Some hard facts.
Rice, eaten by more than 1/2 of the world’s 7.2 billion people is at crisis point. Its synergistic relationship with water, the effects of climate, flood, drought and dwindling farming land as population numbers rise are pressing global issues that face the world today.
Each day, millions of people around the planet depend on it for food and employment. About 70% of the world’s poor live in Asia. Analysts predict that world population will peak at 8.5 billion by 2040, with close to a billion more mouths to feed, using far less rice, land, labor and water. Competition for these vital resources is already intense.
It’s a tremendous challenge, but not the most important one- that most of the world’s rice farmers and the landless laborers are also trapped in poverty.
In 2006 the International Rice Research Institutes ( IRRI ) in the Philippines was behind the push to raise funds for farmer training, to educate them into the 21st century research, new farming methods, agroecology among the underlying issues that face them : they need funds to support these areas.
Farmers need an acceptance of better rice breeds, an understanding of soil sustainability an awareness of food security and seed ownership; all vital points to avert rice shortages in the world in the next two decades.
- Rice is gluten free, non-allergic safe for celiac patients and gluten intolerant.
- Many varieties of rice suit different countries and different peoples.
- Rice is easily portable and simple to cook.
- Unpolished rice is a rich source of Vitamin B.
- New varieties can supply vitamin A the beta carotene needed.
- Many countries have tried to change eating habits to no avail.
Rice is now a global food source, but with changes in governments and climate variations, this essential staple is facing an uncertain future in the world.