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The Changing Role of Rice in Asia’s Food Security

Publisher: Asian Development Bank

Food security in Asia has traditionally focused on rice—its production, marketing, and consumption. But rapid economic growth in the region and its accompanying structural transformation are redefining the needs of Asia. This paper highlights the changing role of rice in Asian agricultural production and its implications. Statistics show that the share of rice in Asian economies as well as household food consumption is declining very rapidly. The total size of rice demand nevertheless still remains important, because rice remains the largest single source of calories for a significant majority of consumers who are poor. Rice production, however, faces serious challenges, and is likely to be more unstable in the future. A strategy is presented for an international role in building larger rice reserves as a means to stabilize rice prices on global rice markets. If successful, the Asian rice economy could become much better integrated and more stable.

Author(s): C. Peter Timmer | Views(247) | Download (186)

  
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