Australia has been a leading exporter of rice, supposedly feeding up to 40 million people worldwide. But decades of mismanagement of water allocations in the Murray-Darling river basin, exacerbated by the recent drought, has hit rice crops hard, despite the fact that Australian farmers have taken huge leaps in improving water efficiency in rice production.
But there's another problem. They can grow grapes on their land, using less water and making money from the booming wine industry. Yes, the hungry of the world risk playing second fiddle to middle-class Aussie tipplers.
Al Jazeera English visited the Riverina district of New South Wales for this report, which aired on April 23:
The New York Times ran an article on the Australian drought and the global rice shortage on April 17.