|Rice belongs to the genus Oryza. The genus Oryza contains 25 recognized species, of which 23 are wild species and two; O. sativa and O. glaberrima are cultivated. O. sativa is the most widely grown of the two cultivated species. It is grown worldwide including in Asian, North and South American, European Union, Middle Eastern and African countries. However, O. glaberrima is grown solely in West African countries.
|India has a long history of rice cultivation. Within the country, rice occupies one quarter of the total cropped area, contributes about 40 to 43% of total food grain production and continues to play a vital role in the national food and livelihood security system. Rice has many ecotypes or cultivars adapted to various environmental conditions. Rice as food, is a nutritious cereal crop, used mainly for human consumption. It is the main source of energy and is an important source of protein and provides substantial amount of the recommended nutrient intake of niacin. However, rice is very low in calcium, iron, thiamine and riboflavin and nearly devoid of betacarotene