International Buckwheat Research Association

International Buckwheat Research Association (IBRA) was established during the First International Symposium on Buckwheat in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on September 3rd, 1980. Founding members were Marek Ruszkowski (Puławy, Poland), Toshiko Matano (Ina, Japan), Takashi Nagatomo, Taiji Adachi (both from Miyazaki, Japan), Björn O. Eggum (Roskilde, Denmark) and Ivan Kreft (Ljubljana, Slovenia). In the organization of the first symposium (September 1-3, 1980) directly involved were as well Marija Kump (Zagreb University, Croatia), Barbara Ruszkowska (Puławy, Poland), and from Ljubljana, Slovenia, Branka Javornik, Blanka Dolinšek (now Vombergar) and other Faculty members. Ohmi Ohnishi (Kyoto University, Japan) cooperated with the first symposium organisers by correspondence. Ljubljana symposium was followed by the excursion to the typical traditional buckwheat growing area at Dolenjska, Slovenia, old buckwheat mill at Višnja Gora and buckwheat fields at Vrhtrebnje hill village. 

On the first session meeting of IBRA founders it was decided to publish international periodical publication on buckwheat FAGOPYRUM, which started at Ljubljana University, Slovenia with its first issue in 1981. FAGOPYRUM journal moved after 1995 to Japan. In Japan it was edited by Prof. Toshiko Matano (Shinshu University), and later for many years by Prof. Ohmi Ohnishi (Kyoto University), and later many years by Prof. Kiyokazu Ikeda (Kobe Gakuin University) and their colleagues. In 2017 the journal moved again back to Ljubljana, Slovenia, it is published now by the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, two issues per year as an open access journal (Publikacije SAZU – sazu.si).

The Anniversary day of IBRA establishment, September 3rd, was proclaimed by the IBRA Assembly in 2013 as the World Day of Buckwheat. International symposia on buckwheat were after 1980 regularly triennially organized in Japan, Poland, Russia, China, Canada, Korea (South), Czech Republic, Slovenia, India.

The second IBRA Symposium was organized in Miyazaki, Japan in Sept. 7. – 10., 1983 by Takashi Nagatomo, Taiji Adachi and colleagues.  Miyazaki Symposium was followed by excursion around Kyushu island and to Kyoto. In the first years of IBRA a lot of support was, besides the establishing members, given as well by Ohmi Ohnishi (Kyoto University, Japan), Hyoji Namai (Tsukuba University, Japan), Kiyokazu Ikeda, Sayoko Ikeda (Kobe Gakuin University, Japan), and Riichiro Shiratori (Shiratori Milling Co.).

The Third IBRA Symposium was performed in Puławy, Poland in July 7-12, 1986 by Marek Ruszkowski and colleagues. The symposium was followed by the excursion to buckwheat experiments and fields in Poland. At this symposium, by acclamation basic rules of IBRA were confirmed, the rules were afterwards published in FAGOPYRUM journal.

In 1989 the Fourth IBRA symposium was organized in Orel, Russia by N.V. Fesenko and his colleagues on July 11-15, 1989. The Fifth IBRA symposium was organised by Lin Rufa et al. on  August 20-26, 1992, in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China. The symposium included the excursion to buckwheat growing areas in Shanxi, north from Taiyuan. The 6th IBRA Symposium was organised by Toshiko Matano, Akio Ujihara and their colleagues in August 24-29, 1995 at Shinshu University, Ina Campus, Nagano-ken in Japan. 

On August 12-14, 1998, Clayton Campbell, Roman Przybylski, and colleagues organized the 7th IBRA Symposium in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The symposium included excursions to buckwheat fields. On August 30 – September 2, 2001 the 8th IBRA Symposium was organised by Cheol Ho Park, in Korea (South). The symposium started in Chunchon City (Kangwon) and included the visit to Buckwheat Exhibition, where several buckwheat growing countries were presented, with their respective booths. After the Symposium, excursion to buckwheat festival in Bongpyeong took place.

In August 18 – 22, 2004, in Prague, Czech Republic, the 9th IBRA Symposium was organized by Zdeněk Stehno, Anna Michalová et al. After the Symposium, excursion was organized to Czech buchwheat growing area. A post-symposium trip was organised by train to Vienna, Austria, and to Maribor, Slovenia. In Maribor post-symposium Buckwheat Conference at the Higher Vocational College of the Education centre Piramida Maribor was organized by Blanka Vombergar. Further, many international participants travelled by train to Sondrio and Teglio (Valtellina, Italy) to taste Italian buckwheat dishes and to observe buckwheat growing and utilization practice in Italy.

In August 14-18, 2007, in Yangling, Shaanxi, China, 10th IBRA Symposium was organized by Chai Yan and colleagues. Before the symposium a welcome program for foreign participants, visiting places with connection to buckwheat and culture in Yangling area was organized. After the Symposium, excursion was organised to buckwheat growing areas of Shaanxi, including the Yellow river area.

In July 19-23, 2010, 11th IBRA Symposium was organised in Orel, Russia, by Galina Suvorova, V.I. Zotikov and colleagues. After the Symposium, excursion was organised to buckwheat experimental field and buckwheat growing area in Orel region. The 12th IBRA Symposium was organised in August 21 – 25, 2013 in Laško, Slovenia by Blanka Vombergar, Mateja Germ, Maja Vogrinčič and Ivan Kreft, after the Symposium excursions to buckwheat fields, Rangus Mill in Šentjernej, to Slovenian Adriatic coast and Bled lake were organized, to taste diverse regional Slovenian buckwheat dishes.

The 13th IBRA Symposium was organised in Chungbuk and Pyeongchang in South Korea by Sun-He Woo and Cheol Ho Park, including visit to Bongpyeong Buckwheat Festival, tasting buckwheat dishes, and visit to experimental factory of buckwheat food products in Chunchon. 

The 14th IBRA Symposium was organised in Sept. 3 – 6, 2019 in Shillong, Megalaya, India, by Nikhil Chrungoo and colleagues, the Department of Botany, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, India in collaboration with ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), India, and DBT-Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), India. A part of presentations were published as the full length papers in the special issue of  Folia Biologica et Geologica (FBG 61-1 2020.pdf (sazu.si). Symposium was followed by the excursions to buckwheat field experiments, in Megalaya, and to Sikkim.

In the beginning of respective IBRA symposium it is normally the meeting of IBRA board, discussing the matter of IBRA organization and activities, and preliminary information on the candidates of next IBRA symposium. In the last day of each IBRA symposium it take place IBRA Assembly, important matter of IBRA are discussed and decided, including the ballot voting for the decision of the place and organiser of next IBRA symposium after further three years. With this, it is decided the Chair-person of IBRA for the next three years. The elected Chair-person may appoint Vice-Chairs and secretaries for the period of next three years.