Amidst growing concerns surrounding food prices and inflation in Asia, the UN's food agency has called on Asian nations to help small farmers to prevent rice shortages.
Almost two-thirds of the international rice market comes from Asia, and the FAO estimates that world food production will have to increase 70 per cent by 2050 to meet rising demand.
Last week, the UN announced that food prices had reached their highest levels since it began monitoring them in 1990. Further shocks to the global oil price could push them higher still.
UN calls for rice production boost in Asia [AFP, 10 Mar 2011]