Introduction: The global rice seed industry analysis is valued to be worth over USD 6 Billion in the year 2017 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 7.4% for the period 2018-2023. The relatively slow growth of the market is due to the fact that most of the rice produced is used for domestic consumption with a very small portion being exported for trade. The dominance of rice seeds is noted primarily in the Asia Pacific region with Asia Pacific having 90% of the market share in 2016. The next largest market is Africa with a market share of 4.95%. Technological advancement and increased adoption of technology into agriculture in countries like India and China is expected to lead to Asia Pacific being the fastest growing market as well. The Seed Industry analysis explains the current scenario and the market opportunity for the rice seed market.
Production Level: Approximately 9% of the rice produced globally is exported. The primary producers of rice seed market are the Asia Pacific countries as they are also the primary consumers of rice, with deficits being adjusted between neighboring countries. There has been an increase in attempts to export more quantities of rice there by helping rice contribute to trade levels. There have been attempts to boost rice seed production and trade using co operational efforts between countries. For example, the RISTE project aims at developing and enabling the environment to promote seed trade and knowledge-sharing on HYV rice seeds between India and Bangladesh.
Environment: Aside from the predominant consumption patterns that exist for Asia Pacific countries which have led to them being the major consumers of rice, the environment for the growth of rice is ideally suited in Asia Pacific regions with wet marshlands that have adequate rainfall. Rice is the main source of income for hundreds of thousands of rural farmers and is one of the predominant crops in India and China. The importance of cultivating rice is not just for consumption but also as a source of livelihood for many farmers in the Asia Pacific region. The main countries producing rice are China, India, Vietnam and Thailand. These 4 countries make up about 75% of the Asia Pacific production.
Hybrid Rice: Considering the major increase in popularity with hybrid plants which has been growing since the 1980’s, there have been many introductions of hybridization into rice seeds as well. Although there is no mainstream variety of Genetically Modified rice sold commercially, several have been approved for commercialization. There are several organizations around the world, including IRRI, that are using genetic modification tools to produce superior strains of rice. IRRI is developing a way to commercially launch a Genetically Modified variety of rice, called Golden Rice, which is expected to offer a practical solution to the shortage in dietary vitamin A. Golden Rice was one of the seven winners of the 2015 Patents for Humanity Awards by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The variety is still under development. With increasing anticipated demand for food grains, the adoption of GM rice seeds for commercial farming is not far away. In 2015, hybrid rice seed production in China was calculated at 239,000 metric tons, similar to the production in 2014, whereas acreage increased by 4%, to 97,000 hectares. The total supply in 2015-2016 was estimated at 339,000 metric tons, including 100,000 metric tons in carry-in stocks. Owing to the success of hybrid rice technology in China, in 1989, systematic research efforts on hybrid rice were initiated in India, when the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) launched a special goal-oriented and time-bound project on the ‘Promotion of research and development efforts on hybrids in selected crops’.
Development: Zinc-enriched Boro paddy BRRI-62 and BRRI-74 varieties invented by the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) have been seeing success through high yield cultivation in multiple farms across various districts in Bangladesh. These varieties give the expected yield within 100 days and those have been found to be safe from blast disease attack. Farmers in Bangladesh are patiently waiting to grow these strains saying they would cultivate the plant if the seeds became available in the market In 2018, 1,500 farmers have cultivated zinc-enriched Boro paddy on roughly 350 acres of land at 65 villages of 18 unions of the district while only 50 farmers cultivated the variety when the project started in 2013.This represents a major increase in participation for the cultivation of rice. The zinc-enriched Boro paddy can be harvested within 100 days of planting and may yield close to 2000 Kilos per acre if nurtured properly. The local varieties contain 9 to 12 milligrams of zinc per kg while the newly invented zinc-enriched variety contains around 24 milligrams. The cultivation of rice from these seeds presents a major solution for people suffering from Zinc deficiency, especially women and children.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications