Major rice producing nations

The top ten rice producers in the world according to data gathered by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for 2009 is as follows:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Indonesia
  4. Bangladesh
  5. Vietnam
  6. Thailand
  7. Myanmar
  8. Japan
  9. Philippines
  10. Brazil

1) Rice cultivation in China

More than 90% of the rice area in China is irrigated, with only relatively small areas being cultivated under rainfed conditions. China is the world’s largest rice producer — around 193 million metric tons (FAO 2008), which accounts for as much as 35% of total world rice production.

China is the world leader in hybrid rice production. In the late 1970s, China was the first country to successfully produce hybrid rice for temperate-climate agriculture. Hybrid rice yields 15-20 percent more than conventional rice.

Rice statistics for China in 2009:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 29,493,000 hectares
  • Rough rice production: 195,714,000 metric tons
  • Milled rice consumption: 134,500,000 metric tons
  • Rice exports: 1,300,000 metric tons

2) Rice cultivation in India

India is considered to be one of the original centers of rice cultivation covering 44 million hectares. Its rice harvesting area is the largest in the world. Around 65 percent of the total population in India eat rice and it accounts for 40 percent of their food production. Rice-based production systems provide the main source of income and employment for more than 50 million households.

Rice statistics for India in 2009:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 44,100,000 hectares
  • Rough rice production: 148,260,000 metric tons
  • Milled rice consumption: 85,430,000 metric tons
  • Rice exports: 2,500,000 metric tons

3) Rice cultivation in Indonesia

Indonesia’s rice consumption in 2010 was more than 139 kilograms per capita per year and is among the highest in the world. IRRI estimates that Indonesia will need 38 percent more rice in the next 25 years, which means that the average yield of 4.6 tons per hectare must rise to more than 6 tons per hectare to fill the gap.

Rice statistics for Indonesia in 2009:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 12,883,600 hectares
  • Rough rice production: 64,398,900 metric tons
  • Milled rice consumption: 38,900,000 metric tons
  • Rice exports: No export data available

4) Rice cultivation in Bangladesh

Compared with other countries in which rice is also a staple, Bangladesh shows a higher per capita rice consumption and two-thirds of the population are said to be engaged in livelihood activities related to rice. Rice is mostly grown by smallholder farmers, who sell some of it when there is a surplus, but use it mostly for their family’s consumption.

Rice statistics for Bangladesh in 2009:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 113,000,000 hectares
  • Rough rice production: 47,700,000 metric tons
  • Annual per capita rice consumption: 160 kgs

5) Rice cultivation in Vietnam

As of 2010, Vietnam is the fifth largest rice producer in the world, and the second biggest rice exporter.

Vietnam primarily has a rice-based agricultural economy. Rice is cultivated on 82 percent of the arable land and provides 80 percent of carbohydrate, and 40 percent of the protein intake of the average Vietnamese. Most of the rice grown in Vietnam is in two rich deltas of the north and south – Red River and Mekong, respectively. About 52 percent of Vietnam’s rice is produced in the Mekong River Delta and another 18 percent in the Red River Delta.

Rice statistics for Vietnam in 2010:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 7,414,300 hectares
  • Total rice production: 38,725,100 metric tons
  • Rice exports: 6,671,722 metric tons

6) Rice cultivation in Thailand

Thailand is the world’s largest rice exporter. Rice is economically and culturally important to Thailand. The country lays claim to being the producer of the coveted, high-quality and aromatic Jasmine rice. Rice occupies 55 percent of Thailand’s arable land, and it is the staple food of the population across all income brackets.

Rice statistics for Thailand in 2011:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 10,248,000 hectares
  • Rough rice production: 30,466,920 metric tons
  • Milled rice consumption: 10,400,000 metric tons
  • Rice exports: 9,500,000 metric tons
  • Annual per capita rice consumption: 119 kgs

7) Rice cultivation in Myanmar (Burma)

Rice is a major agricultural crop in the country, grown in more than half of its arable land. Myanmar dominated the world export market in the first-half of the 1900s, accounting for three-fourths of the world rice export, but this dominance was cut short by World War II.

Rice statistics for Myanmar (Burma) in 2011:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 8,100,000 hectares
  • Rough rice production: 32,600,000 metric tons
  • Milled rice consumption: 9,998,400 metric tons
  • Rice exports: 1,000,000 metric tons
  • Annual per capita rice consumption: 510 kgs

8) Rice cultivation in Japan

Japan is the only industrialized country whose agriculture is based on rice.

Rice cultivation in Japan was introduced from China between 13,000 and 300 BC. From that time until the present, rice farming has exerted a considerable influence on the social structure and culture of the country.

Rice statistics for Japan in 2009:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 1,624,000 hectares
  • Rough rice production: 8,474,000 metric tons
  • Milled rice consumption: 8,797,000 metric tons
  • Rice imports: 869,000 metric tons
  • Annual per capita rice consumption: 57 kgs

(www.stat.go.jp)

9) Rice cultivation in the Philippines

Rice is the staple food in the Philippines. The country, an archipelago, is the ninth top producer of rice in the world. However, it is also the world’s top rice importer.

Rice statistics for Philippines in 2009:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 4,532,300 hectares
  • Rough rice production: 16,266,420 metric tons
  • Total rice production: 16,200,000 metric tons
  • Rice imports: 1,800,000 metric tons
  • Annual per capita rice consumption: 128 kgs

10) Rice cultivation in Brazil

Brazil is the tenth biggest producer of rice worldwide and is the largest producer outside Asia. Although Brazil reached self-sufficiency in rice in 2003/2004, the country currently both imports and exports rice.

The majority of exports from Brazil goes to Africa.

Rice statistics for Brazil in 2009:

  • Total harvested area of rough rice (paddy): 2,900,000 hectares
  • Total rice production: 12,650,000 metric tons
  • Total rice consumption: 12,600,000 metric tons
  • Rice imports: 1,800,000 metric tons
  • Annual per capita rice consumption: 33 kgs