Mumbai, India (SPX) Dec 06, 2010
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Asia Society launched a new food security report for Asia in Mumbai, calling for increased investment in rice research.
The report, Never an empty bowl: sustaining food security in Asia, emphasizes the importance of rice as the primary staple food in Asia and a major source of income for Asian farmers.
Existing global efforts to combat hunger and achieve food security are evaluated in the report, which also recommends more research on: climate change mitigation for farming, farming infrastructure, and market price stability.
"India, which is the second biggest producer of rice and where rice is a staple for more than 65% of the population, is an indispensable partner in spearheading rice research," said IRRI Deputy Director General for Research, Dr. Achim Dobermann, who helped launched the report.
India's leading agricultural scientist Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, co-chaired the international task force of prominent global thinkers, including the founder and board chair of the IT company Infosys Mr. Narayana Murthy, that prepared the report.
Poverty remains the single biggest factor contributing to food insecurity in Asia," said Prof. Swaminathan at the initial launch of the report in New York.
"Two-thirds of the world's 1.4 billion poor people surviving on less than $1.25 per day live in Asia. They spend half of their income on purchasing food, mainly rice. For the extreme poor, having access to adequate food is often too costly."
He added that raising agricultural productivity is central to achieving overall economic development that reaches the poor.
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