FoodLao Economy

Lao Innovator In Rice Science Gets International Award

A  Lao woman innovator in rice science, Dr Chay Bounphanousay, has received the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award in Rice Crop Improvement at the 4th International Rice Congress (IRC) in October in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Outstanding International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Alumni Awards, presented every four years in conjunction with the IRC, acknowledge the international contribution of those alumni who have conducted their research at IRRI as part of their graduate and post graduate degree programmes.

Dr Chay got the award in recognition of her pioneering efforts in the conservation and characterisation of the unique rice germplasm of Laos.

She was involved in the collection and conservation of the indigenous rice germplasm found only in Laos from 1995 to 2003. She also led or participated in the germplasm collection mission that catalogued more than 14,000 rice samples.

In addition, she planned and carried out the establishment of the first National Gene

Dr Chay Bounphanousay (second left), winner of the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award in Rice Crop Improvement.

Bank in Laos.
Now she is involved with the Biodiversity Use and Conservation in Asia Programme that aims to conserve plant genetic resources and at the same time strengthen farmer communities in the Lao PDR.

She developed teaching materials for local extension workers and researchers from priority areas on germplasm collection, evaluation, conservation and seed multiplication to promote decentralised collection.

From the germplasm of traditional varieties, the Agriculture Research Centre developed and released more than 10 new improved rice varieties with higher yield, disease resistance and improved taste.

Dr Chay conducted her research work on the genetic diversity of Lao black glutinous rice (germplasm conservation) at IRRI in 2006 during her doctoral degree course affiliated with Khon Kaen University in Thailand.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is recognising another crop of outstanding alumni during an upcoming quadrennial ceremony. They are Amitha Bentota, Pham Van Du, Meas Pyseth, Ganesh Thapa, and Chay Bounphanousay. They are true innovators in rice science.

The recipients of the award were selected because of their contributions in one of five categories: rice research management (Dr Bentota), management of the rice crop and its environment (Dr Du), rice technology delivery and extension (Dr Pyseth), social science and rice policy (Dr Thapa), and rice crop improvement (Dr Chay Bounphanousay). At the same time, their contributions have advanced IRRI’s mission to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure the sustainability of rice production.

Source: Vientiane Times