The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the urgent need for a stronger agricultural sector. Thus, this first issue of the Development Research News (DRN) for 2021 focuses on some key challenges affecting agriculture and related sectors. The banner story features the Institute's book on irrigation, a compilation of studies that analyze the state of the country's national and communal irrigation systems and the various irrigation program aspects, including water resource governance, benefits and costs, and policy reforms. The other articles tackle the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, the value of farmer organizations in improving small farmers’ access to credit and markets, and the importance of tenure security and transferability of rights. This issue also includes articles discussing the local government units' underutilization of their local development fund, the governance issues hounding water service provision at the local level, and the growing incidence of noncommunicable diseases in the country.