Latest Stories

FAO urges global rice supply strategy


The Food and Agriculture Organization is crafting a strategy on rice, the consumption of which has been increasing while resources related to its production are dwindling.

The FAO, an agency of the United Nations, has called on an external rice advisory group for recommendations for such a strategy, focused mainly on the Asia-Pacific region where 90 percent of global supply is grown.

According to FAO assistant director general Hiroyuki Konuma, Asia’s share of rice exports accounts for about 80 percent of global rice trade.

Rice “is the most important commodity for the economy, food security and the livelihoods of the people in Asia,” said Konuma, who is also representative of FAO’s regional office for Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok.

In a statement sent out from the Thai capital, the FAO warned that the growth of rice production is “under threat on many fronts,” with farmers getting older amid scarce resources and the adverse effects of climate change.

Related data from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which is based in Laguna, show that almost half of the world’s population of 7.16 billion people depend on rice.

At the same time, the total area of productive land that is cultivated for rice is receding and currently pegged at 8.54 billion hectares.

By IRRI’s reckoning, a hectare of rice land is lost every seven or eight seconds. Within the same moment, about 20 humans are born.

The FAO notes that in the Asia-Pacific, rice production dominates the agricultural sector and is an important base of economies, the environment, culture as well as livelihoods for hundreds of millions of farmers.

The rice-based economy is suffering from scarcity of resources—particularly water and land—while rice farming is also blamed for greenhouse gas emissions and degrading natural resources, the organization added.

Even then, per capita consumption of rice in the region is slowing as incomes grow.

Citing the 2012 Survey of Food Demand for Agricultural Commodities in the Philippines, agriculture officials say Filipinos consumed an average of about 114.3 kilograms of rice last year.

The number shrank from 128 kilos in 2008, 119.2 kilos in 2009, 114.8 kilos in 2010 and 115.3 kilos in 2011.

However, Konuma said consumption elsewhere in the globe—particularly Africa—is growing.

He said rice is now the staple food in more than 10 countries in Africa, and is becoming an increasingly crucial factor in food security not only in Asia but worldwide.

Also in 2012, the FAO established the external advisory group to provide advice on formulating the Asia rice strategy.

Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, the Indian scientist credited for leading his country’s Green Revolution, chairs the advisory group.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Business , economy , Food and Agriculture Organization , News

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Cardinal Tagle: Start new life with true peace
  • ‘Dry spell’ delayed, thanks to busted valve
  • At 77, Erap has Easter treat for Manila cops but keeps City Hall folk in agony
  • Joy Belmonte defends council, waste-to-energy tech
  • House bill seeks special body to manage, protect Manila Bay
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • Marketplace