• Why rice?

  • RICE

  • Potential impact

  • Resources

rice and balanced diet

Rice is the staple food for more than 3.5 billion people worldwide, around half of the world's population.

Importantly, rice is the staple food in Asia, where 600 million people live in extreme poverty. For these people, nearly all of whom eat rice two or three times a day, it can contribute 30% to 70% of their calorie intake. Plus, the importance of rice in Africa and Latin America—other regions affected by poverty—is increasing.

So, targeting improvements in rice production are directed to those who are in need of the most urgent assistance.

Rice consumption is increasing, and demand for rice will outstrip supply if production does not increase faster than its current rate. This means we have to produce even more rice. So, rice varieties must have higher yield potential and crop management techniques have to help achieve this potential. 

With a sufficiently high and reliable supply of rice, prices are more likely to stay affordable and consistent, which is important for poor rice consumers. 

The CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on rice agri-food systems (RICE, 2017-2022) is the second phase of the CRP on rice (2011-2016), which was also known as the Global Rice Science Partnership. While RICE continues to invest in its core strengths of genetic improvement and natural resources management, it will expand its scope to cover rice value chains from producer to consumer and diversified farming systems.

RICE fosters impact-oriented rice research and development to reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, promote gender equity, and enhance ecosystem resilience in rice production systems.

RICE streamlines CGIAR's current rice research for development activities and aligns them with 600 rice research and development partners worldwide in order to:

  • accelerate impact and equity
  • upgrade rice value chains
  • develop and deliver sustainable farming systems
  • establish a global network of field laboraties that will discover new genes and traits of rice
  • breed new rice varieties adapted to current and future climates

Learn more about RICE

rice farmer

By 2030, RICE expects to:

  • Help at least 13 million rice consumers and producers to exit poverty by 2022, rising to 18 million
  • Help at least 17 million rice consumers and producers to exit hunger by 2022, rising to 26 million
  • Assist at least 8 million people to meet their daily Zn requirements from rice by 2022, rising to 18 million

These outcomes will be possible by:

  • Helping at least 17 million households to adopt improved rice varieties and/or farming practices by 2022, rising to 36 million by 2030
  • Improving the annual genetic gain in rice to at least 1.3% by 2022, rising to 1.7% by 2030
  • Helping increase annual global (milled) rice production of 480 million tons in 2014 to 536 million tons by 2022, and to 544 million tons by 2030
  • Increasing water- and nutrient-use efficiency in rice-based farming systems by at least 5% by 2022, rising to 15% by 2030
  • Helping reduce agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions in rice-based farming systems by at least 28.4 megatons carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent/year by 2022 and by a further 28.4 megatons CO2 equivalent/year by 2030