Home / Agriculture/ Resilient rice project to target top two producers, China and India

Resilient rice project to target top two producers, China and India

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 26 January 2018 00:00

Kuala Lumpur (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Representatives of a pilot project that promotes socially and environmentally responsible rice growing said they aim to expand into India and China, the world’s largest rice producers.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) worked with more than 80 partners to create the world’s first “global rice sustainability standard”.

The standard provides a framework to drive government policy, as well as a working definition to be used by the private sector to monitor their own sustainability goals.

The sustainability standard has been tested over the past two years in nine countries, mostly in Southeast and South Asia.

“This is a fledgling project still - our next task will be to upscale,” said Wyn Ellis, coordinator for the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP).

The SRP is a coalition of more than 80 representatives from non-governmental organisations, and the private and public sectors, which launched the sustainability standard in 2015.

“We will need to be moving into China and into India quite soon - those are our priorities in future,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The standard promotes improvements in rice farming using more than 40 requirements and “performance indicators”, which authorities and companies such traders and supermarkets can use as best practice guidance.

These include measures against abuses such as child labour. The standard also aims to make rice growing more environmentally friendly by, for example, restricting the use of pesticides.

Members of the SRP hope that the standard will also be used in a certification scheme to help consumers choose ethical rice. Governments may also use it to promote sustainable rice farming and meet emissions targets.

Water management is crucial factor in achieving those targets.

Up to 40% of the world’s irrigation water is used for rice production, while up to 10% of global methane emissions come from rice fields, according to the SRP.

During pilot testing, the standards helped reduced the water used in rice farming by 20%, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and increased farmers’ incomes by 10%.

“It is huge,” said Bruce Tolentino, deputy director general at IRRI, referring to the sustainability standard, which he hoped could be expanded globally.

The world produced more than 500 million tonnes of milled rice in 2017, with China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand among the top growers.

The grain is the main staple for 3.5 billion people but as the world’s population continues to grow, output will need to rise by about 25% over the next quarter century, IRRI estimates. 

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

The country needs more Ironmen (and women)

Monday, 26 February 2018

Commendation to Yasas, Julian and the team for a world class event that will have far-reaching positives for Brand Sri Lanka.

Failure at Local Elections: Inability of the Govt. to care for needs of the people

Monday, 26 February 2018

The purpose of this article is to discuss the causes of the massive failure of the Government at the local government elections held on 10 February 2018 and their impact on the economy.

Lessons from LG ElectionsPart 1 Number-twisting game may be self-pleasing but not in accord with eco

Monday, 26 February 2018

The local government elections that concluded on 10 February 2018 have shaken the ruling United National Party(UNP)to its foundation.

Tamil actor Kamal Haasan stars in new role as political leader

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Srinivasan Kamal Haasan is one of India’s foremost film actors. Known popularly as Kamal, the talented and versatile thespian has not only excelled as an actor onscreen, but has successfully engaged in other cinematic spheres too. The multi-faceted

Columnists More