Rice is one of the world’s most important staple food products. This statement is particularly applicable to the Asian continent where rice forms the main staple food for the majority of the population.
Many cultures have evidence of early rice cultivation, including India, China and other civilizations of South East Asia. The current scientific consensus, based on archaeological and linguistic evidence, is that rice was first domesticated in the Yangtze River basin in China and dates to 7000-5000 BCE. There are 40,000 types of rice in the world.
Top countries based on the production of milled rice in 2018/2019(in million metric tones):
|Top 5 countries||Production in million metric tones|
- China, China is the world’s largest producer of rice. As the most populous country in the world, China also consumes more rice than any other country. Rice cultivation in China is significant part of the National Economy. In China, Hunan is the largest rice producing region, and most rice production is in the Yangtze River Valley, where ample supplies of water are available.
“In china paddy fields”
Wuchang Rice is most popular rice in China. Wuchang Rice, a medium grain japonica rice which is one of the Best Rice of China grown in Wuchang, Hellongjjang. It is extremely aromatic, soft, slightly sweet and slightly sticky.
In the North China plains, the rice season is from May or June to August or September. In the Yangtze River Valley, rice is planned from April to June and harvested from August to October. In South- eastern China, the early (March to July) and late (June to November). It is bounteous crops.
The two most mainstream rice types are Indica (Hsien) and Japonica (Keng) grown in China.
- India, India is a second largest producer of rice in the world. The state of India, West Bengal is largest producer of rice in India.
“Indian paddy fields”
Basmati Rice is the most popular of all kind of rice in India. It is long grain rice. The meaning of the Basmati is “Aromatic”. It is the most internationally well known of the rice grown in India.
According to sources India had 1,10,000 varieties of rice till 1970 and this diversity has been lost to posterity as a result of the green revolution with it’s emphasis on mono culture and hybrid crops. Now only 6,000 species of varieties of rice survive.
“Indian farmers in paddy fields”
The major rice-growing states are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh, which together contribute about 72% of the total rice area and 75% of total rice production in the country.
The main rice growing season in India is the “kharif”. It is known as winter rice as per harvesting time. The sowing time of winter rice is June-July and it is harvested in November-December.
“Harvesting in paddy field”
India is the leading exporter of the Basmati Rice to the global markets. During 2015-16 the country has exported globally about 4.045 million MT of Basmati Rice and 6.366 million MT Non-Basmati Rice for the worth of Rs. 227.1844 billion and 151.2909 billion respectively.
- Indonesia, Indonesia is the third largest country in terms of global rice production. South Sumatra, West Java, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi are Indonesian provinces where the most rice is produced.
“Indonesian field of paddy”
There are typically three rice growing periods or seasons in Indonesia, a single wet season crop followed by two dry season crops. Approximately 45 percent of total production is usually from the wet season crop, cultivated from October to December and harvested from March through April.
- Bangladesh, Bangladesh is the fourth largest rice producer. Rice is staple food of Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been increasing rice production over many years and is now relatively self sufficient in rice production.
“Farmers in Bangladesh”
Bangladesh has three rice seasons, the Aus, Aman, and Boro. The Aus season rice crop is planted during March – April and harvested during June-July. The Aman season rice is planted in June – July and harvested during November – December. The Boro season rice is planted in December – January and harvested during May- June. The largest harvest is Aman.
“Harvesting in Bangladesh”
Bangladesh has 25 are varieties of Boro, 36 of Aman, 10 are Aus. In addition, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA) has developed another 18 rice varieties since it’s inception.
- Vietnam, Vietnam is the world’s fifth largest rice producing country. It is one the world’s leading rice exporters. Vietnam’s land area of 33 million ha has three ecosystems that rice culture. These are the southern delta (Mekong river delta), the northern delta (Red river delta) and highlands of the north. Vietnam is grown rice in flooded rather than dry land.
“Paddy fields in Vietnam”
One of the most significant and special view you find in Vietnamese endless paddy fields as rice has been the staple food of Vietnamese people for thousands of years. The country is covered with beautiful rice fields at several locations in county side from north to south. Rice is planted in three seasons in Vietnam, Mua (monsoon), He- Thu(summer-autumn) and Dong- Xuan(winter-spring).
“Harvesting rice crop by Vietnamese”
The areas of Dong-Xuan and He-Thu crops have been increasing while that of Mua have been reduced significantly, especially in Mekong River Delta.
5 popular rice varieties in Asia:
- Jasmine rice from Thailand
- Koshihikari rice from Japan
- Broken rice from Vietnam
- Basmati rice from India
- Black rice from Asia
Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, Philippines, Brazil also produces in large amount of rice.
“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”