Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Calls for sustainable rice in the face of global warming

Calls for sustainable rice in the face of global warming

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The rice sector is facing increasing impact from climate change.CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP

Calls for sustainable rice in the face of global warming

The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) has called for private-public partnerships to secure a sustainable global rice supply while the sector is being increasingly impacted by climate change.

At the 8th Annual Plenary and General Assembly of the SRP held in Siem Reap this week, 150 delegates from its membership across 24 countries discussed emerging multi-stakeholder partnerships to transform the global rice sector.

The delegates called on governments, retailers and brands to work together with scientists, financial institutions and development partners to promote the most effective climate-smart practises among rice smallholders.

“Stakeholders can make a major contribution to the upscaling of climate-smart production practises,” the platform said, adding that a coordinated approach will ensure an enabling policy and market environment, entailing measures such as financial and market instruments, reduced tariffs and the creation of new market incentives.

“Urgent action is needed to improve the sustainability of the world’s rice supply, in the face of mounting impacts of climate change and water scarcity on the world’s 144 million rice smallholder farmers,” the SRP said.

The event, co-organised by SRP, the Wildlife Conservation Society (Cambodia) and the International Finance Corporation, was presided over by the Kingdom’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Veng Sakhon.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation assistant director-general and Asia-Pacific regional representative Kundhavi Kadiresan said the standards seek to create a market for sustainable rice.

It will answer the need to generate profit for farmers and businesses and produce better-tasting rice for consumers while minimising the impact on the environment.

In her keynote speech at the SRP plenary meeting and general assembly, Kadiresan said: “SRP is serious about providing the means to produce rice that’s better – better for farmers, better for the environment and better for agribusiness.

“There’s so much more we need to do. If it was actually all very easy, it would have been all done by now,” she told an audience of some 150 researchers, agriculturists, government representatives and private sector partners.

In Cambodia last year, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mars Food and Battambang Rice Investment Co Ltd launched a partnership to promote the sustainable development of the Kingdom’s rice industry.

SRP said improving rice production and enhancing linkages with the global rice value chain will help Cambodia’s agri-sector expand market access, increase export value and improve farmers’ livelihoods.

“Over the next three years, about 9,000 smallholder farmers will benefit from exposure to sustainable farming practices, climate-smart agriculture technologies and financial literacy training,” it said.

First introduced in October 2015, SRP sought to mitigate the impact of rice farming to the environment. Per the UN’s estimates, rice production uses 40 per cent of the world’s irrigation water, and rice fields cause 10 per cent of global methane emissions.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied