Strategic Research and Policy Issues for Food Security |

Strategic Research and Policy Issues for Food Security


Worldwide, rice is the most important food staple for the poor. It is grown in over 155 million hectares and accounts for one-fifth of the global calorie supply. Although traditionally an Asian crop, rice has long been a staple in parts of Africa and Latin America, and its importance is growing in those regions.

The past decade has seen many changes that will shape the way rice will be produced in the future. These include rapid economic growth, especially in parts of Asia, rising wage rates, increasing diversification of diets, global climate change, and a greater integration of the food economy with other sectors of the global economy, including both energy and financial markets. In the context of these major global trends, there is a need to develop a new vision for future rice farming to strategically position investments in rice research, technology delivery, and the design of policy reforms. Food security remains tenuous as evidenced by the 2008 food crisis and rising concerns regarding its possible repeat.

As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of IRRI’s founding, a book titled Rice in the global economy: strategic research and policy issues for food security was launched in November 2010 during the International Rice Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam. This volume, consisting of 18-commissioned chapters prepared by 59 authors/coauthors, provides a new vision for the future of rice farming. The book is forward-looking and addresses key strategic questions in the context of major developments in the global economy. The various scholarly contributions in this book examine the key strategic questions and lay out a rich menu of options for sustainably improving rice systems and enhancing the overall performance of the global rice economy to reduce poverty and hunger. The preparation of the book was managed by an editorial board chaired by Dr Pandey.

The presentation will therefore highlight the keys messages contained in various chapters of the book. It includes the five major challenges facing the global rice economy. These are meeting the food security needs of poor consumers in the future, successfully managing structural change in the agricultural economy, enhancing efficiency of input use, reducing the environmental footprint of rice production and addressing the problems in lagging regions including Africa. The presentation will also highlight key technological, policy and institutional interventions needed to address these challenges.

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Dr Sushil Pandey, Senior Agricultural Economist, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines

Thursday, 28 April 2011
12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 2-3
Level 2, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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