Rice is a tropical plant from the cereal family. For many nations, it is almost the second bread. By the time of cultivation and valuable qualities, it is rightfully considered the most popular cereal in the whole world. There are many varieties of this culture and ways to cultivate it. This article will provide information about the countries in which rice is grown the most and its beneficial properties.
Several millennia have passed since man began to grow rice. This is confirmed by archaeological excavations, proving the fact that people have been eating this cereal since the dawn of human history. Pottery with traces of rice was found, and ancient manuscripts of the Chinese and Indians, in which he was deified. It was used as ritual offerings to ancestors and pagan gods.
There are many interesting and adventurous stories about rice cultivation. The culture owes its origin to ancient Asia. Now this territory is occupied by such countries as Vietnam and Thailand. Soover time, the cereal spread to other continents: it easily adapted to the local climatic conditions of other countries and became very popular in many cultures of the world. In particular, it has found its application in the preparation of national dishes. Given these facts, we can safely say that rice is an integral part of the traditional culture of many peoples. Similar attitudes towards cereals are observed in Japan, India, China and Indonesia.
Tropical plant has special biological characteristics associated with the unusual environment of its growth. No cereal forms such vegetative organs as rice has. The description of the culture conveys the uniqueness of its structure, which allows it to grow right on the water.
The roots are fibrous, superficial, most of which sink to a depth of up to 30 cm. The root system is endowed with an air-bearing tissue called aerenchyma. It is found in leaves and stems. Such a system is necessary for the plant to maintain the required oxygen concentration. Being in water, the plant cannot “breathe”, and thanks to the aerenchyma, which absorbs oxygen from the stems and leaves, the root system is enriched with it. In addition, the soil on the rice plantation becomes highly permeable and changes the direction of metabolic processes. The root consists of many processes (up to 300), with a small number of fine hairs. The lower stem nodes sometimes form additional roots that are involved in the nutrition of cereals.
The stalk is a full thin straw. Depending on the variety, its lengthvaries from 0.5 to 2 m. As it narrows from the base to the edge, the length of the internodes increases. Their thickness is about 7 mm. As the culture grows, the number of internodes increases to 15-20 spaces.
Leaves are narrow plates of linear-lanceolate type with a sheath. They come in green, purple and reddish colors. Ribbed venation, length - 30 cm, width - 2.
One-flowered spikelets are collected in inflorescences, like a panicle. Two wide, ribbed scales make up a flower (sometimes with an awn) of brown, yellow or red color.
Fruits - film grain, white at the break. The structure differs in vitreous, farinaceous and semi-vitreous.
Sowing rice has over 100 varieties in shape, color, presence of awns. There are two main subspecies: small and ordinary. The latter is divided into two varieties: Indian and Japanese.
Indian is distinguished by a long, narrow caryopsis and the absence of awns in flower films. The Japanese caryopsis is round, wide and thick.
Main culture of Asia
Why has rice become the main crop of Asia? In the tropical zone, with a predominant monsoon climate, excessive waterlogging of the soil is considered normal. Due to the fact that most of the territories are covered with water for a long time, it is not possible to grow other crops. The main accumulation of rice plantations falls on the Asian mainland. When there were no mechanized methods of cultivating cerealscrops, rice was grown only in areas with natural moisture. Thanks to technological progress, there are now rice plantations in many states, and they are irrigated artificially.
Economic value of rice
In which country is rice the food crop? As mentioned above, these are the states of the Asian mainland. This includes several countries that are engaged in the production of grain, the annual harvest of which is 445.6 million tons - more than 90% of the gross world harvest. After processing rice greens, about 80% of the product goes on sale. China and India supply especially a lot of grain to the world market.
It cannot be said that rice is common as a food product only in Asian countries. For a third of the world's population, it is one of the main products. This corresponds to the meaning of its name, which, translated from ancient Indian, has a very meaningful definition - "the basis of human nutrition." The product enters the world market from many countries. Rice is the main food crop in Thailand, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, Japan, Korea, North Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam.
Cultivated crops and in America. 9.2 million hectares are allocated for plantations in this territory, of which 7.4 million hectares are in the southern part. The main producers here are such countries as Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, USA, Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The lowest rice yield in Africa, just over 9 million tons per year. ATit is mostly produced in Nigeria, Côte d, Ivoire, Sierra Lyon, Guinea, Tanzania, Zaire and Madagascar.
Rice is a nutritious product that provides the human body with the necessary substances. Statistics show that in the regions where it grows, more than 100 kg per person per year. Residents of these countries receive a significant portion of their calories from cereals. Unlike other grains, it is very rich in starch (88%). The composition contains carbohydrates, fats, fiber, ash, vitamins and protein. The latter contains a large number of amino acids: meteonine, lysine, valine. Thanks to this, the product is easily absorbed by the body.
Rice grains neutralize free radicals in the human body. In the presence of a large number of these harmful elements, a person is at risk of developing cancer, as they affect cellular genes. Most often, reactive oxygen particles contribute to premature aging.
