The glistening surface of the rice fields with their rocky rims is more than just a picturesque landscape – it is a tradition of ancient agricultural techniques in their purest form, which is still used today to produce one of the most important products for the entire world.
The popular cereal is one of the most sought-after commodities in agriculture, neighboring sugar and corn in terms of sales. It is a staple in the diet of most Asians, which is not surprising from a historical point of view.
It is believed that the first rice paddies appeared in China more than four millennia ago. Thousands of years later, the technology is still in use throughout Asia and is even common in parts of Europe and North and South America.
Rice cultivation has evolved over the centuries as a labor-intensive agricultural technique that requires a huge amount of water, supplied mainly by the irrigation system, but also with rain, if the climate of the area is characterized by a rainy period.
Although rice can grow in dry soil, creating a layer of water on its surface is of great practical importance because it eliminates pesticides and prevents the development of diseases and weeds.
But the benefits come at a price: rice paddies currently account for about one-third of the world’s annual freshwater consumption. Fortunately, a program has been developed and is being prepared for implementation that will increase rice yields by 50% while significantly reducing water consumption.
Nevertheless, it is hard to deny that the view of the rice paddies is truly captivating and mesmerizing.