FROM PADDY TO DISH

School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment

Master degree in ITALIAN FOOD AND WINE

Course: FOOD AND WINE HISTORY, ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIETY 2020-2021

THE RICE CULTIVATION METHODS IN THE WORLD

The first recorded mention of rice production comes from China in 2800 B.C., but archaeological excavations find rice in India as far back as 4530 B.C. By 500 B.C., rice was being cultivated throughout Asia, and transported thereafter to certain regions of Europe.

By the 1600s, rice was being cultivated in the Americas.

Traditionally, fields carefully prepped, plowed, and divided into paddies.

Seeds were introduced into dry fields in anticipation of rain. This flooding meant that little fertilization was required , but pests were a major issue, and traditionally, some cultures relied on incantations, astrology, and specific symbols to ward off pests as well. Farmers shared irrigation and harvesting duties, which reduced costs and provided a sense of mutual ownership.

Archaeologists excavating in India discovered rice, which they were convinced, could be dated to 4530 B.C. However, the first recorded mention originates from China in 2800 B.C. Around 500 B.C. cultivation spread to parts of India, Iran, Iraq, Egypt and eventually to Japan.

Although China, India or Thailand cannot be identified as the home of the rice plant (indeed it may have been native to all), it is relatively clear that rice was introduced to Europe and the Americas, by travelers who took with them the seeds of the crops that grew in their homes and in foreign lands.

In the West, parts of America and certain regions of Europe, such as Italy and Spain, are able to provide the correct climate thereby giving rise to a thriving rice industry.

The first cultivation in the U.S., along coastal regions from S. Carolina to Texas, started in 1685. Some historians believe that rice travelled to America in 1694, in a British ship bound for Madagascar.

CULTIVATION HISTORY

The different stages of cultivation (land preparation, planting and flooding, weeding, and rice harvest) over 180 days between March and October, also required a lot of manpower. Above all, the manual removal of weeds and harvest, until the fifties brought into paddy fields 260-280 thousand people in late spring and autumn.

The practice of transplantation in order to exploit the soil with other crops, then abandoned, required highly skilled workers and in great numbers. In the nineteenth and early twentieth-century social conditions and remuneration of rice-weeders, and laborers determined strong social conflicts that were resolved in 1906 with the first collective agreements based on the eight-hour workday.

In the same year appeared the first machines to mechanize the various cultivation practices, and we have to wait until 1952 for the experimental introduction of chemical herbicides which will spread by 1957 and make a decisive impact in rice fields since the early sixties.

Traditional rice cultivation

INNOVATION WITH A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY

 

Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most important food crops in the world.

Demand for rice is growing all over the world and as an instance, it is estimated that by 2025 AD the requirement of only India would be 140 million tonnes.

In Asia, more than two billion people are getting 60-70 percent of their energy requirement from rice and its derived products. In India, rice occupies an area of 44 million hectares with an average production of 90 million tonnes at productivity of 2.0 tonnes per hectare.

In Asia, nearly 60% of the 138 million hectares devoted to rice production annually is irrigated, where rice is often grown in monoculture with two to three crops a year depending upon water availability.

Benefits of Sustainable Production of Rice Cultivation

  • Reduction in seed requirement 65-75%;
  • Water requirement 35-45%reduction;
  • Fertilizer requirement No
  • Yield 25-30% increased;
  • Pest and disease management less;
  • Soil health sustained improvement

Techniques for Sustainable Production of Rice

  • Direct seeded rice (DSR): Rice can be directly seeded either through dry or wet (pre germinated) seeding.
  • Crop residue management: Crop residues are good sources of plant nutrients, are the primary source of organic material added to the soil
  • Laser Land levelling: A resource management technique by process of land smothering and uniform distribution of materials e.g water.
  • Brown manuring: Green manuring is not picking up by the farmers due to scarcity of water.

Resource Conserving Techniques (RCTs) are more effective in combinations rather than their individual application. SRI methods of rice cultivation is an efficient natural resources utilization and are some solutions for enhancing the production, productivity and environmental sustainability.

