Seed lab opens at IRRI
The Genetic Resources Seed Processing Laboratory (GRSPL), which increases the capacity and speed at which seeds are prepared for entry into the International Rice Genebank, has opened at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
The Genebank holds the germplasm or seeds of more than 127,000 varieties of rice from all over the world.
German ambassador Thomas Ossowski cut the ribbon and unveiled the marker with Jim Godfrey, chair of the IRRI Board of Trustees, and Matthew Morell, director general of IRRI.
The GRSPL was built with support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany.
Ossowki said food security is a basic human right and the seed processing laboratory us “a very worthwhile task.”
Morell said “the construction of the facility reminds us that the work is indeed a global effort.”
The new facility provides a modern infrastructure as well as process upgrades critical to the seed processing function of IRRI. It also provides seeds for rice research and breeding programs at IRRI and in several countries.
“The ways in which we deal with climate change now came a lot from the work of the Genebank,” said Abdel Ismail, who leads the STRASA (Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia) project.
He said climate-smart rice varieties developed from varieties in the Genebank are helping provide sustenance and livelihood to millions of poor farmers in Asia.
The genebank has more than 181,000 samples shipped to 65 countries over the last five years, and it is still growing.