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1. Rice cultivation is the principal activity and source of income for millions of households around the globe, and several countries of Asia and Africa are highly dependent on rice as a source of foreign exchange earnings and government revenue.
2. Rice is the second largest produced cereal in the world. At the beginning of the 1990s, annual production was around 350 million tons and by the end of the century it had reached 410 million tons.
3. Production is geographically concentrated in Western and Eastern Asia. Asia is the biggest rice producer, accounting for 90% of the world's production and consumption of rice.
4. China and India, which account for more than one-third of global population supply over half of the world's rice. Brazil is the most important non-Asian producer, followed by the United States. Italy ranks first in Europe.
5. The world's major rice-producing countries - including the two most populous nations, China and India - have emphasized the importance of continuing to develop new rice varieties to guarantee Asia's food security and support the region's economic development.
6.Today, rice is grown and harvested on every continent except Antarctica, where conditions make its growth impossible. The majority of all rice produced comes from India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, and Bangladesh.