 

Average annual rice production, area harvested, and yield in most important

 

Country or region Production (million tons) * Area harvested (Million ha) Yield (t/ha)
China 188.5 28.7 6.5
India 142.5 42.8 3.3
Indonesia 58.3 11.7 5.0
Bangladesh 42.5 10.9 3.9
Vietnam 36.0 7.5 4.8
Thailand 30.5 9.9 2.6
Myanmar 32.0 8.9 3.6
Philippines 17.5 4.6 3.8
Japan 10.9 1.7 6.4
Other Asian countries 35.8 10.9 3.3
Asia 594.5 137.6 4.3
Brazil 12.1
World 597.8 155.0 3.9

 

REFERENCES

  • https://bit.ly/32VAWBp
  • https://bit.ly/33094fx

 THE RICE CULTIVATION METHODS IN ITALY

Italian rice fields are located in a large plain, Pianura Padana, equidistant from the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. In the summer, when water melts from the Alps glaciers, covering the fields, these expenses almost look like an immense mirror. The water is stocked there for a few months, from April to September, thanks to artificially constructed embankments. Once the rice fields have been flooded and rice has grown, the water is then released and returns to the sea.

1. Traditional rice cultivation method / Natural Production

In the last century, Italian rice farmers have honed their techniques to increase productionand save resources. For example, until the 1960s, about 50% of rice crops were transplantedmeaning that rice seeds were activated in a nursery, and once the plants reached a suitableage for uprooting, they were removed and planted in the fields. They began to grow rice in a natural way reducing to zero pesticides and herbicides. Thenatural production is aimed to use as much as possible energy coming directly from nature. Weeds are removed by hand and when harvested, rice grains are dried using sun heat.The drawback is that crop is reduced to 50% or less, increasing thus the price per kilo.Because of the large amount of manual work, only about one hectare can be cultivated usingthis method.

2. Modern cultivation/ Now day

Farmers plant directly in the field, saving time and labor; transplantation is only performedas corrective work in small portions of land, and some farmers have been experimentingwith mechanical transplant in their crops. In countries like China, however, this technique isstill the most adopted. However, the introduction of new technologies has allowed Italian farmers to maintain thehealth of each plant regardless of weather, pests, and soil quality, making this tediouspractice obsolete. Ente Risi is leading the way in the implementation of precision technologyto ensure farmers apply the exact dose of fertilizer to each small plot of land.

 

 

 

Steps involved in modern rice cultivation

1. Field preparation

As soon as the winter frost cease, fields are ploughed. Ploughs are used in farming for theinitial preparation and cultivation of soil to make it ready for sowing seed. Ploughing alsoaerates the soil so that it can hold in moisture more effectively. Some nitrogen-rich organicfertilizer is sometimes added before ploughing.

2. Harrow

A harrow is used after ploughing to breaks up loose clods and lumps to give a finer finish.Harrows give good soil structure that is suitable for planting and seeding. Harrow is also usedfor removing early weeds.

3. Levelling

fields are carefully levelled with precision, laser-guided grading equipment. More level andsmooth soil surface reduce time and water required to irrigate the fields. Rice will grow in amore uniform moisture environment with a uniform germination reducing in seeds,fertilizer, chemicals and fuel.

4. Flooding

Water is run into the fields to a depth of only 10-15 cm. Water has been shown to improvethe rice plants’ ability to compete against weeds for nutrients and sunlight, reducing theneed for herbicides

5. Sow

Rice seed is then soaked sowed. The heavy seeds sink and begin to grow after a few days.Fertilizer spreaders are used to saw rice and apply fertilizer easily. Using this machinery mustbe done carefully and accurately. It is important to make sure that you lay the right amountsof seeds and fertilizer

6. Pests and Weeds control

One to two applications of herbicides are applied to control weeds early in the growingcycle. If necessary, fields are treated for pests. Early application ensures uncontaminatedrice at harvest.

7. Harvest

By August, the grain begins to appear in long panicles on the top of the plant. By September,the grain is ripe and ready to be harvested. Before rice harvest can begin, the fields must bedrained.

8. Transport

Tractors come alongside, receiving the rice and delivering it to the farm.

