Asia-Rice is the work of an ad hoc team of stakeholders with an interest in the development of an Asian Rice Crop Estimation & Monitoring (Asia-RiCE) component for the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative.
2015 Asia-RiCE Team Meeting and
Test Site in Agricultural Application Workshop,
Council of Agriculture, Taipei, Taiwan, April 2015.
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Rice is the staple food for more than half of humanity - with 90% of the world crop grown and consumed in Asia.
World population, and therefore demand for food, has increased linearly over the last fifty years (+80M/year), and is projected to keep growing until around 2050 up to 9 billion inhabitants (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division 2004). This conjuncture is prone to create tensions in food markets that could lead to world food price crises, as in 2008 when the price of rice more than doubled in only seven months. In this context of price instability and threatened food security, tools to monitor rice production in real-time are highly needed by governments, traders and decision makers.
Accurate information is needed on the spatial distribution of rice fields, water resource management, risk occurrence and annual production projections. However, most agricultural surveys rely mainly on statistics based on limited ground samplings at which data are extrapolated on a national scale. Although the census can provide statistical estimates, slow and unsystematic collection of data can limit the ability to make timely decisions.
Moreover, rice agriculture is strongly linked to environmental issues, from water management to climate change. For these reasons, long term inter-annual monitoring is also required in order to study the production and cultural impacts of these factors. Satellite remote sensing can support this long term monitoring requirement at regional and global scales.
Asia-RiCE describes a work plan for the definition and development of the Asia-RiCE component for GEOGLAM. The objectives are:
- To ensure that Asian countries receive the full potential benefits of GEOGLAM, and that they are suitably engaged and prepared to do so;
- To ensure that rice crop monitoring issues are given suitable priority and attention within the scope of the full GEOGLAM initiative, including in the development of the observing requirements; and
- To establish a framework for the coordination necessary to engage, manage and support the various stakeholders.
The regional activities suggested by the Asia-RiCE Work Plan will be consistent with and undertaken within the broader GEOGLAM Work Plan and there will be a number of interdependencies and interchanges between the two Plans.