The International Rice Milling Academy (IRMA) is based at Bühler’s Application Center in Bengaluru – a state-of-the-art facility for conducting machine and product trials and creating new applications for old processes. It houses the entire line of paddy-to-rice processing, making it the only place in the world where participants can learn rice processing in a real-life environment.
Product Manager Rice
Head of International Rice Milling Academy
Rice is consumed by almost 50% of the world's population every day, which makes it the most important global food staple. As we move towards making our planet more sustainable in terms of conserving our natural resources, the International Rice Milling Academy (IRMA) aims to inspire professionals to shape the future of the rice processing industry. IRMA is the world's only dedicated rice processing academy, and is powered by Bühler Group. Established in 2019, the academy has taught participants from large, well-established rice mills right through to start-ups, creating a diverse community of certified experts that are highly sought-after in the industry worldwide.
Application Center: Home of IRMA
IRMA is based at Bühler’s Application Center in Bengaluru – a state-of-the-art facility for conducting machine and product trials and creating new applications for old processes. It houses the entire line of paddy-to-rice processing, making it the only place in the world where participants can learn rice processing in a real-life environment. The facility is equipped to provide a comprehensive understanding of all the critical elements of rice processing, such as the importance of rice quality measurement as it has a direct impact on the end consumer. The center’s analytical lab facility provides participants with a range of techniques to measure rice quality, and they can also learn about innovations such as automation systems and next-generation products in line with the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. In-depth knowledge and hands-on experience with these technologies enable rice mill operators and operations managers to improve their mills' overall efficiency and productivity, as well as helping them comply with increasingly important local and international food safety regulations – something that’s vital in the import-export trades.
Rice processing is an industry that has evolved over several decades and is now transforming with the advent of new technologies that leverage data. The industry and its stakeholders need to be ready to adapt to the new generation of machines and processes to enable better end-product quality and higher processing accuracy, whilst also minimizing waste, water and energy usage. It’s essential that rice processors and their operator teams have the know-how to manage this paradigm shift the industry is going through.
To help facilitate this the academy is well equipped with world-class trainers, with more than 150 years of cumulative experience in the rice processing industry. The course modules cover the entire end-to-end rice milling process – from intake, pre-cleaning, drying and storage through to cleaning, hulling, whitening and sorting – while additional modules such as by-product processing, rice quality measurement and food safety enhance the core learning.
The academy is also entering partnerships with trainers outside the rice milling industry, who can bring their expertise to topics that are still new to the sector. Such a wide range of knowledge means that participants can learn everything from the guiding processing principles to the minutest of machine part details, all of which will ultimately help to make the rice mill more profitable and sustainable.
Education for all. Anytime. Anywhere.
While the rice processing industry is evolving rapidly, so of course is the education industry. The COVID-19 pandemic and ever-changing customer requirements have led to an explosion in online education that has increased accessibility to quality teaching, while also making it more economical for learners. Online modules also allow participants to learn at their own pace and around their existing commitments, while the growing number of courses in regional languages has dramatically increased their global reach. In line with this changing educational landscape, the International Rice Milling Academy is also launching online options in addition to its on-campus courses, while the next step on this exciting journey is to expand through satellite centres worldwide to make quality education available to all.
Benjamin Adukwu, LifeCare Ventures Ltd., Nigeria: "Without having previous experience in rice milling, this course gave me the confidence to establish a new plant in Nigeria."
Mahesh Kumar, Mill Operator, Savithri Group, India:
"The course focusses on future advancements like automation, which will enhance the present traditional process. This will prove extremely useful in the future."
Vivekanand Jha, Plant Supervisor, Arjun Mill, Nepal:
"More than learning about a rice mill and its day-to-day operations, I learnt about how we could judge the quality of the product, which is critical for millers. Group discussions with other participants who came from diverse backgrounds were very beneficial to me."