Research

  • Why rice?

  • Research themes

  • GRiSP

  • Potential impact

  • Related items

research-why-rice

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. 

research-themes

THEME 1: Harnessing genetic diversity to chart new productivity, quality, and health horizons
For a summary of IRRI's related research, see Genetic diversity.
Theme leader: Dr. Hei Leung

THEME 2: Accelerating the development, delivery, and adoption of improved rice varieties
For a summary of IRRI's related research, see Better rice varieties.
Theme leader: Dr. Eero Nissilä

THEME 3: Ecological and sustainable management of rice-based production systems
For a summary of IRRI's related research, see Rice and the environment.
Theme leader: Dr. David Johnson

THEME 4: Extracting more value from rice harvests through improved quality, processing, market systems, and new products
For a summary of IRRI's related research, see Value-added rice.
Theme leader: Mr. Martin Gummert

THEME 5: Technology evaluations, targeting, and policy options for enhanced impact
For a summary of IRRI's related research, see Policy and markets.
Theme leader: Dr. Samarendu Mohanty

THEME 6: Supporting the growth of the global rice sector
For a summary of IRRI's related research, see Knowledge and capacity building.
Theme leader: Dr. Noel Magor

research-grisp

As a member of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), or the CGIAR Research Program on Rice, IRRI takes the lead in the Consortium Research Project.

GRiSP provides a single strategic plan and unique partnership platform for impact-oriented rice research for development. It is designed to solve development challenges more effectively.

GRiSP streamlines CGIAR's current rice research for development activities and aligns them with more than 900 rice research and development partners worldwide in order to:

  • increase rice productivity and value for the poor
  • foster more sustainable rice-based production
  • help rice farmers adapt to climate change
  • improve the efficiency and equity of the rice sector

Mission

The GRiSP mission is to reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, reduce the environmental footprint, and enhance the ecosystem resilience of rice production systems through high-quality international rice research, partnership, and leadership.

Learn more about CGIAR and IRRI's role as the lead agency of GRiSP

research-potential-impact

By 2020

  • Expenditures on rice by those under the US$1.25 (PPP) poverty line will decline by nearly PPP $5 billion annually (holding consumption constant).
  • Counting those reductions as income gains means that 72 million people would be lifted above the $1.25 poverty line, reducing the global number of poor by 5%.
  • As a result of increased availability and reduced prices, 40 million undernourished people would reach caloric sufficiency in Asia, reducing hunger in the region by 7%.
  • Approximately 275 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions will be averted.

By 2035

  • Expenditures on rice by those under the $1.25 (PPP) poverty line would decline by PPP $11 billion annually (holding consumption constant).
  • Counting those reductions as income gains means that 150 million people would be lifted above the $1.25 poverty line, reducing the global number of poor by 11%.
  • As a result of increased availability and reduced prices, 62 million undernourished people could reach caloric sufficiency in Asia, reducing hunger in the region by 12%.
  • Nearly 1 billion tons of CO2 equivalent emissions will be averted.