- Rice is a cereal, or grain-plant.
- Where rice in found. The conditions favouring growth.
- How is it sown, how harvested.
- Importance of rice as the main food in certain areas.
Most people who have been into the country district’s know the bright-green colour of a filed of rice. We have seen men and buffaloes working in mud and water. Rice grows plentifully in southeast. Asia and north Australia, as well as in America. The plant requires plenty of heat and moisture. The rice plant grows best when its roots and lower stem are in water. To ensure ths condition, the subsoil is beaten hard until it becomes watertight. At the end of the rainy season, the surface soil is ploughed and harrowed whilst still flooden. For this work the strong and patient water-buffalo is employed. The seed is then sown in the rich mud; and, as the water sinks lower, and lower the seed settles in the sloppy soil. And during the long, warm dry season the crop gradully ripens.
In Pakistan, India, China, Japan, and other parts of Asia, immense crops of rice are raised. Cultivation is on restricted to the deltas and lower reaches of rivers. Terraces are cut along the steeper hill-sides. These are kept watered by means of the skilful arrangement of pumps and other irrigating devices.
“Look again the map, and note that rice is being cultivated in certain coastal regions of both Amercia and Africa. It is also-grown in aspain and other parts of Europe. In the valley of the Po; in nothern Italy, about half a million acres are under cultivation. But there are several varieties of rice, just as there are of wheat. It is in the monsoon region of Asia however, that the best crops are produced. There too, the major portion of the world’s supply is raised.
China and Japan produce immense quantities of rice; they export little or none. Look at a map of the “distribution of the world’s population.” You will then realise that the teeming millions of Chinese and Japanese need all the rice they can raise. In Pakistan and India, we used to export rice. But the population is increasing and supplies are not arriving from Burma as they used to do. So India has more need either to increase her crops to feed her population, or to import rice from other countries to fee’ the people of West Bengal and other districts, where rice is the main food of the poor.