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Rice Production that’s Economical 0708

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 9 months ago

Rice Production that’s Economical-Tec Sun

The Philippines is one of the top producers of rice in the world. Because of high prices of rice, the rice shortage in Philippines has become the talk of the town. People are wondering why the Philippines continue to import rice to other countries instead of produce enough to feed its people. Importing rice from other countries made the price of the rice increase. This has affected a lot of family and the economy. The government tried to help this problem but since the economy is getting worse the prices of the rice increased. Finding out what and how to get cheaper and more nutritious rice would help starving families.

What is the cause of the shortage of rice? Does exporting rice to other countries help the economy and the people in the Philippines? How can people get cheap rice? And if they did get cheap rice, is it nutritious enough? How cheap does the rice have to be to be affordable to poor people? How can rice be cheaper?

Might there be new ways to stop the starvation among certain Philippine communities? Recent news that came up on April 9, 2008 was that US ambassador pledged American rice exports to Manila to help ensure supplies and the limit the raising of prices. According to the latest available figures provided by the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, the United States exported 4.6 million tons of rice in 2004. But is this enough for the people here in the Philippines? If a solution is found, such as getting rice cheaper and more nutrients, what would be the best way(s) to communicate the findings to the poor starving people?

The initial purpose of this project will be to research the biology and ecology of rice, through searching the Internet and interviews with rice farmers. These initial finding will help the people and the economy, where it would help people who are starving because of expensive rice. With my information, I hope to go to the squatter areas and give out and tell them about cheap and nutritious rice.

It is hoped that finding cheaper and more nutritious rice might help people who are starving and improve the society of the people among in the squatter areas through a more informed understanding of cheaper rice.






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Common Names and Synonyms


   Rice is the scientific name for Oryza sativa. It is grown all over the world but the majority of rice production is in Asia.

   Filipino people have several names for rice like bigas, lugaw, kanin, tutong, sinangag, and bahaw. Each name represents a different type of rice. The difference between these types of rice is they way they are harvested and cooked. For example, lugaw is a soup-like rice.





Kingdom: Plantae (plant)

Phylum: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)

Class: Liliopsida (monocots)

Order: Poales (small)

Family: Poaceae (true grass)

Genus: Oryza (rice)

Species: O. sativa (grain)

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Morphology and Physical Description



   Depending on the variety of rice and the soil fertility, rice can grow from 1-1.8m tall. The rice plant is a type of grass that has narrow, tapered leaves and grows from about 60 to 180cm tall. The small wind pollinated flowers are produced in a branched arching to pendulous inflorescence (hanging flower cluster) 30–50 cm long. The edible seed is a grain (cryopsis) 5–12 mm long and 2–3 mm thick. a plant shoot that springs from the root or bottom of the original stalk) and the panicle (branched cluster of flowers). Each panicle has spikelet’s, which turns into a rice grain. When the grain has developed, the panicle droops under the weight of the ripened kernels. Depending on the variety and the type of rice, one panicle provides about two handfuls of rice. Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein. The difference between the two is in processing and nutritional content.


   The structure of most rice plants is made up of the tiller (a plant shoot that springs from the root or bottom of the original stalk) and the panicle (branched cluster of flowers). Each panicle has spikelet’s, which turns into a rice grain. When the grain has developed, the panicle droops under the weight of the ripened kernels. Depending on the variety and the type of rice, one panicle provides about two handfuls of rice.


   Like other plants, each of its grains has a pistil and stamens. When the ovary is ripened, it turns into a rice grain. When the hull from the grain is removed, it becomes brown rice. The fibrous bran of brown rice is rich in oil, protein, B vitamins, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and the minerals iron, phosphorus, and potassium. This brown rice is also covered with layers called the alerurone, pericap, and tegmen, which cover the endosperm and the embryo.




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Getting Food


   The rice plant uses photosynthesis and water to create food. The only reason that water helps the rice plant grow is that it has air tunnels in the leaves and stem. The root needs air to grow, so the water pushes the air to the roots through the air tunnels.



 Other plants and weeds cannot grow because they drown from a lack of air tunnels. The rice plant uses water, carbon dioxide, sunlight, and other chemicals to create energy.


   Rice is successfully grown under widely climate conditions. Rice farmers choose varieties from the growing season, soil, altitude, and, for paddy farmers, the depth of water in the fields. Rice plants are summer crops and they like temperatures between 20 – 30 degrees Celsius. They are planted in paddy fields that are flooded with water. For paddy farmers, the water help keep away weeds. Some rice is grown on hillsides that are cut into terraces.



The rice plant develops flowers and seeds during the reproduction system. Each rice flower has six stamens and one pistil. Each stamen has an anther that holds the pollen grains. The pollen grains are released into the carpel; this is the same place that the stigma and ovary are stored. When the grains get to the stigma, they are transported to the ovary to fertilize it. This eventually grows into a rice grain. There are about seven million tons of rice grown every year, with China and India growing over 200 million of those tons.


Environmental Factors



There are various kinds of rice pests that can be found in rice paddies such as weeds, insects, and birds. They are caused by overuse of pesticides, fertilizers, and weather. Major ones that can be found in rice paddies are the brown plant hopper, armyworms, and the green leaf hopper.

