Introduction: -Rice is the most widely consumed staple food among the human population especially in Asia being cereal grain. Rice being seed belongs to grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza Glaberrima (African rice). After sugarcane and maize, rice being the agricultural commodity is the third highest worldwide production.
Rice is referred to as the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and calorie intake thereby providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed by humans.
The different textures of rice are long grain, medium grain and short grain. All thrive in wet conditions. It can be easily grown in the backyard, a garden bed having the right amount of soil, water and other nutrients. The water in which the rice grain develops and are grown must be drained so that the harvesting and milling of the crop can be done easily.
Health Benefits of Rice: -Rice provides numerous health benefits such as
⦁ Being abundant in carbohydrates, it acts as fuel for the body thereby the vitamins, minerals and organic components in the rice increase the functioning and metabolic activity in the overall body. It provides a good source of energy.
⦁ Rice prevents obesity as it contains no harmful fats, Cholesterol and sodium thereby being an integral part of balanced diet.
⦁ Being low in sodium, rice is considered to be the best foods for those who are suffering from Hypertension and Blood Pressure. It also reduces the cause of getting heart strokes.
⦁ Brown rice is one of the types of whole grain rice is rich in insoluble fiber which helps in protecting from harmful diseases like cancer.
⦁ The grinded-powdered rice can be applied on the skin and helps in curing skin ailments.
⦁ It also helps in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
⦁ Rice helps in digestion as well.
⦁ Rice is excellent source of vitamins and minerals including niacin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Thiamine and Riboflavin improves the metabolism of the body.
Rice, known in different languages: –
More than 40,000 of varieties of rice are available worldwide differing in their cooking characteristics and flavor difference. Rice has different types including long grain, medium grain and short grain. In India, the various varieties of rice produced are Aizon, Basmati, Dubraj, Joha, Navara, Patna, Rosematta and many more.
Climatic conditions and Soil Requirement for Rice Farming: –
The rice farming depends on the water availability. It’s grown in different environments. Rice can survive the flood and somewhat in water logged area, but it doesn’t thrive in the water-logged area.
The lowland area where the irrigated farm is there, Rice grows in both wet season and dry season. For the same area but in case of rain-fed, favors medium depth also water logging and are flood prone.
Other types include Deepwater also known as floating rice, Coastal wetland and Upland rice also known by the famous name Ghaiya rice and it has great capability to tolerate drought.
Rice grows well in different types of soils where pH ranging from 5.0 to 8.0 are most suitable. Soils, having good clay content and the organic matter having good water retention capacity are considered to be perfect for rice farming.
Field Preparation and plantation in Rice Farming: –
The growing season of rice consists of namely autumn or Pre-Kharif rice, summer or Rabi rice and winter or Kharif rice.
Before plantation, it should be made sure that the soil is in the best physical condition and the surface should be leveled thoroughly in order to have the best crop yield. Perfect plowing and harrowing of the field should be done followed by tilling or digging up. Then mixing and leveling of the soil is done.
Tilling helps to control weed and also allows the seed to be planted at the right depth. Tilling can be done by farmers itself by hoeing or using draft animals such as buffalo or tractors, or other machinery can be used for it.
Levelling of field is done in order to reduce water wasted by uneven pockets of too deep water or exposed soil. Also, it enhances the proper growth of seedlings so as to become established more easily thereby reducing the amount of effort required to manage the crop and hence increasing both grain quality and yields.
Sowing of seeds: –
The rice seeds should be soaked in water to prepare them for planting where the quantity lies between 28.5 and 56.5 grams. The seeds are soaked in water for at least 12 hours and maximum till 36 hours and after this, the seeds should be removed from the water. The farm area should be filled with at least 2 inches or 5.1 cm of water. Then compost should be added or mulching of soil should be done thereby covering the rice grains. In order to have better yield, the soil should be consistently kept wet.
Moreover, thinning of seedlings should be done at least 4 inches apart in the rows that range between 9 to 12 inches apart. Then the seeds should be allowed to grow to 7 inches of height and this process will take approximately one month.
Water is very much essential for rice farming. Sufficient water should always be maintained in the field in order to have a better yield. Flooded conditions in the field should be made available for proper rice growth. For lowland rice, it is very necessary. If there is less availability of water, then other options should be made available for the farmers to utilize it and make water available for rice farming thereby providing no scarcity of water.
Insecticides and Pesticides: –
Rice plant consists of rodents, harmful insects, viruses, diseases and weeds. Weeds are controlled by water management, land preparation, hand weeding and using herbicide application.
Any organisms or microbes with the potential to reduce the yield or value of the rice crop or seeds are referred to as the rice pests such as pathogens, nematode, etc.
Diseases including Rice blast, sheath blight, rice ragged stunt and tungro are considered to be the major diseases in rice farming. Out of these rice, the blast is the most significant disease found in Rice Farming which is caused by the fungus named Magnaporthe Grisea.
Harvesting involves the collection of matured rice crop from the field. The maturity of the rice crop depends on the variety usually around 105 to 150 days it takes after the crop has been established. Cutting, Stacking, Handling, Threshing, Cleaning and finally Hauling all contribute to harvesting process. The good crop yield depends upon good harvesting methods thereby minimizing the grain damage and deterioration.
Harvesting can be done either manually or mechanically.
Manual harvesting involves cutting the rice crop using simple hand tools like sickles and knives. But it is time taking and requires 40 to 80 hours per hectare thereby demanding more labors to manually collect and haul the harvested crop.
Mechanically the crop can easily be harvested using reapers or combine harvesters. It’s not commonly used being cost-effective machinery and availability.
640 million tons of rice approximately are produced in Asia thereby representing 90% of the global production. In more than a 100 countries with a total harvested area capacity of around 158 million hectares, approximately rice are grown thereby making the production of about 700 million tons substituting 470 million tons of milled rice.
The rice yield ranges between less than 1t/ha under poor rain-fed condition and more than 10t/ha in intensive temperate irrigated systems.
The highest rice yields results from the plantings done in high altitude areas having long day length wherein intensive farming techniques are practiced.