Asia needs to collate and apply sustainable rice farming practices
There is a need for multi-stakeholder collaboration to upscale the sharing of proven best practices in sustainable rice production among Asia’s smallholder rice farmers, experts gathering at the 5th Responsible Business Forum (RBF) on Food and Agriculture have stressed.
RBF particularly brought together over 500 experts and decision makers from the public, private sectors and the international development community to craft actionable plans and solutions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly on ending global hunger.
As of now, rice is the world’s most important staple food, sustaining more than half of the global population. The crop is therefore central to the realization of targets under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“If we are going to achieve the SDGs, enhancing the sustainability of rice production, the staple of 4 billion people, must be part of the equation,” David Johnson, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)’s Regional Representative for Southeast Asia, said.
In order to advance collective multi-stakeholder engagement in rice production, expert Dechen Tsering noted that UN Environment could convene partners at a regional level and help shape future initiatives based on best practices and lessons from the experience of successful initiatives, such as the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP).
For his part, Paul Nicholson of Olam, one of the world’s largest agri-businesses, emphasized that “the SRP has enabled coordination for the first time across a very large but fragmented sector in order to drive innovation and sustainable transformation.”
However, he said that more needs to be done to develop communication conduits between stakeholders.