What kind of rice do consumers want?

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About a third of the world’s rice is produced and consumed in South Asia. By 2035, about 194 million tons (source: IRRI Global Rice ModelGlobal Rice Model [2014]) of rice will be needed to feed South Asians, about 40% of which will be consumed in urban areas. Income growth, urbanization, and other socioeconomic transformations have affected consumption and preferences for food including rice. To understand the current rice preferences and have a basis for projections of future demand for rice quality, we interviewed 1,900 rice consumers in 11 major cities in East and South India and Bangladesh.

This is part of an on-going study by the Market Research Team at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to understand market demand for rice quality traits and characteristics, and to contribute to the development of product profiles for a more targeted rice breeding program at IRRI and its national partners.

Our preliminary results are presented here.

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Dr. Laborte is a scientist and GIS specialist in the Social Sciences Division (SSD). Dr. Demont is a senior economist and leader of the SSD market and value chain research team, which includes Ms. Custodio, senior associate scientist; Ms. Ynion, assistant scientist; and Mr. Paguirigan, GIS and database management specialist.