• carbon sequestration;
  • food security;
  • paddy rice;
  • soil carbon;
  • soil security

[1] The soil system represents the dominant terrestrial reservoir of carbon in the biosphere. Deforestation, poor land management, and excessive cropping lead to a decrease in soil carbon stocks, but intensive cropping can reverse this trend. We discuss long-term soil organic carbon data from two major rice-growing areas: Java (Indonesia) and South Korea. Soil organic carbon content in the top 15 cm for both countries has increased in recent decades. In South Korea, the top 15 cm of soils store about 31 Tg (1012 g) of carbon (C) with a sequestration rate of 0.3 Tg C per year. In Java, the agricultural topsoils accumulated more than 1.7 Tg C per year over the period 1990–2010. We attribute the increase in measured SOC mainly to increases in above- and below- ground biomass due to fertilization. Good agronomic practices can maintain and increase soil carbon, which ensures soil security to produce food and fiber.