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 is the daily staple for more than 3.5 billion people, accounting for 19% of dietary energy globally.-IRRI

Rice Facts

The Issue

  • Rice is integral to global food systems. Worldwide, 3.5 billion people consume rice and 144 million family farmers produce rice. Tragically, some 90 percent of them live in or near the poverty line – many of them are women. As the population grows, so does the demand for rice. Meeting a growing demand poses an enormous challenge in a world with finite resources. In addition, rice smallholders bear the health and economic risks of production as they are inadequately equipped to safeguard their livelihood against climate change impacts and market risks.

Big Challenges

  • 1 out of 4 farmers in the world are rice smallholders, who earn on average US$2 to US$7 per day from rice
  • Irrigated rice cultivation uses 30-40% of the world’s freshwater and is responsible for 10% of global man-made methane emissions
  • Rice production is a leading cause of habitat loss, both in wetlands and forests
  • Global rice consumption is projected to grow 13% from 2018 to 2027, requiring 500 million tons of milled rice annually

The SRP Standard

The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation is the world’s first voluntary sustainability standard for rice.

SRP Standard Version 1.0 | SRP Standard Version 2.0

The SRP Performance Indicators

SRP Performance Indicators Version 1.0 | SRP Performance Indicators Version 2.0

The SRP Assurance Scheme


Assessing alternative crop establishment methods with a sustainability lens for rice production systems of Eastern India - Devkota et al 2019

Economic and environmental indicators of sustainable rice cultivation - Devkota et al 2019

On-farrm assessment of rice crop management practices in Mekong Delta - Stuart et al 2018



The International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mars Food and Battambang Rice Investment Co. Ltd. launched a partnership in 2018 to promore sustainable development of Cambodia's rice industry. Improving rice production and enhancing linkages with the global rice value chain will help Cambodia's agri sector expand market access, increase export value, and improve farmers' livelihoods.


In 2016, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Cambodia launch an SRP trial in collaboration with Sansom Mlup Prey (SMP), BRICO, Mars Food and Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. Farmers in Prolat commune have benefitted from a shortened and integrated supply chain, linking producers with internaional buyers. After 3 years, the 350 participating households produced 1,400 MT of jasmine paddy in accordance with the SRP Standard.

Pakistan and India

SRP partners with Helvetas, Mars Food, Rice Partners Ltd. and WWF-Pakistan in implementing a CHF 6.6 million project on water productivity in rice and cotton, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The WAPRO Project links smallholder farmers to export markets. During its first phase of implementation, initial impacts include significant reduction in water use and agrochemicals, as well as higher incomes for rice farmers.


In July 2018, GIZ, Olam and SRP launched the Thai Rice NAMA Project with 11 Thai government agencies. The project aims to support 100,000 rice farming households to shift from conventional to low-emission rice farming methods.


Also in 2018, Mars Food, Ebro Foods and GIZ together with the Rice Department of Thailand launched the Sustainable Aromatic Rice Initiative-Thailand (SARI-T) with an aim of building the capacity of 1,200 Thai rice growers in Roi Et province in adopting sustainable practices while enhancing their livelihoods.


The Loc Troi Group, a leading Vietnamese rice exporter, identified three provinces in Mekong Delta to implement the SRP Standard. Preliminary findings include higher profits and productivity, as well as improved nutrient-use efficiency among participating farmers.


Mars Food and Winrock International launched a partnership to equip and monitor the performance of 60 rice farmers in the United States according to the SRP tools.


The Climate-Smart Rice Project in Myanmar aims to build farmers' capacity in implementing sustainable practices based on SRP Standard, GLOBALG.A.P. and FSSC 22000 to drive sustainable value chains in domestic and global markets. The project is supported by NORAD and SDC, and is implemented by UNEP, Helvetas and Prime Agri.


Rikolto, a Belgian non-profit organization, is leading projects in Benin, Burkina Faso , Mali, Senegal, DR Congo and Uganda, with an aim of contributing to the global rice sector transformation agenda.


The Sustainable Rice Landscapes Consortium was established as a unique consortium led by UNEP, FAO, SRP, WBCSD, GIZ, IRRI and private partners to promote the adoption of proven landscape-level solutions for rice sustainability. The initiative will contribute to meeting national GHG reduction targets under the Paris Agreement, as well as restoring degraded landscapes and conserving biodiversity.