1. In many parts of the world people eat a lot of rice. But nowadays more people eat more rice than in the past.
Rice is a very good food.
In order to live, digest, work, resist the cold and the heat, people need foods that give them strength.
These are called energy foods.
Rice is an excellent energy food.
Rice keeps well.
Cassava, yams and bananas rot quickly.
Rice does not rot if it is protected from damp.
Rice can be kept a very long time if it is protected from rats and insects.
2. Some regions do not produce enough rice.
Farmers do not produce enough rice.
For example, nearly all the countries of Africa have to buy rice abroad:
The countries of Africa spend on rice imports a lot of money that could be used in other ways.
If Africa produced more rice, it could sell rice to other countries with a large rice- eating population. In this way Africa could earn more money. Farmers must therefore produce more rice.
There are many regions of Africa where rice can be grown; along the banks of streams and rivers, around dams, and at the bottom of valleys.
But in order to increase rice production, it la necessary to adopt modem methods of wet paddy rice cultivation.
In this booklet, we shall speak only about wet paddy cultivation. In Booklet 20, we speak about upland rice cultivation.
The two methods of cultivation are quite different.
3. This rice Is grown on land covered with water for moat of the year.
· Along banks of rivers and streams
When the water begins to rise at the beginning of the rainy season, and when the water begins to fall at the end of the rainy season.
· In lowland plains covered with water most of the year
Where these plains are covered with a very deep layer of water, people sow floating rice the stems of floating rice grow longer when the water rises.
But yield varies very much according to how much it rains.
With traditional methods it is impossible to give the rice at the right time the amount of water it needs. The farmer cannot make the water come, when he needs it. He Is not In control of the water.
It is impossible to make the water go away, to drain the land. The farmer cannot make the water go away when he does not need it. He is not in control of the water.
It is impossible to cover the land with the depth of water that the rice needs at any time in its life.
Rice does not need the same depth of water at all times in its life. The farmer has no control over the depth of the water cover.