This paper outlines trends in rice production systems in Asia, highlighting the growing problems of land, water, and labor scarcity. Associated with these trends is the need to increase rural incomes, reduce poverty, and at the same time address growing concerns about the environment. By examining these problems and needs in rice production and postproduction, potential stakeholders can be identified. Roles and approaches in rice research for these stakeholders can then be developed and clarified to better address the needs of Asian rice production systems. This paper seeks to discuss future roles for agricultural engineering in international agricultural research institutions, and what organizational changes will be necessary to realize those roles. As we move into a more knowledge-intensive environment, where knowledge is substituted for increasing levels of inputs, we should consider how different stakeholders can best integrate their efforts to more effectively communicate knowledge to farmers.