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In 39 countries rice is the staple diet, but the dependence on rice for food energy is much higher in Asia than in other regions (FAO, 1984), (Table 7). The energy dependence on rice in South and Southeast Asia is higher than the energy dependence on any other staples in other regions. South Asia also has the lowest energy intake. Rice provides 35 to 59 percent of energy consumed for 2 700 million people in Asia (FAO, 1984). A mean of 8 percent of food energy is supplied by rice for 1 000 million people in Africa and Latin America.
FAO statistics for 1987-89 showed that rice availability per caput could supply from 19 to over 76 percent of total food energy in different Asian countries (Table 8). This range is equivalent to a milled rice availability ranging from 40 to 161 kg per caput annually.
The contribution of rice to protein in the diet, based on FAO Food, balance sheets for 1979-81, was 69.2 percent in South Asia and 51.4 percent in Southeast Asia (FAO, 1984), (Table 7). These percentages are higher than the contribution of any other cereal protein in any region of the world.
With the exception of the highest income countries in Asia, per caput rice consumption has remained stable or has increased moderately over the past 30 years. Total consumption continues to increase in close association with population and income growth. Rice supply, personal income and the availability and price of dietary substitutes are key determinants of the diversity in Asian diets, in addition to the quality of the rice being consumed. The greatest factor affecting demand, however, continues to be the unabated except China, which is 1984-86 average. population growth, particularly in the poorest countries wherein rice constitutes the most important component of the diet (Huang, 1987).
TABLE 7 - Energy and protein contribution to diets in developing-country regions by commodity,
Energy contribution (% of regional total)
|Total energy (kcal/day)||
Protein contribution (% of regional total)
|Rice||Wheat||Maize||Barley||Sorghum and millet||Roots, tubers and plantain||Rice||Other cereals||Roots, tubers and plantain|
|Temperate South Americaa||1.3||30.7||1.4||0.2||0||4.7||3178||1.0||20.4||2.4|
|Equatorial Africae||9.5||2.3||8.4||0.1||5.9||46.4||2153||1 1.8||30.0||12.9|
|Humid West Africaf||18.3||4.5||10.6||-||4.1||35.2||2120||20.3||20.2||15.9|
|Semi-arid West Africag||6.8||4.6||5.6||0.1||31.1||20.9||2290||6.9||42.7||9.7|
|North Africa/ Near Easth||6.0||39.6||5.8||2.6||4.5||1.7||2594||5.1||53.0||0.9|
|All developing countries||29.3||17.5||7.6||0.8||4.9||9.1||2349||25.3||29.1||2.7|
a Argentina, Chile, Uruguay.
b Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru Suriname, Venezuela
c Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala. Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua.
d Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia. Zimbabwe.
e Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Rwanda, Uganda, Zaire.
f Benin, Côte d'lvoire. Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo.
g Burkina Faso, Chad, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania. the Niger, Nigeria Senegal.
h Afghanistan, Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia. Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
Somalia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen AR, Yemen PDR.
i Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka.
j Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar.,the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam.
Source: FAO, 1984.
TABLE 8 - Per caput availability of milled rice and contribution of rice to dietary energy and protein in selected rice-eating countries
|Country||Availability of milled rice (kg/caput/year)||
% Contribution of rice
|Korea, Republic of||98||38||25|
|Papua New Guinea||39||16||14|
Source: FAO (Statistics Division) 1987-89 average.
Within a country, rice consumption is higher in the rural than in the urban areas. While income elasticity for rice will undoubtedly decline as income increases, only Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand have income levels that support negative estimates of income elasticities for rice (Huang, David and Duff, 1991), (Table 9). However, the population and rice consumption of these five countries account for less than 10 percent of totals for Asia. In most Asian countries, therefore, rice is not an inferior food and income elasticities for rice will likely remain positive throughout the 1990s.
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