Rice is the daily staple for more than 3.5 billion people, accounting for 19% of dietary energy globally.
Rice farmers are among the world's most vulnerable to climate change impacts such as rising sea levels, salinity, temperature rise, drought and flooding.
Rice production needs to increase by 25% in the next 25 years to meet global demand. -IRRI
Oxfam reviews sustainable rice standards
A recent Oxfam-commissioned review of key rice sustainability standards and schemes assessed the rigour of ten existing initiatives for rice smallholders across nine key themes: producer group management, farm business management, nutrient and pest management, water management, harvest and post-harvest practices, landscape management, health and safety, labor rights, and community development.
The research report: Implications of Sustainable Rice Production Standards and Initiatives For Small-Scale Rice Producers also reviewed the inclusiveness and effectiveness of ten company and development initiatives in supporting small-scale producers, including the Better Rice Initiative (BRIA), the Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprints (CORIGAP) Project, and the Rice Partners Ltd. Programme in Pakistan under the SDC-funded Water Productivity Project (WAPRO).
According to the report, the SRP Standard most consistently covers most of the 9 themes reviewed. In particular the SRP was recognized as having a high level of rigour in the areas of farm preparation, harvest and post-harvest practices, and water management, and the highest level of rigour in relation to climate change mitigation.
SRP Standard and Performance Indicators Revision
The Sustainable Rice Platform Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation and Performance Indicators were launched in 2015 and have since undergone field implementation in a number of key rice-growing countries. As a result of feedback from farmers and users in the field, these tools are now undergoing revision, in compliance with the protocol provided by ISEAL.
The revision process is intended as a review of version 1.0 (October 2015), with focus on improving the wording of the existing tool. The SRP Standard version 1.0 comprises 46 requirements grouped under eight themes, each aimed at achieving a specific sustainability impact.
An open public consultation was initiated from 15 September to 15 November 2017 to improve the consistency, clarity and utility of the SRP Standard.
Following the close of the public consultation period, feedback will be incorporated in consultation with an expert panel. We will make available a synopsis of how comments were addressed, and prepare a final draft of the revised SRP Standard for Advisory Committee approval in March 2018.
The review and revision of the SRP Standard and Performance Indicators is a priority activity led by Sandra Khananusit and Working Group 3: Farmer Support, Performance Assessment and Assurance. A parallel consultation led by IRRI to revise the Sustainable Rice Platform Performance Indicators will be announced soon.
In the interim, the SRP Standard and Performance Indicators version 1.0 remain effective at this time. A transition period and date on which the revised tools shall become effective, will be announced in due course.
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