Meeting World Demand for Rice
Half of the world’s population—nearly 3.5 billion people—depend on rice for more than 20% of their daily energy requirements. In the Asia Pacific region, rice is consumed at nearly every meal, and is essential for food stability. Growers in these countries must continually explore ways to improve production and achieve a high-quality, nutritious crop.
Vietnam is one of the largest rice producers and exporters in the world. Nearly 90% of the country’s arable land is used for rice cultivation. As global demand for high-quality rice increases, more growers are focusing on specialty varieties offering a higher profit margin on the world market.
In Vietnam, as in many Southeast Asian countries, most rice-based cropping systems are grown on high pH and alkaline soils with low boron content and very little organic matter. Extreme rainfall and flooding during monsoon season can also cause leaching of essential micronutrients, exacerbating the problem. These conditions reduce the availability and uptake of boron into grains, limiting rice productivity and impairing grain quality.