Regular consumption of rice groats has a positive effect on the nervous system and protects the intestines from irritation. It is included in the gluten-free diet, where it is one of the main components. Rice is a dietary product rich in microelements and a worthy substitute for bread. Therefore, it is used in cases where a person needs to adhere to a diet for some reason.
Aftergrain processing always remain waste. Scrap and chaff are used for the production of beer, alcohol and starch. Rice bran contains a lot of useful substances, fats and protein. Among them are phosphorus-containing elements - lecithin and phytin, thanks to which the waste serves as a nutritious feed for livestock. The aerial parts of plants are also used for animals, and paper is made from straw.
Peeled and grained rice is supplied to the world market. Groats, respectively, are more expensive and are in demand among the population. Glazed rice is found in European and American markets. It is a refined and nutrient-rich grain. Since during the technological processing, along with the husk, the layer of useful substances is also peeled off, the manufacturers considered it expedient to carry out the enrichment process, with the restoration of the missing elements.
Rice is a grain crop with varietal characteristics. The shape of the grain is round or oblong, wide or narrow. The structure of the endosperm can be vitreous, farinaceous and semi-vitreous. Vitreous is more rational for technological processing. In the process of separating the grain from the shells, it has a greater yield of whole grains, since it is less crushed.
Mostly, cereals are used to prepare a variety of dishes and desserts. Flour is obtained from it, which is used for the production of baby food and confectionery.
Types of grain
As a food crop, rice undergoes various technological processing,on which its nutritional value, taste and color depend. Grain of the same variety, processed differently, is divided into three main types.
- Brown. Rice that has undergone minimal processing to preserve its beneficial qualities is called brown rice. In Asia, it serves as the main food for the elderly and children. Meanwhile, in America and Europe, it is a valuable product for supporters of a he althy diet. After processing, it also remains a storehouse of valuable elements and vitamins for the body, since it retains the bran shell. It is she who has a large dose of nutrients. The only negative is the short shelf life.
- Sanded. Grinding is the standard type of processing. This is white rice, long known and coming to the market in large quantities. It goes through several stages of grinding, after which its grains become even, smooth, snow-white and have a translucent endosperm. Due to the content of a large number of tiny air bubbles, occasionally grains can remain dull. By the presence of nutrients, white grain is inferior to steamed and brown. Its advantages include excellent taste and aesthetic appearance.
- Steamed. Steamed grain, often found on supermarket shelves, is also very popular. Steam technology preserves minerals and vitamins inside the grain. Rice that has not undergone the collapse process is immersed in water and steamed under high pressure. It then goes through a series of technological steps without losinguseful properties. This is due to the fact that under the influence of steam, the valuable substances contained in the surface layer penetrate deep into the grains. Steamed grits take longer to cook as they are stronger and firmer.
In some African countries, several types of wild rice are also eaten, in particular, short-tongued and dotted.
Rice is a grain crop that requires special growing conditions. The main factors for its development are heat and the presence of a water layer. An important condition for it is the optimal amount of sunlight. It has a direct impact on the productivity of a tropical plant. There is one caveat - when the air temperature is too high, intensive vegetative growth occurs, which negatively affects the overall development and reduces grain yield.
Rice is best cultivated on clayey, silty soils, because water is well retained in them. In the natural environment on sandy soil, the yield of rice is very low. However, if such soil is enriched with fertilizers, grain yield will increase significantly.
In mountainous areas, special terraces are created with fences to retain water. On flat surfaces, the soil is leveled for uniform irrigation and good drainage. As in mountainous areas, areas are divided by ramparts. A system of canals is being prepared in advance, with the help of which the strait of plantations is carried out. Throughout the entire period of cultural development, the fields keepflooded, periodically changing the water level, depending on the growth of plants.
In Asia, before planting in a torrential field, the grains are germinated in the ridges, and then transplanted into the water by 4-5 sprouts in a nesting way. In Western countries, rice is sown with grains by hand, while in developed countries, grains are sown by mechanization.
Types of rice farming
Rice growing is divided into 3 types: firth, upland and torrential. Since the tropical plant has become an agricultural crop, rice is mostly cultivated in torrential fields. The remaining methods are considered obsolete and are used for growing cereals on a small scale:
- Torrential way. This is the type of cultivation that was described above. The torrential checks are kept constantly flooded, and after harvesting the water is drained. Up to 90% of grain grown in this way enters the world market.
- Estuary plantations. This is the oldest method that I use in Southeast Asian countries. Rice is cultivated during floods and sown in river bays. Such rice cultivation is inefficient.
- Dry type. It is practiced in areas with natural high soil moisture. On upland plantations, rice is planted only by sowing seeds. The advantage of such rice cultivation is that the plants are not exposed to diseases and the grain has the highest palatability. This type of rice cultivation is also distinguished by its ease of cultivation. In Japan, after the developmentirrigation, upland fields were converted to torrential. Difficulties in growing can arise due to the sensitivity of plants to drought, the need to remove weeds and exhaustion of the soil.
Obviously, rice is the main food crop in many countries. Despite the limitations in the way it is grown, it is eaten everywhere. There is hardly a corner on earth where rice dishes would be unknown. This valuable product is shipped all over the world and is now available to everyone.