From: International Rice Research Institute
Published September 28, 2009 10:10 AM

"Land grabs" for rice production due to supply threats

Los BaƱos, Philippines — Recent interest in "land grabs" or the international acquisition of land to produce rice is sparked by a looming threat of inadequate rice supplies.

"To put it simply, there is not enough rice to feed the world," says Dr. Robert Zeigler, director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

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"To meet the need and keep rice prices around US$300 a ton — which allows poor rice farmers to make some profit yet keeps rice affordable for poor rice consumers — we need to produce an additional 8—10 million tons of rice more than in the previous year for the next twenty years."

Many countries do not have the capacity to grow enough rice on their own land to meet existing or anticipated demand. To meet their needs governments or the private sector import rice and some are exploring ways to invest in rice production or rice-growing land in other countries.

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