Global scan of rice stakeholder preference studies
CGIAR Initiative on Market Intelligence
(Market Intelligence Bulletin, Volume 1)
Claire Custodio, Matty Demont
Market intelligence on a staple crop such as rice is not scarce, but for it to be useful for breeders, it needs to be synthesized. We conducted the first global scan of farmer and consumer preference studies in the rice sector to identify current stakeholder requirements and knowledge gaps in market intelligence.
Results from 106 studies reveal important gaps in terms of geographical and stakeholder representation: (1) South Asia is underrepresented and (2) studies focused either on upstream (farmers) or downstream (consumers) stakeholders along the value chain, while missing out on midstream actors (processors, traders).
From the consumer studies, urban consumption zones are adequately represented as sources of end-market opportunities for farmers to tap into demand. Evidence suggests that consumer preferences for intrinsic attributes revolve around eating and cooking quality attributes (i.e., aroma, texture, swelling capacity, taste) and physical traits (i.e., whiteness, size and shape, proportion of broken grains).
Evidence from farmer studies reveals that (1) preferences for agronomic attributes dominate and focus on yield, maturity, plant height, lodging tolerance, and tillering ability; (2) yield and early maturity were generally considered priority attributes and were often jointly considered as such; and (3) preferences for abiotic stress tolerance revolve around drought, submergence, and salinity.
In terms of knowledge gaps, we found limited evaluation of nutrition-related attributes. Rice breeding programs can use the results of these studies to ensure the TPPs are aligned to the requirements of stakeholders. The results can also help inform discussions on the expectations of actors along the value chain and the implications for current and future market segments. For example, new opportunities in nutrition are emerging to address micronutrient deficiencies through rice consumption (e.g., iron, zinc and vitamin A biofortification) and mitigate the rise of non-communicable diseases (e.g., low glycemic index rice). These new opportunities warrant market intelligence research, especially with rice consumers since there may be tradeoffs between nutrition and other quality attributes. Hence, we invite crop breeders to engage with Market Intelligence to ensure that the relevant market intelligence is collected that can inform your breeding pipelines.