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Friday, May 24, 2024

Main food source rice yields falling in Asia, Africa


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By accepting the varieties of wheat and rice with higher yields, India, Mexico, and Philippines had helped China to cope with the famine. And with the help of these varieties, even India reached self-dependence as far food production is concerned. From 1965 to 1995, the production of rice in Asia doubled and despite an increasing population, poverty had almost halved.

Rice is the main source of filling the stomachs of more than half the population of the world. More than 90 percent of the rice production takes place in Asia, and its share in consumption is 25 percent; but now, rice production is falling constantly. It has been estimated that by the year 2050, the world will have to grow 35 percent more rice, but this seems difficult.

In the last 10 years, the production of rice has increased less than 1 percent annually, and the highest downfall in the production has been in south east Asia. Due to urbanization and industrialization, the land under agriculture is reducing in size. And with excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers, and with excessive irrigation, the fertility of the soil has decreased as well. The biggest reason behind the production decrease is global warming. In a study of 2004, it was found out that with merely 1 percent of increase in temperature, there occurred an 11 percent downfall in the production of rice.

In India, which the world’s largest exporter of rice, the production of rice got reduced last year due to a weak monsoon and drought. As a result of which, restrictions have been imposed on rice export. In the 4th largest exporter which is Pakistan, 15 percent of paddy crop got destroyed because of severe floods. And in Vietnam’s rice bowl, the Mekong Delta, the amount of salt in the fields has increased due to the rise in the water level of the sea.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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