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Southeast Asia must close the yield gap to keep up with rising rice demand

For the past decades, the region were able to generate an abundance of rice supply that exceeded regional demand, allowing surplus to be exported
Southeast Asia must close the yield gap to keep up with rising rice demand 73

Southeast Asia accounts for at least 40% of worldwide rice exports, making it a significant global rice supplier. Other sections of the world, such as Africa and the Middle East, rely on the region for food.

Global rice demand is expected to climb by 30% by 2050, according to forecasts. Given the continuous rice trade and the limited scope available for other major rice-producing countries like China and India to develop a rice surplus, Southeast Asia poses a dilemma in stepping up to secure enough global rice supply.

Crop yields are flat, agricultural land not increasing, and climate change is looming, raising concerns about the region’s potential to remain a net exporter.

In a recent study published in Nature Food, an international team of scientists, including those from the major rice-producing nations in Southeast Asia, estimated the discrepancy between yield potential and average farmer production across the six countries; Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Muskan Kataria
Dedicated and motivated Psychological Science student with a background in teaching and free-lancing. Worked as a research intern in an advertisement company. Interested in talking and sharing about health & wellness, entertainment and current affairs through my work.