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Commodity Profile

Oryza sativa, known as Asian rice, is the plant species most commonly referred to in English as rice. Generally, there are two major subspecies: the sticky, short-grained and the nonsticky, long-grained rice. The plant is an annual grass of the Gramineae family. It grows to about 1.2 metres in height with long and flattened leaves. Its inflorescence is made up of spikelets bearing flowers that produce the grain.

Rice is a tropical crop and grown where the temperatures during the growing season remain constantly high. Abundant sunshine is essential during its four months of growth. Furthermore, under high temperature and high humidity with sufficient rainfall, rice can be grown in any type of soil.

Recent genetic evidence shows that rice comes from a single domestication event that occurred 8,200–13,500 years ago in the Pearl River valley region of China. Today, more than 100 varieties of rice are grown around the world.

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