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FAO side event "Promotion of climate change measures in paddy fields" at the 25th ICID Congress





As the population continues to grow in many developing countries, food security is an urgent issue for all. To meet the increasing demand for food, agricultural productivity needs to be improved. However, the effects of climate change and climate-related hazards (e.g. drought, heatwaves, etc.) are posing challenges to crop yields and food production. Adapting agricultural production to these changing conditions while maintaining food security for a growing population is a complex challenge.

Paddy agriculture has been developed mainly through rice production. With the world population now exceeding 8 billion, rice is the staple food in some countries with its large demand,and with the world population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, it is expected demand for rice is increasing more and further increases in production are needed.

On the other hand, increasing rice consumption raises several concerns. In rice paddy fields, methane is produced and released as organic matter decomposes, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, expansion will not only result in the increase of methane, but will also contribute to carbon dioxide emissions, further exacerbating climate change and climate-related hazards (e.g. drought, heatwaves, etc.). Rice cultivation is water-intensive and requires large amounts of water for irrigation. In areas where water is scarce, rice production places an additional strain on water resources.


Scope and objective

A multifaceted approach is needed to address the problems faced by rice paddy agriculture, such as climate change, climate-related hazards (e.g. drought, heatwaves, etc.) and population growth. This may comprise:

  1. Promoting sustainable rice cultivation, including intensive rice cultivation and dense irrigation.
  2. Promoting agroforestry and diversifying agricultural production other than rice to reduce the burden on land and water resources.
  3. Implementing efficient water management, including water-saving technologies, improved irrigation techniques and water recycling.
  4. Protecting existing forests and reforesting idle agricultural land to contribute to ecosystem restoration, carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation.
  5. Investing in research and development to develop climate resilient rice varieties, improve agricultural practices and disseminate innovative technologies.
  6. Provide policy support to encourage change in paddy agriculture on promoting sustainable agriculture, providing incentives for environmentally friendly farming practices and raising awareness about the environmental impacts of rice cultivation.

However, although various measures have been proposed, there are still more needs of awareness of paddy agriculture and a delay in taking action on it.

The objective of this side event is to present the challenges paddy agriculture faces due to climate change and population growth, provide lessons learned from the initiatives that have been implemented, and draw out key messages for promoting climate change measures in paddy agriculture. This side event will also introduce the current status of rice supply and demand and future projections and share information on efforts and future prospects in paddy agriculture in response to the impacts of climate change and climate-related hazards (e.g. drought, heatwaves, etc.).

Full agenda
  • 09.30 - 09.40: Welcoming remarks - Ms Sasha Koo-Oshima, Deputy Director - Land and Water Division (FAO) and Mr Kenji Seiyama Deputy Director-General - Ministry of Agriculture,Forestry and Fisheries, Japan
  • 09.40 -  09.55: Setting the scene - How irrigated rice cultivation can sustainably contribute to the food crisis - Mr Hiromichi Kitada, Executive Technical Advisor - Economic Development Department (JICA)
  • 09.55 - 10.10: Positive effect and dissemination approach of alternate wetting and drying (AWD) in the Mekong Delta,Vietnam - Mr Kenichi Uno Senior Researcher - Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Japan
  • 10.10 - 10.20: Lessons from policy making and project implementation: Lessons from Japan - Mr Keigo Noda
    Associate Professor - University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 10.20 - 10.30: Lessons from policy making and project implementation: Lessons from Sri Lanka - Mr Mohamed Azhar Seyed Mohamed Buhary Additional Director General of Irrigation, Irrigation Department, Ministry of Irrigation, Sri Lanka
  • 10.30 - 10.40: Lessons from policy making and project implementation: Lessons from Egypt - Mr Mohamed Shaban
    Director - Drainage Research Institute, National Water Research Center, Egypt
  • 10.40 - 11.00: Q&A session
  • 11.00 - 11.30: Break
  • 11.30 - 11.50: New approach to achieve climate change resilience and food security - Mr Maher Salman
    Senior Land and Water Officer-Team Leader, Land and Water Division (FAO) and Ms Eva Pek,Technical Officer - Land and Water Division (FAO)
  • 11.50 - 12.30: Panel discussion
  • 12.30 - 12.50: Q&A Session
  • 12.50 - 13.00: Concluding remarks - Mr Tsugihiro Watanabe, Chairperson - Japanese National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, Japan