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Ballooning population growth in Asia

Today and tomorrow

Today, rice is the staple food for nearly 3 billion people—more than 90 percent of whom are Asians. In much of Asia, rice provides 30-80 percent of the calories consumed by people. Today there is barely enough rice for everyone—and in some places, not enough.

By 2025, rice consumers will number a staggering 4.6 billion. In Asia, this translates into producing an extra 100 million tons of rice more than today’s 320 million tons to feed these people—on less land and with less water. If rice supplies fail to keep pace with the growth in demand, prices will increase. Many will go hungry…or starve.

Even if you can afford to buy rice, what kind of future will you and your children have if millions of others cannot?

How rice research can help

Rice researchers at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and their partners around Asia are working overtime to create rice plants that can yield 20-25 percent more than today’s best high-yielding modern varieties. They have also developed hybrid rice for the tropics, which can produce 15-20 percent more rice. These new types of rice, combined with water-saving practices such as direct seeding, more efficient use of fertilizer, and other technologies, should enable rice production to outpace demand—and keep Asians fed.

Need more facts?

Dr. Gurdev Khush
World Food Prize Laureate

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