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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3354;

An Analysis of the Water-Energy-Food-Land Requirements and CO2 Emissions for Food Security of Rice in Japan

Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Motoyama 457-4, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8047, Japan
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon
Department of Rural Systems Engineering and Research Institute for Agriculture & Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Department of Rural and Bio-systems Engineering, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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The aim of this study is to assess the impact of rice-based food security on water, energy, land, and CO2 emissions from a holistic point of view using the Nexus approach, which analyzes tradeoffs between water, energy, and food management. In Japan, both rice consumption and the area harvested for rice have decreased. Maintaining a high self-sufficiency ratio (SSR) in rice production is an important aspect of food security in Japan, impacting the management of key resources, such as water, energy, and land. This study has, therefore, assessed the impact of various SSRs on rice production, focusing on consumption and land-use trends. First, the rice production SSR is predicted to drop to 87% by 2025 within the logarithmic trend of rice consumption and the polynomial trend line of the harvested area of rice. This reflects the fact that rice production is expected to decline more steeply than consumption between 2016 and 2025. Second, this study sets the SSRs for rice in 2025 between 80% and 100%, reflecting a range of low-to-high food security levels. In comparison with the 2016 baseline, about 0.70 × 10 6 additional tons of rice will be produced. Achieving a rice production SSR of 100% will require 10,195 × 10 6 m3 more of water and 23.31 × 10 6 GJ more of energy. Furthermore, an additional 283,000 tons of CO2 will be emitted in 2025, as more energy is used. By contrast, an 80% rice production SSR scenario would save 1482 × 10 6 m3 of water and 3.39 × 10 6 GJ of energy, as well as making a 398,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions in 2015. A lower SSR would have a positive impact on resource management but a negative impact on food security. It would also reduce the income and economic status of farmers. It is, therefore, important to consider the tradeoffs between food security and resource savings in order to achieve sustainable water, energy, food, and land management in Japan. View Full-Text
Keywords: tradeoff analysis; complex relationship; rice self-sufficiency; holistic impacts; Water-Energy-Food Nexus tradeoff analysis; complex relationship; rice self-sufficiency; holistic impacts; Water-Energy-Food Nexus

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Lee, S.-H.; Taniguchi, M.; Mohtar, R.H.; Choi, J.-Y.; Yoo, S.-H. An Analysis of the Water-Energy-Food-Land Requirements and CO2 Emissions for Food Security of Rice in Japan. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3354.

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