The Regional Training of the Trainers Programme on Hybrid Rice Cultivation Technology was successfully organized in Changsha, Hunan Province, China from 24 August to 4 September 2009. Twenty-six agricultural technicians from national agricultural research institutes and representatives from extension services of 12 Asian and Pacific countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, DPRK, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Timor Leste, participated in the training. The 12 countries are among the 25 hotspots countries for food insecurity in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the theme study ˇ°Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Asia and the Pacificˇ± published by ESCAP in April 2009.
The training programme was organized by the United Nations Asian and Pacific Centre for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery (UNAPCAEM) in close collaboration with the Center of International Cooperation Service of the Ministry of Agriculture of China.
Being demand-driven, the training is designed to help countries address food insecurity through dissemination of knowledge and skills, and to share best practices to help countries improve their agricultural research and development capacity and increase rice production. The training course covers topics on hybrid rice genetics, breeding, seed production and cultivation, with particular emphasis on field practice on hybrid rice seed production and cultivation. Country presentations on the development of hybrid rice, and technological gaps and needs were also made by participants. Professor Yuan Longping, the ˇ°father of hybrid riceˇ±, and recipient of FAO Medal of Honor for Food Security, taught on hybrid rice development and food security during the training. Participants spoke highly of the value of the training, and expressed the hope that follow-up programs should be designed to tailor the training to better address local needs and concerns.
The training of trainers
course is part of a two and a half year project funded by the China-ESCAP Cooperation Programme, which is aimed to enhance member countries capacity in grain production through transfer of sustainable agricultural technology, and contribute to countries efforts in achieving the MDGs by combating hunger and reducing poverty. UNAPCAEM is striving to become a center of excellence in promoting agriculture technology transfer for food security and sustainable agriculture in the Asia-Pacific region.