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New Group Set Up for More Sustainable Rice

New Group Set Up for More Sustainable Rice

31 December 2014

GLOBAL - The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform’s new Sustainable Rice Project Group aims to speed up the implementation of sustainable rice growing practices.

There are already several existing initiatives out there promoting aspects of sustainable rice growing, such as the Sustainable Rice Platform, International Rice Research Institute, and Keystone’s Fieldprint Calculator. SAI Platform’s Rice Project Group, recognising that each of these initiatives plays a role, will build on existing work and focus on speeding up the practical implementation of sustainable practices based on a common industry standard. The members agreed to collaborate in a variety of rice growing area such as Spain, Italy, US, South East Asia and India.

Richard Burkinshaw, Kellogg’s Rice Sustainability manager and SAI Platform member, said: "SAI Platform membership has grown so fast recently that there is now a critical mass of members eager to collaborate to enable faster deployment of sustainable rice agriculture practices in their value chains.

"The project group recognizes that these practices improving quality and yields, whilst reducing water use and greenhouse gas emissions are well known and tested. For example alternative water management strategies, integrated pest management, managing resource efficiency all have a potential role to play in the challenging flooded environment that rice needs .

"The group recogniss that to see large scale adoption, engagement has to be practical, simple and have win-win scenarios for farmers, customers and the environment. Our aim is to make sustainable rice growing transparent and accessible, helping more to gain as a result."

The new group’s mission is to identify and develop a pragmatic, globally applicable Sustainable Rice Practices Standard based on SAI Platform’s easy to use Farm Sustainability Assessment, and to then test and implement it, and feedback any learnings to the Sustainable Rice Platform.

Members have committed to test the resulting standard in their respective supply chains and fund the costs of this joined effort. Local pilots will be executed by the Group’s members. SAI Platform’s secretariat will take care of the overall coordination.

The project is planned initially for a year. If successful, the group could decide on follow-up steps like scaling-up, agreeing on metrics and indicators.

TheCropSite News Desk

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