Lockdowns and trade barriers across Asia due to the COVID-19 pandemic have thrust rice - one of the region’s largest agricultural commodities – firmly into the spotlight potential volatility in both supply and cost.
Thailand’s position as the largest exporter of rice from the South East Asian region is at risk as the country struggles to handle weather, economical and quality changes, whereas Vietnam looks to be going from strength to strength.
Researchers are pushing for India to focus on enhancing its production of crops other than rice, the country’s traditional staple, if it wishes to effectively address its triple threats of food security, climate change effects and malnutrition.
India's SupplyCo has received a government contract to produce and provide fortified rice in Kerala, after figures revealed that 19.7% of children below the age of five are stunted and 15.7% are underweight.
The Philippines’ lifting of a 20-year old rice import cap is likely to result in some 1.2 million metric tons of rice being imported into the country in the wake of ongoing shortages and price hikes, the National Food Agency (NFA) has said.
Food companies have been warned to avoid fancy ‘nicknames’ for rice as suggested retail prices (SRPs) are implemented in the Philippines, in a move that the government hopes will alleviate the country’s rising food troubles.