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Rice, Climate Change And A Post-COVID Opportunity For Women In Guyana

Rice, the most widely consumed staple in the world, has been one of the central protagonists in the global food crisis caused by COVID-19. Three quarters of global rice exports, that originate in Asian countries such as India and Thailand, have been affected by supply chain disruptions and export reductions due to concerns around domestic food security and climate change-fuelled droughts.

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With the highest rice production per capita in the world (FAOSTAT, 2018), Guyana produces nearly ten times more rice per capita than India. The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) 2018 data on more than 120 rice producing countries, places Guyana in 21st place for rice yields (hg/hectare) and number 39 for total production globally, with half of its annual production being exported to more than 30 countries. Despite its relatively small size, Guyana is the 13th largest net exporter of rice in the world. (

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Words by Daphne Ewing-Chow