Recession hits rice

A RICE shortage is imminent by the turn of the century because of paucity of funds and a declining interest in projects to improve yields, says Gurdev Khush of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines.

Recession-hit Western donors are considering cutting aid to IRRI and passing on the burden to Asian nations. But though Asians account for nearly 90 per cent of the world's rice consumption, only six Asian governments and agencies contribute to IRRI.