11.62 m/ha), Indonesia (11.6 m/ha), Thailand (10.7m/ha), and Vietnam (7.19 m/ha) in the lead. However, as the population and rice demand increase, rice farmers continue to struggle as they face the effects of climate change, loss of arable land, and shortages of agricultural labor due to urban migration.

In business now for 62 years, IRRI in Asia continues to provide innovative technological solutions to address problems and gaps in rice-based systems in partnerships with the state, private sector organizations, and financing institution.


Philippine President's  Engagement with IRRI

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos visited IRRI headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna to talk about how innovations and technologies could transform the Philippine agriculture sector and improve the lives of Filipino farmers.

President Marcos was welcomed by IRRI Director General Jean Balié and he met with several IRRI scientists. He also toured the International Rice Genebank, which contains the largest collection of rice gene diversity in the world.

During his visit, President Marcos pointed out the need to adopt supportive policies to modernize the rice sector as part of a vibrant agri-food industry in the country.

“There are new technologies that address the problems that we are facing and those technologies are beginning to be disseminated down to the local farmers,” the President said.

As the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, President Marcos serves as an ex-officio member of IRRI’s Board of Trustees. At the board meeting he attended, members discussed how to address challenges in agriculture due to climate change and to ensure that vulnerable nations become food- and nutrition-secure in the coming years.

As concurrent head of the Department of Agriculture amidst the looming global food crisis, inaugural message on 30 June, the President noted in his inaugural message on June 30 that the country’s agriculture sector “cries for urgent attention” after years of neglect and misdirection.

His plan of action for the short-term is to increase the yield of the country’s main staple and provide support to those in need of government assistance. Over the long-term, he is pushing for multi-year planning focused on the restructuring of the food value chain from research to development to retail. 

Communication and Advocacy

IRRI Education, Human Resources and Organizational Development 

Finance, Portfolio Development and Management Office

Let us work together.

Throughout this annual report, IRRI has demonstrated its scientific leadership to the key stakeholders in the public and private sectors to critically address food and nutrition insecurity, poverty, climate change, and social equity.

In the face of possible food crises in various parts of the world and climate change globally, the Institute is urgently looking for critical funding from philanthropic foundations, private sector institutions, state government, and international and local organizations.

If your organization wishes to inquire about how we can work together, please email us at