Rice or Paddy production in India is an important part of the national economy. India is the world’s second-largest Rice producer and the world’s largest exporter of Rice. Rice is India’s most important food crop, covering about a quarter of the total cultivated area. Rice cultivation is very popular in India in the field of agriculture. Let’s check out more information on the top varieties of Rice in India.
Rice is a staple crop in India, and millions of people love to eat it daily. It is a food used by the majority of the Indian population. Therefore, we cannot deny the importance of the Rice crop in the country. Rice can be grown in different ways. But traditional methods of harvesting Rice are still in use in India. The fields are initially plowed and fertilized, usually consisting of cow dung, and then the field is leveled. The seeds are transplanted by hand and then sown with proper irrigation. Rice grows on various soils such as silt, loam, and gravel.
It can tolerate alkaline as well as acidic soils. However, smooth loam is well suited for growing this crop. Clay can be easily converted into the mud, in which Rice plants can be easily planted. However, proper care should be taken as this crop thrives if the soil stays wet and underwater during its growing years. Moreover, this nation has the most important Rice-growing region as it is one of the important food crops.
Rice is an essential food crop, and as a tropical plant, it grows rapidly in humid and hot climates. Both the urban and rural poor need food at affordable prices and this should be due to increased productivity in deep Rice systems, which account for 75% of the total Rice production.
Rice growing areas in India
This region consists of the states of Assam and Northeast. The area receives heavy rainfall, and Rice is grown in a rainfed condition.
This region consists of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. The area receives heavy rainfall, and Rice is grown mainly in rainy conditions.
This region consists of Haryana, Punjab, Western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir. The region experiences low winter temperatures, and a Rice crop is grown from May-July to September-December.
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This region consists of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. From June-August to October-December, Rice is mainly grown in rainy conditions.
This region consists of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. The Rice crop is grown in the rainfed areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In addition, rice is produced in the deltaic region under irrigation.
How many different types of Rice are there in India?
Today we still have about 6,000 different varieties of Rice in India, but environmentalists estimate that we have lost tens of thousands of indigenous Rice varieties in the last 40 years. Nevertheless, the variety of Indian Rice varieties is the highest globally – from aromatic and fragrant, long grain basmati varieties that grow in the northern part of the country to round medium grains to greasy Rice in the southern coastal areas.
Other varieties include “red Rice” (a coarse-husked variety with a reddish-brown color on the outside), which is very popular in Kerala in southern India and some of our neighboring countries. Parboiled Rice, processed differently after harvesting Rice, is also popular in India.
Rice producing states in India
Rice crop is mainly produced in the regions such as West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Bihar, Orissa, and Punjab.
It is the largest Rice-producing state in India. The state tops the list of Rice-producing states with an annual production of 15.3 million tonnes of Rice. This single state produces more than 13.95% of the country’s Rice. It is the largest Rice-producing state in India, with 2600 kg per hectare production. That is why farmers grow Rice in large parts of the lower Gangetic plains, especially in Midnapore, Bardhaman, 24 Parganas, Birbhum, etc. Therefore, it is indicated that this state is India’s largest Rice-producing state.
Uttar Pradesh ranks second with an annual production of about 13.75 million tonnes of Rice. It produces about 14 MLT of Rice every year. About 25% of the state’s cultivated area is devoted to Rice production. Apart from this, Bareilly, Lakhimpur Kheri, Faizabad, Muzaffarnagar, Gorakhpur, Barabanki, etc., are the major Rice-producing districts of the state.
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The state of Punjab ranks third with an annual production of 12 million tonnes of Rice. Punjab is also famous for cultivating basmati Rice, such as Ranbir Basmati, Pusa Basmati, Mahi Sugandha, and Ranbir Basmati.
It is the most famous and largest Rice-growing state in South India. The state covers 2.2 million hectares under Rice cultivation. Some Rice varieties grown in Tamil Nadu are Amsipiti Dhan, Aravan Kuruva, Aduthurai, Akshayadhan, and Ambasamudram. Tamil Nadu also has large rice-producing districts, including Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, and Nagapattinam.
Rice cultivation in Andhra Pradesh is India’s largest Rice-producing state. Andhra Pradesh ranks fifth with 128.95 lakh tonnes of Rice production. It also contributes about 7% to the country’s total Rice production. In AP, Rice is also grown in 22 districts. West Godavari, Krishna, and East Godavari are the largest Rice-producing districts in India. Samael, Samba Madhuri, Sarvani, and Sashari are found in large numbers in Andhra Pradesh. It is also the largest Rice-producing state in India.
Bihar ranks seventh in the list of Rice-producing states. It produces 73 MLT per year on 33 hectares of land. Bihar is adopting new technology to raise the quality of Rice and increase production. In winter, the state cultivates Gautam, Dhanalakshmi, Richhariya, and Saroj Rice, while in summer, Gautam Pusa-33, Pusa-2-21, CR-44-35 (Saket-4), Prabhat (only 90 days period) are cultivated.
In Odisha, Rice cannot be separated from food grown with Rice. Rice covers about 69% of the developed region, of which about 63% is under food. Odisha ranks eighth in Rice production with 5% of total Rice production. In Odisha, they grow Rice in various climatic conditions and different environments. As such, Odisha tops the list of India’s largest Rice-producing states.
In Assam, Rice is the main crop. It covers 2.54 million hectares of the state’s total cultivated area of 4.16 million hectares and records 96% of its food grain production. Rice production in Assam is more than 1700 kg per hectare. The development of Rice in Assam is notable for its wide hereditary variety. Therefore, it also comes under the largest Rice-producing state in India.
