Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO

International Activities

The Monsoon Asia Agro-Environmental Research COnsortium

MARCO, or the Monsoon Asia Agro-Environmental Research Consortium, was launched in 2006 to promote the development of agro-environmental research in monsoon Asia to achieve productive, sustainable and environmentally sound agro-ecosystems. Since its inception, MARCO has promoted international collaboration to advance research activities in agriculture and the environment in monsoon Asia. MARCO has hosted international symposia and workshops each year since it was established, has set up a website as a venue for exchanging consortium information, and has helped train the people who will carry out the consortium activities. Details are available here.

Multi-site monitoring network of canopy micrometeorology and heat stresses of rice under the climate change

MINCER, or Micrometeorological Instrument for the Near-Canopy Environment of Rice, is a radiation-shielded, solar-powered, force-ventilated system that is designed to facilitate its use by researchers. We established a monitoring network based on MINCER, called MINCERnet, for monitoring the thermal environment within the rice canopy in paddy fields and for collecting other crop data. The initial MINCERnet was deployed in eight of the world’s rice-growing regions, including India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Japan, and USA.
Details are available here.

Mitigation in Irrigated Rice in Southeast Asia Project

A 5-year research project entitled “Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in Irrigated Rice Paddies in Southeast Asia: Field Demonstration and Consolidation of Procedures (MIRSA)” was launched in 2013 by the funding support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. The research project aims at developing an improved rice-cropping system with Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) water management in Southeast Asia, which is expected to have the dual benefits of saving water and mitigating emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG). The experiments are conducted at paddy fields in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. (

Another objective of MIRSA project is to create an implementation guideline for “Measurement, Reporting, and Verification” that provides guidance on techniques to reduce GHG emissions from irrigated paddy fields and set up an information infrastructure to share the findings of participating members. The project has already produced “Guidelines for Measuring Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions from Rice Paddies by a Manually Operated Closed Chamber Method.” Details are available here.

Asian Long-Term Experimental Network for Agriculture

Asian Long-Term Experimental Network for Agriculture (ALTENA) is a research consortia consisting of individual scientists who are involved in agricultural long-term field experiments with a focus on soil or plant-soil interaction. ALTENA was launched on March 1st, 2017 by the scientists who participated in the NARO-MARCO international symposium on "Soil carbon sequestration: Needs and prospects under the 4 per 1000 initiative" held in Tsukuba, Japan. Details are available here.