All of Asia is expected to suffer a major rice shortage after production has been hit by El Nino and other extreme weather patterns.
Experts believe the shortage will spark an international pricing issue that will cause many to go without.
“The extent of this crisis all depends on what happens during the upcoming monsoon season. If it goes badly in India and Indonesia and the crops don’t get the rain, there could be real trouble ahead.”
The Indian monsoon season lasts from July to September and helps supply 4/5th of the country’s annual rain on average.
Official believe that the rice situation won’t be as bad as it was in 2008 – but repeated signs in the Philippines show rice shortages, rioting and other issues are at an all time high in the country.
A recent clash in drought stricken Kidapawan City, on the island of Mindanao, ended in several deaths as well as endless arrests. The same thing happened a week later outside Koronadal City just south of Kidapawan – all without the arrests and unfortunate deaths.
El Nino is a major fluctuation in the Earth’s climate system, including changes in the sea-surface temperature.
During the 2008 crisis in Asia which devastated rice crops, India imposed a blanket ban on exports – creating the highest ever recorded prices for rice, topping out at $1,000 per ton worldwide.
Thailand has issued a warning that this year’s rice crop production, say it will fall just under 15.8 million tons, or about half of its normal peak at 30 million tons per year.
Vietnam has said that nearly 600,000 acres of rice paddy fields have been destroyed by heavy drought and salination in theMekong Delta region.
Vietnam built one million wells during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, but has not stopped the salination problem that contaminate its harvested products.
The entire event is crippling countries that rely heavily on rice imports – the Philippines is in the midst of debates whether to import an extra 500,000 tons of rice this year in an effort to boost state reserve stocks in case of a future crisis.
No matter what comes from the El Nino weather patterns plaguing the regions of Asia, nothing good is sure to develop from it all. The inevitable process will do nothing but directly affect the poor, creating hunger and other issues within numerous countries that are already afflicted with endless problems.