9. Drying

Rice is then carefully dried to an ideal moisture level and stored until the customer places anorder. Rice is drying 22-24% of water to 13%. This step is critical because if the decreasingrate of moisture is too high the grains will break

10. Milling & Storage

At the mill, the hull is first removed, leaving brown rice. White rice is the result of gentlyremoving the bran layers to leave just the inner, pearly grain.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Reyneri Amedeo et al. (?) “I Sistemi Colturali Basati sulla Coltivazione del Riso”. Accessed 01 July 2019.
  2. Zhang Minghua et al. “Review of Precision Rice Hill-Drop Drilling Technology and Machine for Paddy”. Accessed 20 June.
  3. https://www.riceandwine.com/our_rice/modern_cultivation.php

THE RICE PRODUCTION IN THE WORLD

Rice is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production after sugarcane and maize (1). Rice is grown in more than a hundred countries, with a total harvested area of approximately 158 million hectares, producing more than 700 million tons annually (470 million tons of milled rice) (2).

Developing countries make up 95% of the world’s production of rice, with China and India producing 49% and Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam producing 22% of the world’s total production of rice.

The majority of rice farms are small, having less than 1 hectare of production. Due to poor infrastructure, as much as 40% of rice production in developing countries is lost due to poor roads and infrastructure – this lost rice could feed hundreds of millions of people (1). Nearly 100 million people depend on the production of rice to provide them with rice to eat as their daily staple food (2).

Soil health is important for rice production and there is emerging research on the effects of cadmium pollution in China and its effect on human health (3).

There are thousands of varieties of rice all over the world, and they can be split up into different types; for example: short grain (sticky rice from China, Japan and Korea), risotto rice (Italy, Spain) long grain (basmati and jasmine from southeast Asia) and different colors (green, black, red) (2).

 

REFERENCES

  1. Wikipedia, Rice, accessed 02-11-2020
  2. Ricepedia.org, accessed 02-11-2020
  3. A review of soil cadmium contamination in China including a health risk. Assessment [September 2015 Environmental Science and Pollution Research 22(21)]

THE RICE PRODUCTION IN ITALY

According to the latest FAO estimates, the world production of rice is around 755 million tons in 2019. Italy is a leading country in the European production (52%) with four thousands farm and a hundred of rice mills that transform paddy into processed rice, for a total production that can reach 900 thousand tons every year, of which about half is exported to European Union thanks to the new focus on the quality of the most suitable types of risotto. In Italy there are 217 thousand of hectares cultivated by rice, 92% of which are located between Lombardy and Piedmont. The remaining 8% is divided between Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Sardinia and small areas in Tuscany, Calabria and Sicily. The Italian rice with more of 200 varieties is a unique in richness in the world, linked to the nutrition, society and production history of this country in a context of a great commercial competition (Morosi M., 2019). Since 2017, Italian law provided for the establishment of the so-called traditional varieties, namely Carnaroli, Arborio, Roma/Balbo, Ribe, Vialone Nano and Sant’Andrea. For the rice belonging to these varieties, the name of the product must coincide with the name of the variety used or with similar varieties registered that have passed a careful examination and are included in a special register held by the National Rice Authority (Mirandola M, 2019).

Italy is considered as the largest rice producer in Europe which has a long history that started centuries ago. Since then, the methods of production and management of rice farms has changed to a great extent. To find out about modern rice farming in Italy, we interviewed Michele Conte of La Fagiana. Michele Conte, who is the son of the director of this farm, with his master degree of italian food and wine of Padova University, now is bringing ne thoughts to this italian traditional farm.

Michele Conte

For a farm it is crucial to focus not only on the production of food and other crops but also on the management of natural resources. It is very important to invent new ways to reduce soil damage and environmental impact.

Michele Conte

Not every piece of land is suitable for growing rice. The soil and different other intrinsic and extrinsic factors can influence a good harvest. Significant aspects can lead to a good quality and a desired rice product that can be used for specific dishes like risotto

Many rice producing farms sell their produce to big companies to transform and sell it at relatively low prices. Another way is the transformation and sale in the own company so every step from growing to selling is in one firm’s hand. Michele explains why this is done at their farm.

It is really important to promote a high quality product with appropriate information to make people buy it.

