Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Eric J. Wailes

Committee Member

Konrad Hagedorn

Second Committee Member

Alvaro Durand-Morat

Third Committee Member

L. L. Nalley

Abstract

Rice is the staple crop for most consumers in Asia. More than half of the global population depends on rice. However, scarce resources for agricultural production and unfavorable conditions will make it hard to meet future demand in rice and threaten future food security. Hybrid rice technology is a method to increase the productivity of resources needed for rice production. Current developments show not only yield improvements in comparison to existing conventional and hybrid varieties, but also fuel hopes for new abiotic and biotic stress tolerance. The objective of this study is to determine what impact hybrid rice varieties can have on food security.

Using the RICEFLOW model, a spatial-equilibrium framework with detailed information about the global rice value chain, the potential for adoption and impacts on food security of new hybrid rice varieties can be estimated. Higher production quantity and significant effects on rice prices are the results. More importantly, global rice consumption demands are increasing. So far hybrid rice has already made some sizeable contributions to per-capita availability of rice in a few countries such as China. However, at forecasted demand a large-scale diffusion of hybrid rice will be needed. Accordingly, this study quantifies the impact of hybrid rice on food security and shows that the need for agricultural intensification is prevalent, of which new hybrid rice varieties present a potential to deal with food security issues. The results show that hybrid rice diffusion can increase global rice production by 12.8% up to 2025, inducing increased rice availability of up to 7.61% in the countries that are most dependent on rice as staple crop. Moreover, retail prices could be lowered by up to 134.03 % in regard to prices of 2009.

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