What's happening at IRRI

Thursday Seminar

Thursday, October 27, 2016, 01:15pm - 02:15pm


Is "Sustainable Rice" sustainable throughout the value chain?

Sarah Beebout,
Senior Scientist – Soil Chemistry, CESD
and Matty Demont
Senior Scientist – Market and Value Chain Research, SSD

Although traditional rice value chains have managed to provide food security for Asian populations for millennia at relatively low population densities, the intensification of these systems to maintain food security for much larger urbanized populations has resulted in amazing technological advances in agriculture, accompanied inevitably by risks to sustainability. For example, the big Asian river deltas that have served as rice bowls for the world in the past half century, through intensified production of high-yielding rice varieties with increasing input of water, nutrients and energy, have now been identified as significantly vulnerable to climate change. Since 2013, the CORIGAP* project has been tackling this challenge through a combination of biophysical and socioeconomic strategies: (i) evaluating "best management practices" through the lens of an international sustainable production standard in cooperation with the Sustainable Rice Platform; (ii) promoting adoption of better practices through public and private governance, and the development of markets for sustainably produced rice. In March 2014, Pieter Rutsaert and Sarah Beebout presented a data-free seminar outlining their ideas about defining and valuing rice sustainability. After several years of research, these ideas have now been refined based on data from farmers' fields, and experiments with consumers and stakeholders throughout the value chain. In this sequel seminar, we explain the evidence so far, and identify opportunities for internalizing sustainable production standards throughout Asian rice value chains.
*CORIGAP= Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)


Havener Auditorium, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, 4030 Laguna, Philippines