Rice crop production in India
Rice is grown in almost half of the states in India, with West Bengal leading, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. However, low productivity is a concern for India as India’s total productivity is lower than other countries at 2390 kg per hectare.
With a 3,838 kg/hectare yield, Punjab has the highest production capacity in India, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 3,036 kg/hectare. This difference is reflected in Uttar Pradesh, which, despite being the second-largest Rice-producing state, has a production capacity of 2,082 kg per hectare, far below the national average.
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Top varieties of Rice in India
Different types of Rice are eaten in our country – Basmati, White, Brown, Red, Jasmine, Parboiled, and Sticky Rice. Among them, Basmati and White Rice are the most popular. Rice is a suitable crop and can be grown in different climates, whether plain or mountain; therefore, it can be grown as a Kharif crop or rabi crop. However, the initial season is Kharif, and therefore most of the Rice is sown between June and July, and the sowing time for Rabi is from November to February.
At the same time, harvesting takes place in November-December for Kharif and in March-June for Rabi. For the Rabi season, the states cultivating Rice are Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and others. Since Rice is mostly a Kharif crop, most of the Rice in the rest of India is produced in the Kharif season.
India is the largest Basmati Rice exporter. The Indian states with the highest production of Basmati Rice are Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, and western Uttar Pradesh. It is long-grain Rice. It is also a very popular type of Rice for making biryani, pilaf, and many other royal Rice dishes. The word basmati means fragrant.
Black Rice prefers a six months warmer climate and more growing seasons. This Rice grows in full sun and with plenty of water. Successful germination needs a constant temperature of at least 21°C. Farmers cultivate black Rice in only a few areas, mainly Manipur in the northeastern Indian state.
Black Rice is native to northeastern India and is widely grown in Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand. Due to its medicinal value, it is commonly eaten in Manipur. Black Rice is produced only in a few Indian states, especially Manipur, India’s northeastern state. In Assam’s Goalpara district, black Rice cultivation is not uncommon, and more than 200 farmers are opting for black Rice over other varieties.
Farmers cultivate many varieties of red grains in adverse conditions such as sandy soil, salinity, deep water, drought, and cold conditions. It grows in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, Orissa, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and the northeastern states.
Wet Rice is grown on the valley floor and sometimes on small roofs around the base of mountain slopes. It results in a complete set of sensor-shaped structures. Wet Rice cultivation is a method of agriculture used in a wet environment.
It is whole grain Rice in which the edible outer hull is removed. Brown Rice grows in salty areas of the region. Therefore, more fertilizer is required for Rice cultivation. However, the brown Rice crop is very versatile and suitable, and as far as India is concerned, it can be grown mostly in agro-climatic zones and soil types.
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Bamboo Rice is not a common type of Rice in India. However, when the bamboo twigs are nearing the end of their life, they bloom and produce seeds resembling traditional Rice.
Dubraj is medium grain Rice. It is cultivated in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It is also a fragrant variety of Rice, which means you can use it to make delicious Rice dishes at home.
It is another popular type of Rice in India. This type of Rice comes into the category of short-grain Rice.
Mogra Rice is famous for its aroma. It is one of the rare features of Rice, which gives such a wonderful aroma to different dishes. And you probably won’t find such a fragrance in any other type of Rice. As far as its other characteristics are concerned, Mogra Rice falls in the category of long green Rice. And it contains more starch than basmati Rice. Mogra is another type of Rice in India.
Sticky Rice is popular in Northeast India. This strong immune system is good because it keeps the connective tissue strong and stimulates healthy brain function.
Jasmine Rice smells like flowers. It also has many health benefits.
Wild Rice, also called Canada Rice, Indian Rice, or water oats, is one of the four types of grass that make up the genus Zizania and the grains harvested from them. Both species are distributed in parts of India, Southeast Asia, and South China, but their specific distribution varies locally, with tropical monsoons increasing wild annually in India.
Mapillai Samba Rice
Mapillai Samba Rice is mainly grown in Tamil Nadu. It is high in fiber and also improves immunity. It also cures stomach and mouth ulcers and helps digestion.
Indrayani Rice is a popular variety in Maharashtra. It is cultivated in the Maval area of Pune. It is medium-grade Rice and is a hybrid variety of Ambemohar Rice.
Jeera Samba / Seeraga Samba
Jira Samba Rice or Seeraga Samba Rice is another popular variety of Tamil Nadu. Samba Rice is widely grown during the samba season (August-January) in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This Rice is grown longer than other types of Rice.
Ponni Rice comes from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is hybrid Rice developed by the Tamil Nadu University of Agriculture in 1986. It is mainly grown along the Kaveri River in Tamil Nadu. It is also a medium type of Rice.
Valencia comes from the Spanish province, which is home to authentic yellow. This type is small grain Rice, also called pearl Rice or round Rice, which absorbs liquid on cooking to become soft, compact, and moist.
Sona Masuri Rice is very popular in Andhra Pradesh, and it is mainly grown in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. It is medium Rice.
Another widely popular Rice in the state of Telangana West Bengal. Tulaipanji Rice is known for its aroma and taste. It is medium-grade Rice and is mainly grown in the Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal.
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Wada Kolam Rice variety comes from the Wada area of Palghar district in Maharashtra. It is an indigenous type of Rice and has a clay flavor.
Other important Rice varieties in India are;
- Red Rice
- Red Cargo Rice
- White Rice
- Sushi Rice
- Purple Thai Rice
- Bomba Rice
- Glutinous Rice or Sticky Rice
- Arborio Rice
- Rosematta Rice
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