Rice was domesticated from a wild grass called Oryza. Rice (Oryza sativa) was domesticated from one or both of two closely related species—O. nivara and O. rufipogon—distributed from southeastern Asia to India (Li et al.,2006). Domestication occurred from 10,000 to 14,000 years ago. In Asia there is a wild grass called Oryza rufupogon which is closely related to the rice. The red grains in the plant are edible although in the Asian culture is believed to be a pest. As rice started to domesticate it was sought out for its desirable traits.
Biology of Rice
Their was 3 stages that the wild grass went through so that it will become rice. The stages are Milk grain, Dough grain and mature grain. In the milk grain stage the grain starts filling up with white milky material. According to Giaconda,” the milky portion of the grain first turns into soft dough and later into hard dough. The grains in the panicle begin to change from green to yellow. Senescence of tillers and leaves is noticeable.” This is the dough stage. During the mature stage the grain is hard, the leaves dry. At this point the grain is ready for consumption. Many of the variety of rice has similar
Rice requires a lot of care taking. In order for the plant to grow healthy it needs constant water. Harvesting rice has its tricks. Most environments where rice grows are in upland or lowland and near a water source. According to CGIAR who conducted research on rice, “80 million hectares of irrigated lowland rice provide 75% of the world’s rice production”. Beeing said most of todays big farms use machines so having the crop grow on lowland makes harvesting easier. In order for the plant to grow it needs to have the soil wet. Typically farmers try to have 5 cm of water. This term is called flood water. According to Bouman “the plant uses water through the process of transpiration, which cools down the plant.” When crops are planted in the uplands their often in rain fed environments, meaning the region often receives enough rain to keep the crops wet for extensive period of time.
There are many problems that can come from growing rice though. Rodents in the fields often get a quick bite to eat in the seeds. These four legged creatures aren’t the only concern. Viruses and diseases often interfere the plant. According to NCIR, “There are now over 30 viruses reported to infect rice through experimental tests and in nature. However, only 25 are of any direct economic impact to rice production.” That leaves 25 viruses and diseases that can ruin the plant. Many of these genes are transmitted through the plant or leaf hoppers. A way farmers have adapted to the viruses is breeding the crop for varietal resistance. Also the use of chemical has help treat the waters and the crop to provide a better crop.
Rice in Culture
Rice is a central part of many cultures some countries even credit rice cultivation with the development of their civilization. It is remarkable that almost every culture has its own way of harvesting, processing and eating rice and these different traditions are, in fact, part of the world’s cultural heritage. Rice became a popular dish in countries like China and India. The protracted domestication process finished around 6,500–6,000 years ago in China and about two millennia later in India, when hybridization with Chinese rice took 2012). With population increases people migrated with rice. Overall it became their number one source for food. The Asian rice is the most common form of rice consumed world wide but the African rice is very popular as well. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, O. glaberrima is thought to have been domesticated from the wild ancestor Oryza barthii by peoples living in the floodplains. The two strains of rice where domesticated separately. The two species of rice have recently been crossed, producing a promising hybrid. The two species of rice have recently been crossed, producing a promising hybrid. This is just an example of two grains from 2 different parts of the world.
The increase in demand for rice mad spreading around the world much easier. According to Thomas L. Rost, “China and the surrounding areas, its cultivation spread throughout Sri Lanka, and India. It was then passed onto Greece and areas of the Mediterranean. ” Rice was easy to spread from china. Rice spread throughout Southern Europe and to some of North Africa. From Europe rice was brought to the New World. From Portugal it was brought into Brazil and from Spain to Central and South America. Today rice feeds half the population of the world.
Economics of Rice
Rice is a big business in the world. Many countries rely on the seal of rice to sustain a heathy economy. According to Rob, “Arkansas, the nation’s top rice producer, topped rice farm output value with $1.9 billion, followed by California ($1.8 billion); Louisiana ($640 million); Texas ($400 million); Mississippi ($350 million); and Missouri ($300 million)” The market for rice is huge in the U.S. These businesses are helping contribute to the country. “The total economic contributions of U.S. rice milling industry to America’s economy was estimated to be $6.3 billion in value, supporting more than 38,000 jobs and nearly $11 billion in increased output.” The rice industry helps out much of the U.S economy. Just like the US rice helps underdeveloped countries maintain a resource.
Rice is very important for us. What once was a wild grass and through selection became a consumable grain it is important to look in depth of the plant. Rice provides economic groth in countries and more importantly helps feed billions of people daily.