Origin and History of Rice in India

History of Rice Cultivation

Rice plants have been traced back to 5000 BC, but the practice of rice growing is believed to have originated in areas of China, and southern and eastern Asia, in about 2000 BC. There are many unproven mythological tales related to origin of rice, though historians hold little or no stock in any. Rice cultivation is considered to have begun simultaneously in many countries over 6500 years ago. Rice has been cultivated in China since ancient times. Chinese records of rice cultivation go back 4000 years. Most believe the roots of rice come from 3000 BC India, where natives discovered the plant growing in the wild and began to experiment with it. Cultivation and cooking methods are thought to have spread to the west rapidly and by medieval times, southern Europe saw the introduction of rice as a hearty grain. In several Asian languages the words for rice and food are identical.

African rice has been cultivated for 3500 years. In the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe, it started around 800 BC. Rice spread throughout Italy and then France, after the middle of the 15th century, later propagating to all the continents during the great age of European exploration. In 1694, rice arrived in South Carolina, probably originating from Madagascar. The Spanish brought rice to South America at the beginning of the 18th century.

Rice cultivation has been carried into all regions having the necessary warmth and abundant moisture favorable to its growth, mainly subtropical rather than hot or cold. .