Poor people of the world depend on rice, and rice is in short supply
Annual rice production falls short of demand by 50 million tonnes. Annual growth in rice yield declined from 2.5 per cent during the green revolution (1960-70) to 1.1 per cent since 1980s, while global population grew by 1.4 per cent
90 per cent of rice is cultivated in Asia. But 55 per cent of Asians will be in urban areas by 2025, taking over some of the most fertile rice-growing areas
Rice consumption is already on the decline in south Asia and southeast Asia. China, India and southeast Asian countries have taken to diversified food like wheat, vegetables, meat, fruit and dairy products with rising income levels
Thailand and Vietnam have a major market in Africa, which accounts for 40 per cent of Thailand's total exports since 2000. 48 per cent of US export to Africa is through food aid programmes
Sub-Saharan Africa, where most of the new demand comes from, is getting poorer. Per capita consumption has doubled since 1970
People earning less than US $I a day rose in sub-Saharan Africa by 29 per cent during 1970-2000, but fell by 65 per cent in Asia
43 per cent of rice is cultivated in rainfed area and overlaps with concentrations of poor people. 75 per cent of the world's poorest depend on rice
Each hectare in sub-Saharan Africa with 16 per cent irrigation yields 25 per cent of one hectare in the developed world receiving 100 per cent irrigation
|Sources: Bringing Hope, Improving Lives, Strategic Plan, 2007-2015, 2006; and Rice Knowledge Bank (online), International Rice Research Institute|
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.