Thailand is hosting the 4th International Rice Congress (IRC2014), themed “Rice of the World”, in Bangkok until November 1 in a bid to exchange knowledge on the latest rice research.

About three billion people, nearly half of the world’s population, depend on rice as a staple food. The recent impact from global warming and a rapid population growth causes a shortage in rice supply for consumption.

Much of the work of the international rice research institute (IRRI), which organises the congress, involves helping increase rice production to ensure food security - particularly for those people at risk of not getting enough food.

According to IRRI Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships Dr. V. Bruce J. Tolentino, Thailand has been selected as the location for the congress as it is a leader in the world rice trade and has been weathering through challenges that include massive losses from the rice-pledging scheme.

Local authorities recently expressed confidence that Thailand will soon reclaim its top position for global rice exports as it has now regained its status as the top rice exporter in ASEAN.

A number of exhibitions on Thai rice are being held during the event, joined by about 2,000 rice scientists and rice industry players from all over the world. New technologies are set to be unveiled at the congress, which hosts 60 academic sessions for delegates from 64 countries.-VNA