Mar 6, 2010
RICE FIELDS DRYING UP
S’pore can help rice farmers cut water use
Singaporeans eat about 275,000 tonnes of rice each year, according to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). How much water does it take to produce that amount? Some 688 billion litres, or 2-1/2 times the country’s annual domestic water use.
As supplies dwindle, Singapore can contribute to securing its rice supply by joining the global community in helping farmers become water-wise, said Dr Bas Bouman of the IRRI, ahead of a visit here next week.
‘To produce one bowl of rice takes about 500 liters of water,’ he said. ‘For Singapore, the question is whether the…water needed to produce the country’s rice will remain available.’
By 2025, 15 to 20 million ha of irrigated rice will suffer water scarcity, says the Manila-based IRRI.
‘Investments…to develop new water-saving technologies need to be increased so that the future of rice production is safeguarded,’ said Dr Bouman, who will be in Singapore as part of the IRRI’s 50th anniversary activities.