Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 8:15 AM

Trends in Rice, Wheat, and Maize Production and Consumption in Asia: Implications for Cropping Systems and Resource Use.

Mark Rosegrant, Siwa Msangi, and Timothy Sulser. International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033 K ST NW, Washington, DC 20006

Asia faces a complex set of challenges in the coming decades for meeting its food production needs while maintaining the sustainability of its natural resource base.  The latest projections from the UN indicate the 2050 population in Asia will be 40% more than in 2000; at the same time, the urban share of the population will be growing by 1-1.5% per year while the rural share declines by about 1% per year. Based on past and recent trends, we would expect that per capita demand for grains through this time will be roughly holding steady while per capita demand for meat would continue to increase.  In turn, livestock will likely be the principal source of increased per capita demand for feed grains, such as maize and sorghum. At the same time, water will become an increasingly critical issue in Asia, particularly in terms of its scarcity in key grain-growing regions, such as the North China Plain. Implementing the latest analytical methods and results from recent scenario developments, we use IFPRI’s International Model for Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT-WATER) to examine plausible futures for agricultural growth in Asia. This modeling framework, which simultaneously considers global and regional production and demands in a water-constrained environment, gives a range of possible outcomes for food production, consumption, and natural resource use, based on chosen global scenarios.  Shifts in agricultural production and demand show that Asia will require a dynamic and adaptive system that can improve efficiency while meeting the changing demands from both society and the environment.