Friday, December 5, 2014

Rice in the shadow of skyscrapers: Policy choices in a dynamic East and Southeast Asian setting

Edited by David Dawe, Steven Jaffee, and Nuno Santos
Published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank, and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). 149 pages

This compendium of policy notes is the result of cooperation among FAO, the World Bank, and IRRI. Across Asia, rice as food plays an important part of the human family. These policy notes seek to contribute to the ongoing policy dialogues and debates about rice and food security in East and Southeast Asia and make decision-making better informed .

This compendium aims to synthesize and reframe a large body of recent literature into a readily-accessible format for public officials, business leaders, civil society, and other stakeholders involved in policy-making.  Although this publication focuses on the rice sector in East and Southeast Asia, many of its key findings and conclusions will also be of interest to policymakers who are finding solutions to similar challenges that have something to do with staple foods in other regions.

The role of rice in East and Southeast Asia is shifting along with broader societal changes, including what is going on in economic structures, demography (including rapid urbanization), rising incomes, and changes in food consumption patterns.  Just the same, the political economy of rice remains exceedingly complex within the region.

Rice is still closely tied to food security imperatives, but increasingly also to improving the income of rice producers, realizing commercial trade objectives, and, more recently, lowering the environmental footprint of agriculture in major ricegrowing areas.

As this compendium seeks to support and nurture a learning process, it also aims to contribute to more effective and efficient policies and programs. This is part of the ongoing efforts of the three sponsoring organizations to win the fight against poverty and improve food security in East and Southeast Asia through research, sharing of knowledge, strategy development, technical assistance, and boosting investments in rice-related infrastructure and management systems.

Collaboration on this policy note series involved 20 authors from the three sponsoring organizations and other partner institutions. The work was initiated and led by Steven Jaffee, lead rural development specialist, Global Agriculture Practice in the World Bank, and David Dawe and Nuno Santos, senior economist and economist, respectively, in FAO. They worked together in identifying the major themes and contributing authors and they edited this publication.

The PDF of the book can be downloaded free at

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