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  • More than 90 percent of the world's rice is grown and consumed in Asia, where people typically eat rice two or three times a daily. Rice is the staple diet of half the world's population.

  • Rice farming has been traced back to around 5,000 BC.

  • Hundreds of millions of the poor spend half to three fourths of their incomes on rice and only rice.
    To plow 1 hectare of land in the traditional way, a farmer and his water buffalo must walk 80 km.

  • It takes 5,000 liters of water to produce 1 kg of irrigated rice.

  • More than 140,000 varieties of cultivated rice (the grass family Oryza sativa) are thought to exist but the exact number remains a mystery.

  • Three of the world's four most populous nations are rice-based societies: People's Republic of China, India, and Indonesia. Together, they have nearly 2.5 billion people almost half of the world's population.

  • The average Asian consumer eats 150 kg of rice annually compared to the average European who eats 5 kg.

  • Every year, 50 million people are added to Asia's soaring population of 3.5 billion.

  • Improved varieties are planted on three fourths of Asia's rice land and are responsible for producing most of the continent's rice.

  • Asia is home to 250 million rice farms. Most are less than 1 hectare.

  • In several Asian languages the words for 'food' and 'rice' are identical.

  • Rice is thrown on newly married couples as a symbol of fertility, luck and wealth.

  • 65 kilos of rice are milled annually for every person on earth.


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