Rice research and development

RICE is the second most important cereal in the world and is a staple food for about two billion people. Production is concentrated in Western and Eastern Asia with more than 90% of world output. China and India, which account for more than one-third of global population, supply over half of the world’s rice.

NARI Scientist Julie Sip evaluating rice varieties in Central PNG

Brazil is the most important non-Asian producer, followed by the United States. Italy ranks first in Europe. Although rice is not a traditional crop to PNG, it has been cultivated for more than 100 years and has become a staple to many people, with an estimated consumption of more than 300,000 tonnes per annum. Rice and grains have emerged strongly during the post-war era in PNG. It has become prominent in the household food basket, contributing significantly to national nutrition and calorie requirements. Despite its popularity, almost all the rice consumed in PNG is imported. Importing rice is one of the most contentious food policy issues in PNG. Commentators have suggested that the local population is becoming too reliant on imported rice. These concerns prompt policymakers in the 1990s to set an ambitious target to produce about 50,000 tonnes by the end of the decade. Read more here

Source: The National Online

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