With an aim to promote transparency they invite people by posting on Facebook to see the harvesting and other activities at the farm with intentions to create an understanding of the value of the product. In addition to this, they conduct various guided tours with show-cooking and tasting of tasty risottos and local agricultural products, all accompanied by wine, craft beers, and apple juice. These activities have been found useful in order to establish a strong relationship between the brand and consumers.

Michele Conte

Michele Conte

Climate change is another challenging aspect the farms have to adapt to. Michele explained with an example how it is done at La Fagiana.

Technical aspects of rice production

Carlo Nicoletto

Pests and deseases

Carlo Nicoletto

Environmenal impact of the production

Carlo Nicoletto

Environmenal impact of the production

Carlo Nicoletto

Health emergency and effects on direct sales

Carlo Nicoletto

THE RICE MARKET IN THE WORLD

Rice is the one most consumed cereal grain globally by being consumed by more than half of the world’s populations and with more than 700 million metric tons produced annually at a global level. Rice is the second-most important cereal crop after maize in the world. As the consumption of this cereal is high, the growth of the rice market is expected to increase. Most of the rice is grown and consumed in the Asian region, from Pakistan in the west to Japan in the east.

The world’s largest rice producers in 2018 were China and India. In Europe, Italy is the main producer of rice with a 4% increase in exports in 2019 for a value of almost 550 million euros. One of the fastest-growing rice exporters since 2015 are: China (up 296%), Netherlands (up 75.7%), Paraguay (up 74.6%) and Cambodia (up 51.1%) and the biggest importers are: Iran (7.5%) of total rice imports, Saudi Arabia (6.5%), China (up to 5.7%) and United States (5%). Among the major producers in South America, Brazil is the only country that both exports and imports rice. 

Due to the current pandemic, changes in rice availability and prices have caused social unrest in several countries, the production must rise faster than before to stabilize the price to an affordable level for the consumers. Even that, the current situation reflects that in China, both single-season and late-season rice are being harvested. In India, harvest is starting for Kharif rice in the northern states. In Southeast Asia, conditions are beneficial for both wet-season rice in the northern countries and dry-season rice in Indonesia.

REFERENCES

Agricultural Market Information System. (2020). AMIS Market Monitor October 2020. 82 (1-16).

http://www.amis-outlook.org/amis-monitoring/monthly-report/en/#.X5-Na_lKh0w

Rice Exports by Country. (2020). Daniel Workman.

http://www.worldstopexports.com/rice-exports-country/

Rice: World Markets and Trade. (2018) Foreign Agricultural Service/USDA.

http://www.acpaarrozcorrientes.org.ar/Paginas/rice.usda.marzo.2018.pdf

FAO Rice market monitor (RMM). (2018)

http://www.fao.org/economic/est/publications/rice-publications/rice-market-monitor-rmm/en/

THE RICE MARKET IN ITALY

Italy is the most important rice producer of the European Union: more than 50% of the european production takes place in this mediterranean country.

In 2019-2020, exportations from Italy reached an amount of 12.953 tons of rice: the main destinations are Turkey and Switzerland.

In the same two years period, about 11,987 tons of rice were imported in Italy, mostly from Southern-Asian countries (Pakistan, Thailand and India).

THE RICE CONSUMPTION IN THE WORLD

Global consumption of rice has seen a slight increase over the last several years. In the 2019/2020 crop year, about 493 million metric tons of rice were consumed worldwide. From which, countries in Asia have the largest share both in consumption and cultivation, China is the largest paddy rice producer and followed by India.

Rice is the most important staple food in the developing world, rich in nutrients and vitamins and minerals, it includes huge carbohydrates.

THE RICE CONSUMPTION IN ITALY

Interview with Carla Conte at the “Agriturismo La Fagiana”

We interviewed Carla Conte, a worker at La Fagiana, who is responsible for packaging, selling and cooking domestically the rice produced at the farm. She shared some traditional recipes and the importance that rice has in her and her family´s life. She explained how healthy cooking has taken a central role in recent years and the importance of consuming local products.

Carla´s husband is the farm director while she and other three women are responsible for the packaging and selling of the product. In the field there are four men and in the shop and the transformation we have the women. Even though Carla´s job focuses on the costumer service, she is able to drive a tractor and do all the field related work that man do, since she grew up on a farm herself.

