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Rice crop


Rice is a plant of Asian origin. The earliest record of rice in the world comes from Non Nok Tha in Thailand, where it dates back tp 3500 BC. Oryza sativa the rice grown in India and south east Asia is first mentioned in Neolithic Chirand in North Bihar (2000-1300 BC) and was also recorded in Hastinapur (1100-800 BC) and some other places ( Randhawa, 1980). No wonder 90% of the world's area under rice is in Asia and also about 90% of worlds rice is produced and consumed in Asia. In 1997 rice was grown over about 150 million ha in the entire world, out of which 134 million ha was in Asia. Correspondingly out of total world rice production of 573 million metric tons, 523 million metric tons was produced in Asia.

Rice is the staple food in Asia, In 7 countries of Asia, namely, Bangladesh, Cambodia,   Laos, Mynamar, SriLanka and Vietnam, 90% of people are rice eaters, while in 6 other countries, namely, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Republic, Taiwan and Thailand, the percentage of rice eaters is 70-80% ( De Datta, 1981). In India and China, which together hold about half the world's rice area, about 63-65 per cent people are rice eaters. A number of festivals in India such as Bihu in Assam, Pongal in TamilNadu and Onam in Kerala are associated with the rice harvest. In these festivals families and village folk get together and offer newly harvested rice to their deities and there is rejoice and feasting. However, people in rice growing nations of Asia need to seriously ponder as to how long these festivities will continue in future in view of ever increasing population in this region.

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