Twenty-five rice research priorities for sustainable rice systems by 2050

Glory I. Edwards*, Katherine Nelson, Solen Le Clec'H, Tang Luu, Onoriode Coast, Koichi Futakuchi, Kasper Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Agricultural research is vital for sustainable food production. However, due to changing driving factors, researchers and funding bodies have to prioritize research. We conducted horizon scanning to determine how rice systems might change by 2050 and to prioritize research gaps. The study involved 101 rice experts from 31 countries. Experts identified research gaps and prioritized these based on novelty and relevance. The top 25 research gaps were about sustainability, agricultural development, rice crop science (genetics, breeding and crop physiology), and policies. By addressing these research gaps, researchers will tackle the most pressing issues and contribute towards the sustainability of rice systems. Agricultural research and development (AgR&D) is crucial for increasing productivity while preserving natural capital and ensuring sustainable food security. Traditional AgR&D approaches along monodisciplinary lines often have unintended consequences and trade-offs, which can be avoided through integrated and interdisciplinary approaches. One such approach is horizon scanning. We conducted a horizon-scanning activity to identify research gaps to be prioritized for sustainable rice systems by 2050. The horizon scan involved a global and diverse panel of rice experts (101 from 31 countries). The panel responded to questionnaires on the drivers, projections, and research needs for rice AgR&D. Afterward, research gaps were rated on their relevance and novelty to sustainable rice systems. We identified the top 25 research gaps under four themes: sustainability interactions, agricultural development, genetics, breeding and crop physiology, and governance and policies. These gaps highlight research that needs to be prioritized to achieve sustainable rice systems that enhance resilience, conserve biodiversity and promote socio-economic well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23
Number of pages28
JournalGlobal Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024


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