|Facts of Rice
Rice Almanac, Source Book for the Most Important Economic Activity
on Earth. 2002. JL Maclean, DC Dawe, B Hardy and GP Hettel (eds).
International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Philippines.
Rice farming is the largest single use of land for producing food.
Rice is nearly all (90%) produced in Asia.
Rice production totaled 600 million tons in 2000.
Rice is the most important economic activity on Earth.
Thousands of varieties of rice are farmed.
Only 6-7% of all rice production is exported from its country of
Rice fields cover 11% of Earth's entire arable land, or more than
500 million hectares.
Rice eaters and growers form the bulk of the world's poor.
Rice is the single most important source of employment and income
for rural people.
Rice is grown on 250 million Asian farms, mostly smaller than one
Significance in human culture:
Rice farming is about 10,000 years old.
Rice cultivation was once the basis of the social order and occupied
a major place in Asia's religions and customs.
Rice is still sometimes used to pay debts, wages and rent in some
Asian rural areas.
Significance as food:
Rice is the staple food for the largest number of people on Earth.
Rice is eaten by nearly half the world's population.
Rice is the single largest food source for the poor.
Rice is the source of one quarter of global per capita energy.
Rice is synonymous with food throughout Asia.
Rice is the most important food grain in most of the tropical areas
of Latin America and the Caribbean, where it supplies more calories
in people's diets than wheat, maize, cassava, or potatoes.
Toyota means bountiful rice field.
Honda means the main rice field.
Benefits of rice research:
Research has provided 75% of the rice varieties now grown.
Research has increased potential yields from 4 to more than 10 tonnes
per hectare per crop.
Research has been a major factor in more than doubling world rice
production from 260 to 600 million tonnes over the past 40 years.
Research has provided rice plants that grow faster, enabling 2 or
even 3 crops per year; plants that resist various pests and diseases,
need less fertilizer, or thrive in saline water; and plants with
enhanced levels of micronutrients.