Rice is a staple food for some 4 billion people worldwide. It also provides 27% of the calories in low- and middle-income countries. Global demand for rice will continue to increase from 479 million tons milled rice in 2014 to a projected 536–551 million tons in 2030.
RICE and its partners have been developing technologies to increase rice production since its first phase. These efforts have resulted in an additional yield increase from 489 million tons in 2010 to 480 million tons in 2015. By 2022, RICE aims to help at least 17 million people out of hunger.
April is the cruelest month,” wrote T.S. Eliot in The Waste Land. It was as if he were voicing the sentiments of the farming communities in Ebola affected countries—Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Though the time for planting has come, there is a desperate lack of labor and inputs, particularly seed, as hungry rice farmers ate the seeds they would have normally stored for planting in April.
The past 40 years have seen major advances in rice improvement for the unique and diverse growing conditions of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The Rice Program of CIAT has contributed greatly, working in collaboration with its many national partners.
Once a rice exporter, Côte d’Ivoire has spent in recent years nearly USD 500 million annually on rice imports. Now, the country has set its sights on becoming West Africa’s rice granary through a program estimated to cost more than USD 1.3 billion from 2012 to 2016.
The 3-year project introduced farmers’ participatory varietal selection (PVS) of high-yielding varieties for favorable areas and stress-tolerant varieties for salt- and flood-prone areas.
In reducing hunger, RICE aims to:
- Assist at least 17 million people, half of them female, out of hunger by 2022, rising to 24 million by 2030.
- Help increase annual global (milled) rice production of 479 million tons in 2014 to at least 536 million tons by 2022 and to 544 million tons by 2030.