Thursday, April 3, 2008

All About Rice

· It is the staple food of about 3 Billion people around the world

· 250 Million farmers depend on rice cultivation

· 90% of the world's rice is produced and consumed in Asia

· It has political, economic, and social significance especially in the Southeast Asian region

· The MOST IMPORTANT CROP in the SEA producing 150 Million tons of paddy annually

· Its production is associated with irrigation, use of modern varieties, and inputs of fertilizer nutrients. Thus, expansion in any of these inputs rationalizes the increase in rice production

· Philippines has the 3rd largest irrigated rice area, next to Indonesia and Vietnam

· Thailand and Vietnam remain to be the region's major rice exporters while Indonesia and the Philippines remain to be major rice importer in the region

· The Philippines is 9th in terms of rice consumption in the world next to China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and Japan

· World's top rice- exporting countries are Thailand (1), Vietnam (2), USA (3), China (4), Burma (10) and Taiwan (14)

· World's top rice- importing countries are Indonesia (1), Philippines (8), and Malaysia (9)


· Poor production techniques

· Lack of irrigation

· High dependence on weather conditions

· Massive land conversion

· Small farmers are highly indebted to private money lenders and loan sharks who usually charge high interest rates because of the high costs of inputs such as fertilizers and seeds

· Urbanization

· Rice trade is controlled by private capitalists with whom farmers have debts

· Illegal rice trading practices

· Liberalization of the rice industry due to GATT- WTO- Agreements on Agriculture


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