Geographic scope: South East Asia
Active Countries: Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam
Initiated in 2013
The Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA) was founded to foster cooperation between the private and public sector so as to promote sustainable growth in agricultural production, as well as to improve access to nutrition.
BASF, Bayer CropScience, Royal DSM, Yara, Olam, Deutsche Bank, and national agencies such as the Thai Rice Department, the Philippines Department of Agriculture, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The platform is an umbrella project of the German Food Partnership (GFP).
Lack of agricultural productivity and access to nutritious foods.
BRIA was set up to address key challenges faced in South Asia, such as stagnating yields, climate change, environmental degradation, decreasing cultivable land, and the lack of young rice farmers as a result of low incomes and limited market access. Most farmers operate on a subsistence basis and often lack access to local markets. Farmers lack knowledge of efficient agricultural practice, environmentally friendly production techniques, access to finance, and access to local and regional markets. Government extension services often lack the personnel and financial resources to train smallholder farmers appropriately. Another regional problem is malnutrition. Consequently, the important task remains for governments to provide a broad base of the population with nutritious, affordable food.
Intentions and aspiration
Promote sustainable rice production, strengthen value chains, raise the income of rice farmers, develop capacity, and contribute to improving the nutrition of the population.
To improve the populations nutrition status and rice farmers incomes, BRIA strengthens the whole rice value chain in the project countries, beginning with training farmers on various farming practices and the marketing of rice in local and regional markets. The projects are carried out in close cooperation with government institutions of the project countries. They are supported in implementing policies in the rice and health sectors, such as expanding agricultural extension services or introducing and controlling national food quality standards.
Arrangements and capacitities
The platform is managed via a BRIA secretariat, which oversees the four country platforms (Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam). The secretariat, based in Bangkok, Thailand, serves as a regional hub and was set up to coordinate members, exchange best practices, and establish regional networks. The secretariat is also in charge of public relations and communications, as well as monitoring and evaluation reporting. Finally it oversees and explores options for new partners, from cofinancing sources in the region or project partners from the private or public sectors. The platform facilitates communication between members through publications and the News & Activities page on its website, as well as through training workshop documents, also available online.
Activities and outputs
The platform offers capacity-building and training activities to allow farmers to enhance their knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), increase yields, and produce higher-quality rice. Moreover, the platform has a Regional Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Best Rice Cultivation Practices.
Monitoring and evaluation