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All you need to know about Paddy Fields

All you need to know about Paddy fields

 

With the urban footprint rapidly increasing, today’s generation has a very remote idea about farming in general; and paddy and rice cultivation in specific. Very often, it is seen that people confuse rice cultivation with paddy cultivation, however, the process clearly differs in both. Deep water rice cultivation is carried out only in flooded conditions where rainfall is in excess of 50 cm at least for a month. On the other hand, a paddy field is a piece of arable land which experiences considerable flooding for growing semi-aquatic rice. The word ‘paddy’ is derived from the Malay word padi, which means ‘rice plant’. It is by domestication of the wild rice Oryza Rufipogon, that first occurred 8,200–13,500 years ago near south of Yangtze River in China. Genetic evidence suggests that all forms of paddy rice, including Indica and Japonica, arrived later.

Rice is cultivated in various regions of the world from the wettest areas in the world to the driest deserts, with various conditions of natural environment including climate, topography and soil conditions. It is one of the main staple foods for human beings. For instance, rice is grown in the area with more than 5000 mm of rain for one growing season, and also with less, almost zero rainfall. Rice cultivation is observed in a higher mountain region with more than 2500 m above the sea level, as well as in ocean coast, even in sea level region. The growing season average temperature of rice producing areas varies from more than 30°C to less than 15°C. We all eat rice, but do we all know how we cultivate it?

Paddy fields can be built into steep hillsides as terraces are adjacent to depressed or steeply sloped features such as rivers or marshes. It is a highly labor-intensive job and requires large volumes of water for irrigation. Therefore, it is very often seen that water-buffalo and oxen are the most trusted animals for paddy cultivation in wetlands. These are a typical feature of rice farming in East, South and Southeast Asia and the Northern Marianas; as well as taro farming in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. This form of cultivation gained popularity in the early 20th century and became the most common form of rice cultivation. Paddy field farming is very popular and is practiced extensively throughout the world. In Asia, it is practiced in parts of India, Iran, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam Cambodia, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Laos.

Paddy cultivation is a vast subject of knowledge that also involves a lot of scientific involvement. With industrialization and large-scale production, there have been modern techniques developed solely for the purpose of maximizing the production of paddy cultivation in order to meet the demands of the rising population. Paddy cultivation is, in fact, also a major reason for increasing methane levels in the atmosphere, but with scientific development, we are gradually finding ways in order to decrease methane emissions keeping in tandem with increased paddy cultivation.

 



 22/07/2019  Dhanashree Shinde

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