China and India, considered as one of the world’s major producers and consumers of rice, are starting to take control measures by placing tariff barriers on rice marketing and exports. The aim of these strategies is to protect domestic supply in the face of increasing global demand and, for the most part, the threat to the rice industry from COVID19 and other factors.

Where can rice be sourced?

According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations), of the 150 million hectares under rice cultivation worldwide, the Asian continent accounts for approximately 90%. China tops the list as the largest producer, followed by India, Japan, Southeast Asian countries, Brazil, the United States and Australia. In Europe, Spain and Italy are the most important producers, and in Africa, Madagascar and Egypt are the most important.

Rice typology and cultivation

It is estimated that more than 100,000 types of rice are cultivated worldwide. Among all these species, the most prominent are:

Japónica, a short, circular type of rice, which looks sticky and shiny when cooked. It is cultivated mainly in Japan, Korea, and northeast China.

Indica, is a long rice. After cooking, it has a dry appearance. This type of rice is generally produced in southern and central China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Bangladesh.

The Javanica species is recognised by its large kernel size compared to other species, with a sticky taste on the palate. It is mainly produced in the USA, Brazil, Spain, Italy, and Africa.

The crushing rate of the rice, the grain and the species used in each country are undoubtedly some of the factors to be considered when assessing its quality.

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