End-of-year lunch and status of 2022

End-of-year lunch and status of 2022

The world has opened up once more and we rushed to get tickets to Tanzania so that we could meet with all of our colleagues who are part of the Climate-smart African Rice project funded by Danida. We had three excellent days face-to-face at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania, with colleagues coming in from Kenya, India, Burundi and the Philippines.

We could also travel to Australia, and it was great to catch up with my colleagues at the University of Western Australia. I had fruitful meetings with several people in an attempt to set up new collaborations. Unfortunately, my travel proposal was not granted by the Carlsberg Foundation so I might need to chip in myself when we start the new collaboration in August 2023.

And in November we went to Laos to sign the Memorandum of Agreement with the National University of Laos in Vientiane. Right after the ceremony, we travelled to Phonsavan in order to start our fieldwork. I felt extremely privileged working in Plan of Jars and we managed to collect all the planned samples and a bit more before spending a few days by the Mekong River on a well-deserved holiday.

I truly hope that 2023 will take me back to Japan. Japan opened up too late for us to plan for a meaningful visit, but I am sure that 2023 will be different. We have plenty of things to work on!

Abdel Ismail is head of the International Rice Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, and is therefore and important partner of the Climate-smart African Rice project that also includes Sokoine University of Agriculture.

Fieldwork at the Plain of Jars near Phonsavan in Laos. We were sampling water and aquatic organisms from these megalithic jars, which origin and use are still unknown. The project is funded by the Villum Foundation through a Experiment Grant.

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We were all extremely happy to be able to meet again and we enjoyed the hospitality of Lukasz Kotula and his wife, Joanna. Someone invited Kosala Ranathunge as well and I truly hope that we can build a strong collaboration in the future!