UN figures tell us that the demand for rice is expected to grow for many years into the future. Population growth in the Asia region alone over the next decade is projected to increase by over 30% on current population. Extra rice production is therefore crucial, and it is expected that there may well be increases in the area of agriculture land assigned for the rice crop, but definite increases in rice cropping density. Another very important pathway will be the transition to modern farming methods giving greater efficiency and increased crop yield. Because of the ever competing factors for land use (i.e. urbanisation, industrialisation, animal production), it is expected that the increase in rice supply must substantially come from increased yield and specialised crop nutrition practices together with an intensified cropping and irrigated rice ecosystem.
RLF has Specialty Liquid Fertiliser products for all types of agriculture, including rice. RLF Specialty Liquid Fertiliser products deliver a complete and balanced nutrient package for rice crops. They are designed to be either seed priming, broad-spectrum, crop-specific or single element nutrients to address crop and soil deficiencies. They are perfect for the cultivation of rice crops.
- Less than 8% of all the rice produced in the world is traded internationally.
- Because many countries regard rice as a strategic food staple, some governments subject its trade to a range of controls and policy interventions.
- Most rice is consumed at home in Asia. The top five exporting countries are Thailand, Vietnam, China, USA and India. Australia is the 10th largest exporter of rice.
- The origins of domesticated rice have been debated for decades, however it is generally accepted that all forms of Asian rice come from a single domestication of the wild rice that occurred in the Pearl River valley region of China more than 8,000 years ago.
- From East Asia rice then spread to Southern and South-Eastern Asia and archaeological evidence has been uncovered in many different countries throughout this region to support its existence and importance to the populations.
- If the demand for world food is to be met, rice production will need to become
- About 75% of the global rice production comes from irrigated rice systems because most rice varieties express their full yield potential when water supply is adequate.
- A rice plant can grow from 1m – 1.8m tall, depending on the variety and soil fertility. The grass has long, slender leaves 50cm – 100cm long and 2cm – 2.5cm wide. The small wind-pollinated flowers are produced in a branched arching to pendulous inflorescence 30cm – 50cm long. The edible seed is a grain 5cm – 12mm long and 2cm – 3mm thick.
- There are four main types of rice – Indica, Japonica, aromatic and glutinous.
- There is substantial scope to increase current rice yields, as on average, farmers only achieve about 60% of their yield potential.
- Better crop, seed and soil nutrition, along with other important agricultural practices are needed if rice production is to be profitable for growers, and for the needs of a hungry world to be met.
- In most Asian countries traditional hand methods of cultivating and harvesting rice are still practised. The fields are allowed to drain before cutting and manual harvesting involves the use of sharp knives or sickles and traditional threshing tools. Animals are often used for trampling.
- The world’s top 10 rice growing countries are responsible for nearly 90% of world production. In 2016 these countries were China (38.7%), India (28.1%), Indonesia (9.5%), Bangladesh (9.2%), Vietnam (7.5%), Thailand (5.0%), Myanmar (3.3%), Philippines (3.1%), Brazil (2.2%), Japan (2.1%).
- China being the world’s biggest producer of rice, grows on one-third of Asia’s total land allocated to rice (29 million ha), closely followed by India who produces nearly one-quarter of Asia’s needs on 43 million ha.