Facts and figures

Rice is a staple food for half of the world’s population.  Along with wheat and maize, rice is a key source of sustenance for people around the world. 

Approximately 95% of rice is produced and eaten in Asia.  It forms up to 60% of people’s diets in South East Asia, and 35% in South and East Asia.  Its high caloric value and versatility in numerous dishes makes it a popular choice in developing countries.  Its popularity in developed countries has increased over the past few decades, with the average UK citizen now consuming approximately 4.4kg of rice annually. 

Rice was first cultivated in the 5th millennium B.C.  The rice that we eat today is thought to have originated in Asia, and is the Oryza sativa species from the Graminaceae (grass) family. 

The rice plant ranges from 0.4m to over 5m in height, and has a short life span of 3-7 months.  It is semi-aquatic, and requires 1260 litres of water to produce 500g of rice.   

Comments on this article

bill 7 September, 2010

i like rice

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