About ASEAN RiceNet

Challenge Rice production in ASEAN countries face challenges due to adverse impacts of climate change, land degradation, increases in population and urbanization. For every 1oC increase in temperature, a reduction of 1.3% in economic growth is projected (Dell, Jones, and Olken, 2012) and a loss of up to 10% of yield in rice is documented (Peng et al.,2004). Yield loss of up to 23% is expected in Thailand and Vietnam, who are major rice exporters (Teng et. al., 2016). Heavy rainfall, floods followed by droughts will lead to rice production losses in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Brunei. The UN and the World Bank recognize malnutrition as a key global health challenge leading to losses of up to 9% of a country’s GDP. Among several ASEAN countries, an estimated 24 million children are adversely impacted by malnutrition leading to reduced brain development and ability to learn. ASEAN countries proactively recognize climate change issues. However, currently they lack a regional standardized germplasm evaluation network that jointly addresses these issues through targeted, rapid variety deployment designed to meet farmers’ needs.
IRRI, ASEAN, and the ASEAN Plus Three Dialogue Partners have a proven track record of partnering for over 40 years to accelerate germplasm access and release improved rice varieties through the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER) and Multi Environment Rice Testing (MERiT) networks. Yale University economists Evenson and Gollin (1997), estimated the value of each INGER released variety to be USD 2.5 million per year.  In ASEAN, with over 430 varieties released, this partnership has generated over USD 1 Billion in benefits. Thousands of new rice breeding lines with higher yield and tolerances to pest and diseases and major environmental stresses, have been transferred to ASEAN and Plus Three ASEAN Dialogue Partners, China, Korea, and Japan resulting in the expansion of rice production over millions of hectares, increased germplasm diversity, and accelerated farmer access to new varieties by about 10 years. Additionally, INGER and MERiT disseminated IRRI breeding lines have contributed 50% of the parentage of many national popular varieties, with added new desired trait genes and increase diversity.
ASEAN RiceNet is an elite germplasm dissemination and evaluation network established after the endorsement of ASEAN and +3 dialogue partners ( China Japan and Korea) at the 41st ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry meeting, to provide climate resilient rice elite pre-variety breeding lines to ASEAN countries to address the challenges of climate change. IRRI, with its decades of being in partnership with ASEAN and being located in Philippines is the co-ordinator of ASEAN RiceNet. Dr. Shoba Venkatanagappa is the co-ordinator of ASEAN RiceNet based at IRRI HQ.

BeneficiariesASEAN RiceNet will benefit rice farmers, traders and consumers across ASEAN, through faster access to new and improved higher value varieties which are better adapted to changing climate and have higher pest and disease tolerances leading to fewer pesticide inputs. This will have environmental and human benefits and increased farm productivity and incomes. ASEAN scientists will also benefit from training and increased capacity to adopt best testing, evaluation and breeding strategies. IRRI scientists will visit each country annually and interact with national partners to identify emerging needs and where possible provide solutions in a rapid effective manner.


    1. To increase farmers' competitiveness across ASEAN countries through improvements in overall yield, pest and disease tolerances, and environmental stress tolerance in new rice varieties compared to the best local varieties by 2030 through the evaluation of new IRRI-bred germplasm and local lines and checks.

    2. Capacity development of scientists and researchers across ASEAN countries, through training activities provided by IRRI each year on the implementation of advanced breeding technologies and preparation for national variety release planning. Participation of women scientists and researchers will be highly encouraged