Rice is the second most widely grown cereal crop and number one source of food for about three billion people across the world. Rice is one of the top three staple crops (including Wheat and Maize) that provide more than half of all calories consumed by the entire human population.

Rice is grown in 43 OIC member countries with a total harvested area of about 43 million hectares. As a group, OIC countries accounted for 23% of world total rice production and 26% of world total area harvested for rice in 2017.

At the individual country level, production of rice remained highly concentrated in a few OIC countries. In 2017, top-10 producers accounted for around 95% of OIC total rice production. Among these countries are Indonesia (46%), Bangladesh (27%), and Pakistan (6%). Globally, five OIC members were ranked among the top-20 rice producers in the world: Indonesia (3rd), Bangladesh (4th), Pakistan (13th), Egypt (14th), and Nigeria (16th).

Rice is primarily utilized as food in OIC countries and elsewhere. The relative share of food and feed in total production of rice in OIC countries stands at 52% and 2%, respectively. The food component is slightly higher in OIC countries compared to the Non-OIC countries where 50% of rice production is being used for food consumption.

In absolute terms, the highest amount of rice is used for food in Indonesia, followed by Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt and Malaysia. The relative share of food use in total production varies greatly across the major producers and consumers of rice in OIC countries. In general, more than half of total production of rice is consumed as food in 13 OIC countries. Among these countries, largest share of rice production was consumed as food in Iran (97%) followed by Nigeria (81%), Côte d’Ivoire (73%) and Guinea (58%). On the other hand, once again Indonesia is the top OIC country with respect to feed use of rice followed by Bangladesh and Iran. Nevertheless, the feed component is comparatively negligible across the OIC countries. 

Global trade of rice was recorded at US$ 48.1 billion in 2017, including US$ 24.3 billion in exports and US$ 23.8 billion in imports. OIC countries, as a group, are an important player in global rice trade. In 2017, with a total value of US$ 14.0 billion, these countries accounted for more than a quarter (29.0%) of global rice trade. As a group, however, OIC countries are net importers of rice with US$ 11.2 billion in imports and only US$ 2.8 billion in exports. The relative share of OIC countries in global rice exports and imports was recorded at 11.4% and 47.1%, respectively.

OIC rice exports are highly concentrated in few countries where only four members accounted for over 92% of the total rice exports in 2017. Pakistan was the largest rice exporter with an export value of US$ 1.7 billion, which constituted 63% of OIC total rice exports in 2017 (Figure 7). Among others, Niger was the second largest rice exporter, accounting for 11.7% of OIC total rice exports, followed by United Arab Emirates (10.6%) and Guyana (6.8%). It is worth mentioning that UAE is the largest re-exporter of rice in the world, accounting for around 81% of global rice re-exports[1]. In case of rice imports, top-10 importers accounted for over two third (67%) of OIC rice imports in 2017. As shown in Figure 7, Iran was the top rice importer accounting for 11% of OIC total rice imports followed by Benin (10%), Saudi Arabia (9%) and Bangladesh (7%).


Rice is a strategic commodity therefore the economic growth and political stability depend on its affordable and stable production, and supply. Common problems identified across rice sector in many OIC member states are:

- Need to produce more rice to meet the rising demand due to population growth
- Poor access to improved seed varieties;
- Lack of awareness of enhanced rice farming practices, particularly in preventing the emergence of increased pest and disease risks and in post-harvest handling to reduce losses;
- Lack of sustainable strategies for farmer organization and service delivery;
- Lack of investment in increased irrigation to reduce vulnerability to droughts;
- Lack of access to credit and investment capital;
- Current inadequacies in marketing and business linkages along rice supply chains;
- Lack of harmonized quality standards to facilitate regional trade;
- Trade policy uncertainties linked to periodic use of export and import restrictions


The overall objective of the OIC Programme of Action for Development of Rice is to ensure self-sufficiency in rice in the medium term, and to export to the regional and international markets in the long term. The main aim of the Programme of Action is to provide vision through increase of rice production, provision of access to improved seed varieties, raising awareness of enhanced rice farming practices, development of sustainable strategies for farmer organisation and service delivery, attracting investments in increased irrigation, providing access to credit and investment capital, eliminating inadequacies in marketing and business linkages, creating harmonised quality standards, reducing policy uncertainties related to periodic use of export/import restrictions.

Specific Objectives
- meeting increasing national requirements for rice;
- reducing rice imports;
- exporting surplus rice to regional and international markets.

- increasing production of rice through rational use of resources;
- enhancing rice value chain and reducing post-harvest losses;
- enhancing the well-being and livelihoods of rural communities/smallholders;
- improving regional cooperation on rice
- ensuring food and nutrition safety.


Implementation of the OIC Programme of Action for Development of Rice will be accomplished through incorporation of the agreed objectives in the national strategies for development of rice.

Wider consultations with stakeholders are required for expanding the vision of Programme of Action. In order to fast-track the formulation of projects and their effective implementation under the OIC Programme of Action for Development of Rice, a Steering Committee comprising OIC member states, which are interested in value chain development of rice, and relevant OIC institutions will be established. It is envisaged that the above Committee will hold regular meetings, with the objective of reviewing the progress made in the implementation of the OIC Programme of Action, identifying priorities and new opportunities for the development of rice sector, as well as approving projects. In addition, a Project Committee comprising the project-owners and financing partners will also be established. The main task of the Project committee will be monitoring and ensuring the efficient implementation of the approved projects.