History of the world rice cultivation
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia and the
West Indies. It is the grain with the third-highest
worldwide production, after maize (corn) and wheat,
according to data for 2009.
Rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by the human species.
Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. Rice can be grown practically anywhere, even on a steep hill or mountain. Although its parent species are native to Asia and certain parts of
Africa, centuries of trade and exportation have made it
commonplace in many cultures worldwide.
1-Origin of the rice cultivation
There have been plenty of debates on the origins of the domesticated rice. However, in 2011, a combined effort by
Stanford University, New York University, Washington University,
provided conclusive evidence that domesticated rice has a single origin in the Yangtze Valley of China.. Purdue University
The precise date of the first domestication is unknown, but depending on the molecular clock estimate used by the scientists, the date is estimated to be 8,200 to 13,500 years ago.
The large number of wild rice phytoliths at the Diaotonghuan level dating from 12,000–11,000 BP indicates that wild rice collection was part of the local means of subsistence. Changes in the morphology of Diaotonghuan phytoliths dating from 10,000–8,000 BP show that rice had by this time been domesticated.
Soon afterwards the two major varieties of Indica and Japonica/Sinica rice were being grown in
Central China. In the late 3rd millennium
BC, there was a rapid expansion of rice cultivation into mainland Southeast
Asia and westwards across India
and . Nepal
In 2011, a combined effort by the Stanford University, New York University,
in St. Louis, and has
provided the strongest evidence yet that there is only one single origin of
domesticated rice, in the Yangtze Valley of
China. Purdue University
2-The rice cultivation in Continental East Asia
Rice appears to have been used by the early Neolithic populations of Lijiacun and Yunchanyan. Evidence of possible rice cultivation in
c. 11,500 BP has
been found, however it is still questioned whether the rice was indeed being
cultivated, or instead being gathered as wild rice. China
Bruce Smith, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Institution in
, says that evidence has been mounting
that the Yangtze was probably the site
of the earliest rice cultivation. Washington, D.C.
Zhao (1998) argues that collection of wild rice in the Late Pleistocene had, by 6400 BC, led to the use of primarily domesticated rice.
Morphological studies of rice phytoliths from the Diaotonghuan archaeological site clearly show the transition from the collection of wild rice to the cultivation of domesticated rice. The large number of wild rice phytoliths at the Diaotonghuan level dating from 12,000–11,000 BP indicates that wild rice collection was part of the local means of subsistence.
Changes in the morphology of Diaotonghuan phytoliths dating from 10,000–8,000 BP show that rice had by this time been domesticated. Analysis of Chinese rice residues from Pengtoushan, which were carbon 14 dated to 8200–7800 BCE, show that rice had been domesticated by this time.
Crawford and Shen (1998) reported the earliest of 14 AMS or radiocarbon dates on rice from at least nine Early to Middle Neolithic sites is no older than 7000 BC, that rice from the Hemudu and Luojiajiao sites indicates that rice domestication likely began before 5000 BC, but that most sites in China from which rice remains have been recovered are younger than 5000 BC.
3-The rice cultivation in Indian subcontinent
The earliest remains of rice in the Indian subcontinent have been found in the Indo-Gangetic Plain and date from 7000–6000 BC though the earliest widely accepted date for cultivated rice is placed at around 3000–2500 BC with findings in regions belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization.
Denis J. Murphy (2007) further details the spread of cultivated rice from
Asia: Several wild cereals, including rice, grew in the Vindhyan Hills, and rice cultivation, at sites
such as Chopani-Mando and Mahagara, may have been underway as early as 7000 BP.
Many cultures have evidence of early rice cultivation, including
India, and the civilizations
of Southeast Asia. However, the earliest
archaeological evidence comes from central and eastern and dates to 7000–5000 BC. China
Wild Oryza rice appeared in the Belan and Ganges valley regions of northern
early as 4530 BC and 5440 BC, respectively, although many believe it may have
appeared earlier. India
Rice was cultivated in the Indus Valley Civilization. Agricultural activity during the second millennium BC included rice cultivation in the
Kashmir and Harrappan regions.
Mixed farming was the basis of Indus valley
According to Zohary and Hopf (2000), O. sativa was recovered from a grave at Susa in
Iran (dated to the 1st century AD) at one end of
the ancient world, another domestication of rice in South
Perennial wild rices still grow in
Assam and .
It seems to have appeared around 1400 BC in southern Nepal after its domestication in the
northern plains. India
According to Zohary and Hopf (2000), O. sativa was recovered from a grave at Susa in Iran (dated to the 1st century AD) at one end of the ancient world, while at the same time rice was grown in the Po valley in Italy.
Chopani-Mando and Mahagara are located on the upper reaches of the Ganges drainage system, and it is likely that migrants from this area spread rice farming down the Ganges valley into the fertile plains of Bengal, and beyond into south-east Asia.
Rice is the staple for all classes in contemporary Southeast Asia, from
Myanmar to . Indonesia
Indonesia, evidence of wild Oryza rice
on the dates
from 3000 BCE. island of Sulawesi
Philippines, the greatest evidence of rice
cultivation since ancient times can be found in the Cordillera Mountain Range of Luzon in
the provinces of Apayao, Benguet, and Ifugao.
