If you think it is only planted in water, you are wrong. Gérard Sainte-Rose, agrobiologist, who has just planted half a hectare of this grass in a very steep area of ​​Ducos, provides us with some explanations. “Contrary to popular belief, rice is not an aquatic plant. Its yield at 90 days, rather short, makes it a particularly profitable crop in our latitudes since the absence of climatic disruption allows 4 harvests per year ”. The man who has just started this crop on the heights of Bois-Rouge is not a forerunner in this area. Before him, in Gros Morne, a farmer had planted and harvested rice and in the 90s, in Guadeloupe, a similar experiment was carried out but very quickly banned because of bilharzia in the water. “It is a pity that on the sister island, they did not try in the ground because rice in the ground is more profitable than that grown in water”, sincerely regrets the one who presides over the destinies of Orgapéyi, the association of farmers and producers from Martinique who work for healthy production. Gérard Sainte-Rose insists all the more because he explains that rice fields all over the world are polluted and that rice planted in water has less nutritional value than that grown in the ground. Martinican farmers and producers who work for healthy production. Gérard Sainte-Rose insists all the more because he explains that rice fields all over the world are polluted and that rice planted in water has less nutritional value than that grown in the ground. Martinican farmers and producers who work for healthy production. Gérard Sainte-Rose insists all the more because he explains that rice fields all over the world are polluted and that rice planted in water has less nutritional value than that grown in the ground.


When and how to harvest?

Harvesting usually occurs after 3-4 months when the panicles bend down, the top kernels begin to turn yellow.

  • Dry the plot and wait another 2 weeks for the rice to turn completely yellow.
  • Harvest with a machine or manually cut the panicles using a sickle or scythe on a sunny day.
  • The panicles are dried in an oven at 80 ° C so that the humidity is 14% in order to prevent the grain from fermenting. Their color turns dark brown. It is then time to beat the panicles to extract the grains known as ”  paddy rice” or raw rice. The grain remains buried between the envelopes which are the glumes and glumella.

Note: If the yields are low initially, be aware that repeated cultivation of rice improves the soil.

Rice conservation

Paddy is less attacked during storage than milled rice.

“Cargo rice” or “whole grain rice” is obtained after husking, which consists of removing the grain from its husks (the husk), after passing through vacuum screens, sorters and deburrers. The inner envelope (pericarp) is preserved here, while the white or refined rice is freed of the pericarp by abrasion and then oiled with linseed oil or petroleum jelly before passing into a preparation of talc and glucose to become translucent. Brown or semi-whole rice is an intermediate rice between whole rice and milled rice.

Rice is most often eaten as whole grains, boiled or steamed. Low gluten rice flour is usually made into noodles because it makes poor bread.

Waxy or glutinous rice, poor in amylose, are used industrially as a thickening agent for sauces and puddings, rice cakes …

Ecological advice

In many delta areas, the increased salinity of the water is a real scourge for rice cultivation. In the Camargue, a very shallow salt water table threatens the fertility of the environment. Cultivation is made possible by pumping water from the Rhône which dilutes the salt water from the delta. The heavy and hydromorphic soil (not sufficiently draining) makes its work difficult, not to mention the rice cutting machine price in india. This rice has benefited from a Protected Geographical Indication since 1998. The varieties of the japonica group offer a range of round, half-long, long and very long, full (red or brown), white, naturally flavored, unbeatable rice (after simple parboiling). ).

Properties and uses

Rice represents 20% of the world’s food energy needsand the second tonnage harvested after maize. Rice is also used to make various by-products such as alcohol, vinegar, starch, glucose, acetone, oil, pharmaceuticals, vitamin foods … Brown rice and rice oil rice made from pressed rice bran offer important therapeutic uses. The cooked rice paste is also applied to skin conditions (boils, wounds, imperfections …) while the ingestion of sticky rice treats stomach aches, indigestion. Brown rice extracts have been used to treat breast and stomach cancer as well as warts, indigestion, diarrhea, and nausea. Rice contains high amounts of melatonin, a hormone that is involved in regulating sleep in humans.

The rice husks made up of the husks separated from the grain serve as fuel and the ashes as fertilizer. Straw, paddy, flour, broken grains are used as fodder, even if the broken rice is often consumed by the inhabitants of poor countries while the fine grain is exported. The straw is also made into pulp.

A little history…

The earliest traces of its cultivation date back to 2,800 BC in China during the Chen nung period and 2,300 BC. AD in India in Gujarat. The Romans made rice known at the same time as dates in southern France, thanks to the imports they practiced. Rice cultivation Camargue begins under Henry IV at the end of the sixteenth th century and is useful to absorb the Rhone floods in the 1840s it really took off after a pause in 1939 through modernization initiated by Indochinese sent there under the Vichy regime. The surface now reaches 20,000 ha.

The genus Oryza originated in Eurasia in the Tertiary period from an African ancestor. It migrated to Africa and Australia during climate cooling but its migration was disrupted by the emergence of the Himalayan range for 2 million years, which explains the distinct evolution of japonica- type rice in China. and indica in South Asia. Then the increasing drought isolated African rice from Asian rice. Oryza sativa thus appears as a species resulting from several independent domestication zones, also thanks to its ease in harvesting panicles manually. Its wild relative appears to be Oryza rufipogon  (syn. Oryza nivara for annual species), to be distinguished from what is commonly called “wild rice”, native to America and which designates a grass of the genus Zizania .

The rice of Casamance, Oryza glaberrima, comes from a much more modern domestication, the center of which is unknown, dating back 2,500 years, made from the species Oryza barthii . It is the first species of rice introduced to America, hidden according to legend in the hair of a slave. In recent decades, Asian rice has also tended to supplant Casamance rice in Africa. Hybrid varieties sativa-glaberrima , distributed under the name of “Nérica”, combine the qualities of the 2 species.

A new endemic species from New Caledonia, Oryza neo-caledonica, was discovered in 1993. Its spikelets have the ability to float on seawater thanks to long stigmas that persist on the grain.

The rice genome is much smaller than that of other grains such as wheat, so it has been studied a lot.


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