A crash course in changing the world.
Not sure if that is legible. I did some plant pathology course during my first degree so I've sketched out a few lines of investigation from what I remember.
Rice shortage could have many different factors - the first investigation for me is why is there a shortage of rice? Is there a general food shortage or only rice? Are alternative foods available? Tracing exact causes could be time-consuming but I at least want to eliminate a few more obvious ones in case a simple fix turns up for next season, or a factor that will obviously affect production of other crops.
Is there a supply problem? Is it too difficult to move rice around? (To what extent are fossil fuels still available?!) Is there a lack of labour?
Is there a problem with the rice crop? Is there a new strain of pest or disease? Some kind of nutrient deficiency caused by some cultivation factor? Is the rice getting pollinated successfully (global warming might affect this as temperature is a factor in synchronization of floret and anther development c.f. MATSUI/KAGATA 2003)? Is there a problem with the strains of rice being used?