My husband cultivates the rice and in my family we are passionate rice eaters. We can even eat rice four times a week. The rice can be made in different ways; I have made it even with strawberries and oranges. And also with more traditional ingredients like mushrooms and pumpkin. The rice is versatile and can be made in a variety of recipes

Carla Conte

Carla Conte

Not every piece of land is suitable for growing rice. The soil and different other intrinsic and extrinsic factors can influence a good harvest. Significant aspects can lead to a good quality and a desired rice product that can be used for specific dishes like risotto.

For a farm it is crucial to focus not only on the production of food and other crops but also on the management of natural resources. It is very important to invent new ways to reduce soil damage and environmental impact.

Carla Conte

Many rice producing farms sell their produce to big companies to transform and sell it at relatively low prices. Another way is the transformation and sale in the own company so every step from growing to selling is in one firm’s hand. Michele explains why this is done at their farm.

It is really important to promote a high quality product with appropriate information to make people buy it.

With an aim to promote transparency they invite people by posting on Facebook to see the harvesting and other activities at the farm with intentions to create an understanding of the value of the product. In addition to this, they conduct various guided tours with show-cooking and tasting of tasty risottos and local agricultural products, all accompanied by wine, craft beers, and apple juice. These activities have been found useful in order to establish a strong relationship between the brand and consumers.

Carla Conte

HOW TO PREPARE A REAL ITALIAN RISOTTO

Interview with a professional cook at the “Agriturismo La Fagiana”

 

On 8th October 2020, at Eraclea (VE), we interviewed Michael Gambino, a 23 year-old professional cook.

Michael studied in ‘Lepido Rocco’ institute, a vocational school for professional cooks, located in Caorle (VE). Since he was a child, he developed the love for cooking; this strong passion led him into the working world as soon as he finished his studies.

Nowadays Michael works at ‘Agriturismo Coda di Gatto’, a Venetian farmhouse.

Today he is in ‘La Fagiana’ farm to answer our questions while preparing risotto for us.

 

LE NOSTRE RICETTE

 

Desserts

Sea Food

Vegan

Bread

Macarons

Chocolate Cake

Breadsticks

Roated Veggies

Orange Juice

Lemon Mousse

Tuna Crostini

Ho bisogno di conoscere la storia di un alimento. Devo sapere da dove viene. Devo immaginarmi le mani che hanno coltivato, lavorato e cotto ciò che mangio.

Carlo Petrini

School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment

Master degree in ITALIAN FOOD AND WINE

Course: FOOD AND WINE HISTORY, ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIETY 2020-2021

PROFESSORS

Elisabetta Novello and Giulia Storato

FILMAKER

Michele Angrisani

WEB DESIGNER

Andrea Micheletti

TESTIMONIES

Carla Conte

Michele Conte

Michael Gambino

Carlo Nicoletto

Thanks to Agriturismo ‘La Fagiana’ for the great hospitality and cooperation

 

STUDENTS

Erik Millman

Alessia Galderisi

Caterina Juhasz

Veronica Di Nuzzo

Klara Albrecht

Manuel Karn

Aleksandra Zegan

Filippo Carraretto

Berat Gulerjuz

Hilary Kaje

Tayfun Tasar

Ilaria Franchin

Emmi Bumblies

Ornella Tonda

Katia Salameh

Lisa Anderson

Manisha Paul

Nilufer Akgay

Lara Barrak

Mizuki Saino

Ren Qiuxuan

Jiawen Yang

Fabia Piovesan

Isin Azazi

Nareh Issayan

Amber Coen Collins

Mai Nguyen

Tarik Goial

Jangam Arjun Dinesh

Caterina Fagan

Yogesh Kumar

Armin Zandi P

Radhumn Doke

Fernado Sanira

RoodabehDerakhshanian

Siavash Chahibakhsh

Maria Guadalupe Hernandez Coronado

Ana Avila Shuyao Ming

Alexandra M. Leach

VelizhantsevaDaria

Rouaida Saade

María Antoniotti

Jessica Swan

Sahar Gorgani

Danara Narmaeva

Karina Gazetdinova