Posted on 03 October 2007
A new WWF report highlights the relationship between rice, food security and water scarcity; and examines the contribution that the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) can make to address various challenges.
Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. In Asia alone, more than 2 billion people obtain 60 to 70 percent of their calories from rice and its products.
Production and consumption of rice is expanding in Africa. Rice continues to be an important staple in Latin America. It is significant for food security in low-income and food-deficit countries. In Europe, it is a major food crop in certain regions of countries like Italy and Spain. Rice is indeed a global food grain.
- Highlights the relationship between rice, food security and water scarcity.
- Examines the contribution that the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) can make to address various challenges.
It also focuses on India, which has the world’s largest rice cultivated area and faces major water crisis and conflicts. WWF is working with farmers, scientists and national institutions to promote SRI, as it will reduce pressure on freshwater ecosystems and improve food production.
WWF’s work with rice is part of the global conservation organization's vision to improve productivity of major water-intensive crops like sugar and cotton. Although the report is based on the Indian experience, the findings are relevant to many rice producing countries with appropriate modifications to suit local conditions.