in the World at Stake: Crisis
coming from the weakening demand
Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University
has been consumed as the staple food more than any other grain in the
world. However, in Asia, where 90% of global rice is consumed, per capita
rice consumption (PCRC) is declining over time. In Japan the PCRC decreased by half from
120kg to 60kg during the last 4 decades.
it decreased by more than two-thirds from 160kg to 50kg during the same
period. The same type of situation
has been occurring in other Asian countries such as S. Korea, China, India, etc. The current situation in S. Korea is
similar to what happened in Japan
in the 1970fs when the rice oversupply became almost out of control. In China, the pace of decline
currently appears to be small at 0.5kg per year from 110kg during the last
decade. However, the diet in large
areas of China
is quite similar to the Taiwanese.
Therefore, it would not be surprising even if the PCRC in China were to decline as fast as what has
happened in Taiwan.
this trend continues for another 10 years, rice production in Asia
as well as in the world may have to decrease. While rice is the major agricultural
crop and the major source of income and calories for the most of Asian people,
less production of rice with weak demand mean that Asian people would have a
less competitive agriculture relative to the other regions and more
serious environmental and poverty
problems in the rural areas.
Further, this is a critical problem not only for Asian agriculture but
for any rice producer in the world.