A new collaboration to assess the sustainability of rice production between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was announced last week in Vietnam.
Scientists will develop a series of indicators to assess the sustainability of rice production. The sustainability indicators will relate to production, biodiversity, pollution, land degradation and water and will allow for nations to compare and improve the way they produce rice.
Preliminary investigations have already revealed some interesting differences. For example, Thailand produces 2.3 tons of rice per hectare compared with 4.2 in Vietnam, but the bulk of the work on the indicators remains to be done.
K. L. Heong, a Malaysian researcher who is leading the project, says the productivity index will ultimately measure how much rice is produced per hectare and how much is spent on producing it. The results will show where farmers are spending more or less to produce the same amount of rice, and reveal some of the underlying reasons for differences, such as overuse of pesticides.
Source: Thanhnien News