Rice has fed a great number of people of Asia for a longer period of time than any other food crop. In Asia, the ability to produce a surplus of rice has assisted in the development of communities, whereas the failure of a rice crop has led to widespread famine, death and political instability in many countries throughout the long history of the continent. In recognition of the stagnation of world rice production, the Fourth Session of Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations met in 1948 approved the agreement formulated at Baguio, Philippines on the establishment of the International Rice Commission. The International Rice Commission, with as purpose ‘to promote national and international action in matters relating to the production, conservation, distribution and consumption of rice’, became operational on 4 January 1949 after 12 countries registered their acceptance to adhere to the Constitution of the Commission, that satisfied the conditions set in its Article IX, which is as following:
"This Constitution shall enter into force as soon as notifications of acceptance have been received from the governments of at least ten countries members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations representing in the aggregate not less than half of the world production of rice in the crop year 1947/48 as shown by official statistics."
The first Regular Session of the International Rice Commission was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 1949. A regular Session of the Commission has been held every four years since then to review progress and advise on adjustments in national rice programmes. The last Session was held in Rome in 2012. The final report of this Twenty-Second Session of the International Rice Commission can be found here (.pdf). A special Session is planned for 13-14 June in Rome, Italy. More information about this Session can be found by clicking here.