Asian Rice Bowls
The Returning Crisis?
Less than two decades ago, the world was focusing on the impending food crisis across Asia, which was given little hope of ever being able to meet its rapidly growing food demand. Since then, Asia has made a quantum leap in food production. Technological innovations and policies that promoted intensive rice production systems helped achieve this. The authors of this book argue that there is a growing sense of complacency about future food supplies in Asia and that such complacency is not warranted.
While rice productivity may increase, this will be limited by a number of factors: withdrawal of land and labor from agriculture to other uses, increased competition for resources, and land degradation. It is unlikely to match the increase in demand for rice because of population growth. The book provides a thorough assessment of the opportunities for increasing land productivity, including crop diversification. It evaluates the successes and limitations of the Green Revolution for rice in Asia and projects economic and technological trends forward over the next three decades.