Those are 2,000 to 3,000-year-old terraces that were carved into the mountains
by ancestors of the Batad indigenous people. Mountain Province
Evidence of wet rice cultivation as early as 2200 BC has been discovered at both Ban Chiang and Ban Prasat in
The proof of dry-land rice cultivation was introduced to
Korea and some time between 3500 and 1200 BC. The
cultivation of rice in Japan Korea
during that time occurred on a small-scale, fields were impermanent plots, and
evidence shows that in some cases domesticated and wild grains were planted
together. The technological, subsistence, and social impact of rice and grain
cultivation is not evident in archaeological data until after 1500 BC. Japan
In 2003, Korean archaeologists alleged they discovered burnt grains of domesticated rice in
which dated to 13,000 BC. These predate the oldest grains in Soro-ri, Korea , which were dated to 10,000
BC, and potentially challenge the mainstream explanation that domesticated rice
originated in China.The findings were received by academia with strong
skepticism, and the results and their publicizing has been cited as being
driven by a combination of nationalist and regional interests. China
7-The rice cultivation in Middle East
was grown in some areas of southern . With the rise of Islam it
moved north to Nisibin, the southern shores of the Caspian Sea and
then beyond the Muslim world into the Iraq .
In valley of Volga Palestine, modern day Israel, rice came to be grown in the .
Rice is also grown in Jordan Valley . Yemen
8-The rice cultivation in Europe
The Moors brought Asiatic rice to the Iberian Peninsula in the 10 th century. Records indicate it was grown in Valencia and Majorca. In
Majorca, rice cultivation seems to have
stopped after the Christian conquest, although historians are not certain.
Muslims also brought rice to Sicily, where it was an important crop long before it is noted in the plain of Pisa (1468) or in the Lombard plain (1475), where its cultivation was promoted by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, and demonstrated in his model farms.
After the 15th century, rice spread throughout
Italy and then , later propagating to all
the continents during the age of European exploration. France
9-The rice cultivation in Caribbean and Latin America
Rice is not native to the
Americas but was introduced to Latin
America and the Caribbean by European colonizers at an early date
with Spanish colonizers introducing Asian rice to
Mexico in the 1520s at and
the Portuguese and their African slaves introducing it at about the
same time to Colonial Brazil. Veracruz
Recent scholarship suggests that enslaved Africans played an active role in the establishment of rice in the New World and that African rice was an important crop from an early period. Varieties of rice and bean dishes that were a staple dish along the peoples of West Africa remained a staple among their descendants subjected to slavery in the Spanish New World colonies,
Brazil and elsewhere in the .
The Native Americans of the what is now the
Eastern United States may have practiced
extensive agriculture with forms of wild rice.
10-The rice cultivation in United States
In 1694, rice arrived in
Carolina, probably originating from . Madagascar
United States, colonial South Carolina and Georgia grew
and amassed great wealth from the Slavery labor obtained from
the Senegambia area of West Africa and from coastal .
At the port of Charleston, through which 40% of all American slave imports
passed, slaves from this region of Africa brought the highest prices, in
recognition of their prior knowledge of rice culture, which was put to use on
the many rice plantations around Georgetown, Charleston,
and Savannah. Sierra Leone
The invention of the rice mill increased profitability of the crop, and the addition of water power for the mills in 1787 by millwright Jonathan Lucas was another step forward.
Rice culture in the southeastern
less profitable with the loss of slave labor after the American Civil War, and it finally died out
just after the turn of the 20th century. U.S.
In the southern
States, rice has been grown in southern Arkansas, Louisiana,
since the mid-19th century. Rice cultivation began in Texas during the California Gold Rush, when an estimated
40,000 Chinese laborers immigrated to the state and grew small amounts of the
grain for their own consumption. California
References to wild rice in the
the unrelated Zizania palustris. More than 100 varieties
of rice are commercially produced primarily in six states ( Americas Arkansas,
and California) in the U.S.
11-The rice cultivation in Australia
Rice was one of the earliest crops planted in
Australia by British settlers, who had experience
with rice plantations in the
and the subcontinent. Americas
Although attempts to grow rice in the well-watered north of
have been made for many years, they have consistently failed because of
inherent iron and manganese toxicities in the soils and destruction
by pests. Australia
In the 1920s it was seen as a possible irrigation crop on soils within the
were too heavy for the cultivation of fruit and too infertile for wheat. Murray-Darling Basin
Californian varieties of rice were found suitable for the climate in the Riverina, and the first mill opened at Leeton in 1951.
Even before this
Australia's rice production greatly exceeded
local needs, and rice exports to have become a major source of
foreign currency. Japan
Above-average rainfall from the 1950s to the middle 1990s encouraged the expansion of the Riverina rice industry, but its prodigious water use in a practically waterless region began to attract the attention of environmental scientists.
The Australian rice industry is somewhat opportunistic, with the area planted varying significantly from season to season depending on water allocations in the
Murray and Murrumbidgee irrigation regions.
Today, the majority of all rice produced comes from
China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines,
and . Asian farmers still account for 92% of
the world's total rice production. Japan
1-Oryza sativa- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia