Rice Varieties And Seeds

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RICE VARIETIES AND SEEDS G.J.N.Rao Rice is grown in more than 150 million hectares globally with an annual production of 645 million tonnes of rough rice. Asia is the largest producer of rice (90%) with an average productivity of 3.9 tonnes/ha. Africa grows around 7.8 million hectares but its productivity is half of the world average. Around 90% of world rice area is covered by indica rices, temperate japonicas are grown in Japan, Korea, Northern China and United States while tropical japonicas are grown in countries like Indonesia. Rice is the most important cereal food crop of India which occupies about 24 percent of gross cropped area of the country. India has the maximum rice area of 44 million hectares followed by China (30 million hectares) but China is the world largest rice producer with an average productivity of around 6 t/ha. The increase in area from 30 (in 1951) to 44 million hectares (in 2007) is due to crop substitution (maize and other coarse cereals to rice) and increased profitability by growing semi-dwarf high yielding varieties in irrigated rice. It contributes 43 percent of total food grain production and 46 percent of total cereal production of the country. Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are major contributor to the rice grain stock in India. Rice production in India has increased by 4.1 times from first to ninth plan period. The average productivity of rice in India, at present, is around 2.0 tonnes/ha in 2004-05 from 0.7 tonnes/ha during 1950-51 mainly due to introduction of high yielding varieties coupled with improved package of practices. Based on per capita daily requirement of rice (215-230 gms/day) and estimated population growth, it was projected that by 2025, India would require around 113.6 million tonnes of rice (Annonymous, 2007). There is an urgent need to step up production as rice growth rates are

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