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Roots of Asia’s Rice Crisis

May 1, 2008 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Marian Starkey for this article.
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Gantallan Plorensio’s farm is a paradox at the heart of Asia’s growing rice crisis. The fields that get enough water have never been more productive, contributing to a 5 percent annual increase in rice production over the past two years.

“We have a lot of rice fields, but no irrigation,” he says. “They’re just sitting there.”

As a regional rice crisis looms, threatening political instability and social unrest, the idle fields in Mr. Plorensio’s village underscore a failure of policy and foresight repeated across the region: For decades, governments have been encouraging a boom in services and skyscrapers, but not the capacity to grow more rice. Financing in agriculture has stagnated, and fewer farmers are expected to produce more rice for exploding populations.

For full article, visit:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0422/p01s03-woap.html?page=1


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