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The rice is a staple food and continuous supply is to be maintained to the consumers. To ensure regular supply of the food grain proper steps are required to be taken in advance. If supply is not maintained uninterrupted than there are chances of a large number of human population drowning in perpetual hunger. About 1 billion households depend on rice cultivation for employment and their main source of livelihood. As the rice consuming population continues to grow, and the land and water resources needed for rice production diminish, we may face a potential crisis. World rice production has been less than rice consumption since 2000. This insufficiency has been addressed by drawing on rice from buffer stock. In this context, advances in science and technology, as well as rice research, are increasingly critical to enhance rice production and sustainable agricultural development. Ensuring an increase in sustainable rice production will require innovation and cooperation within the scientific community, as well as commitment and shared responsibility among all stakeholders.
Paddy rice and wheat could have an equivalent share in global cereals production till 2030. Paddy rice and wheat is estimated to account for 2/3 of the cereals production. Both paddy rice and wheat should be the dominant cereal food in the world before 2030. Per capita cereals production for developed countries, wheat would amount to 1/3 of cereals and paddy rice has a very low proportion, which demonstrates that wheat should be the dominant cereal crop in these countries. Unlike developed countries, paddy rice is expected to be the dominant cereal crop (1/2) and wheat is just 1/2 of paddy rice in developing countries per capita production.
Paddy rice yield would increase by 2030 to 24.7 to 35.5% and reach 5.28 to 5.73 metric tones/hectare (mt ha-1). Paddy rice production in developing countries is estimated to grow at annual rate of 9, 476, 885 mt, much higher than developed countries (74, 027 mt yr-1). Till 2030 the production in developing countries is expected to significantly raise 30.9 to 41.8% against the probable increase of 7.6 to 21.0% in developed countries. Yield increase in developing countries (25.6 to 36.9%) may also be higher than developed countries (4.0 to 23.1%). With a projected production of 5.9 to 7.7 mt, Asia is forecasted to be still the major region for paddy rice production in the world. By 2030 Asia’s paddy rice yield is estimated to increase 11.7 to 23.4% and reach 4.59 to 5.08 mt ha-1. On the other hand, Europe (79.0 to 139.2 kg ha-1 yr-1), Oceania (69.3 to 106.7 kg ha-1 yr-1) and North & Central America (65.8 to 74.0 kg ha-1 yr-1) are estimated to have higher annual rates in paddy rice yield, and the production in these regions is expected to reach 7.6 to 9.7 mt, 8.8 to 12.4 mt and 7.4 to 8.2 mt respectively by 2030.
Per capita cereals production of the world is estimated to probably increase 4.5% (1.3 to 10.2%) and reach 375.3 kg yr-1 by 2030. Per capita production in developed countries (7.9 to 39.5%) may have a much higher level than developing countries (0.2 to 7.7%) and is projected to be three times of the later (899.1 kgyr-1 vs. 273.8 kg yr-1) till 2030. Oceania (955.2 kg yr-1) and North & Central America (833.6 kg yr-1) may have the greatest per capita cereals production, while per capita production in Caribbean (62.1 kg yr-1) and Africa (122.2 kg yr-1) should be lower by 2030. Asia is forecasted to be the largest region in cereals production but per capita production in this region (233.3 kg yr-1) may still be lower.
India is essentially an agricultural country with over three-fourths of the population living in rural areas and dependent on agriculture related occupations. Pre-Independent India was badly hurt by frequent famines and drought. The eminent economist Amartya Sen owes his major works on hunger to the devastations of the great Bengal famine which had made deep impressions on him when he was still a child. If India today is self sufficient in food, it is in no small measure due to indigenous agricultural research. Of course, India still has a long way to go. The population is increasing; the land area under cultivation is decreasing and excessive use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides are adversely affecting the environment. Far more needs to be produced than now, and produced in a much safer way. These are enough challenges to keep our agricultural research establishment busy. Modern day rice variety have yield potentials much greater than their traditional predecessors, a characteristics that has greatly increased rice production worldwide.
Rice production increased with time, this might be due to technological advances and more efficient use of inputs coupled with increased area under cultivation. Still there are few downfalls which clearly states that prevailing weather has significant effect on yield of rice. Rice production may change as a result of global warming through the CO2 increase, temperature rise and change in precipitation. Thus, policymakers require reliable projections of the regional impacts on the production in order to consider mitigation and adaptation techniques. Projections of regional climate change and impact on rice production are important in relation to food security for these areas, as stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Third Assessment Report.
Mohammad Shamim, K.K. Singh, B.Gangwar, Sunil Kumar and Vinay Prasad Mandal
Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research, Modipuram-250110
Dr. Mohammad Shamim, Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research, Modipuram-250110