Philippines have a great weather to grow rice. Rice can be grown anywhere with a minimum temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Philippines it is grown both wet and dry season, but it has larger crop when it is dry season. It takes three months to grow rice; therefore making it possible to grow several crops in one year. Researchers are worried about global warming, because the raise of temperature can affect rice yield.



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Origin and Distribution


The origin of rice has been debated for a long time, but the plant is of such antiquity that the precise time and place of its first development will perhaps never be known. The earliest and most common evidence for domestication of rice in Southeast Asia was discovered in 1966 at Non Nok Tha in the Korat area of Thailand.

     Rice is native to Africa and other countries in Asia like the Philippines, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, and India. Later, rice was introduced in Eastern and Middle Eastern Europe.



“Rice cultivation in the USA dates from about l646 when it was introduced into the James River region of Virginia and in l685 when it was first grown in the colony of South Carolina. The rice variety, "Carolina Gold" was introduced into South Carolina when a storm forced a New England ship, sailing from Madagascar, to harbor in Charleston. Before leaving the port, the captain gave the colonists about 5 kg of rice seed and that started the Carolina rice industry. Rice was introduced into Louisiana in 1718 but did not assume importance there until l887. Commercial rice production in the Sacramento Valley, California began in 1912.”





Importance to People


   It has been estimated that half the world’s population depends partially on rice. Rice has kept millions of people alive and free from starvation. Rice production represents 30% of the world cereal production today. It has been estimated that in 2025 there will be 4.6 billion people that will depend on rice for their daily nourishment. Rice is the only major harvested cereal crop that is primarily consumed by humans.


   Rice is used for variety of food products such as cooked rice, breakfast cereals, desserts, and rice flour. Rice is also used in beer. In addition, straw from the leaves and stems is used as bedding for animals and for weaving roofs, hats, baskets, and sandals.


   Although there is a great amount of rice in the Philippines, people need more nutrients than white rice. It is found that brown rice has a greater food value than white rice since the outer brown coatings contain proteins and minerals; the white endosperm is chiefly carbohydrate.


Survivability and Endangered Status


Across the world, there is an abundant amount of rice. World production of rice risen steadily from about 200 million tons of paddy rice in 1960 to 600 million tons in 2004. Rice production has been increasing; however, the price of rice has also increased. The poor Filipinos are starving because of the inflation of the rice prices. http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=77478



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   “On the southern part of Luzon, in the Albay province of Bicol region, Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi City said many families there could no longer take regular meals because of high prices and the lack of supplies.

“This is not a joke. At 30 pesos per kilo (72 US cents), numerous families suffer from starvation,” Rosal said.”



   However, there is still a long way to go to end world starvation; more rice needs to be grown to keep up with the growing population of the world.




Potential Solutions

Rice has been the main food supply for a large amount of people. Research has showed that there is not a rice shortage in Philippines but a rice crisis and because of rice crisis, a lot of people are lacking food supplies and nutrition in their bodies. Rice prices have gradually increased in sudden amount of time.

The PHIL RICE INSTITUTE had been working on the rice crisis for a long period of time. They had some possible solutions to help the rice crisis here in the Philippines, and there were some advantages and disadvantages. Below are the two most common ones. If it works out it might help the rice farmers and the people who are starving.


Possibility 1


Stop the land conversion.


            I have interviewed PHIL RICE and one of the problems they found was government is converting land for golf courses and such. Land conversion reduces Philippines’ farm areas. Philippines population is increasing gradually that they do not have enough land to plant or harvest enough rice to feed their own people. In Thailand, farmers have enough land to feed their own people, and enough to import. That is why Thailand does not have a rice crisis. Stopping land conversion has advantages but also have disadvantages.




1. If the land conversion is stopped, there would be more farms and the agriculture. Rice production will increase because of more rice fields.

2. It will also reduce the amount of people starving for food because the more rice it is produced, the price will decrease. More production of rice will decrease the prices of rice, which will help the poor people buy rice.






1. Government is converting land to help the tourism and such. The Philippines is famous for golf courses, and many people come to the Philippines to golf. The result of more golf courses and converting land will decrease the percentage of rice production.

2. If there were more agriculture in the Philippines, it would surely affect Philippines economy. If there were more agriculture there would be less factories, building, and roads.



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Possibility 2


Find cheaper rice, give it out, and tell them about it.


            I have recently gone to a squatter area, and asked three families how much do they pay for their rice, how recent do they buy rice, and is it enough for their family. I asked Maricel’s family and they said they buy it 30 pesos a kilo and they have to buy it every single day. There were five in their family and it was not enough for their family. The other two families’ results were the same. The rice I gave out to them is the same rice but three pesos cheaper! It was NFA rice. I told them where I bought it, and told them to spread the word.



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  1. Poor people could save money by buying cheaper rice. By buying cheaper rice, they can buy more rice for their family.
  2. More people would buy rice and less people would starve. I realized more nutrient rice is not important, just the fact that they can eat will make them healthier.



  1. Transportation: we had to drive about eight minutes from our house to get to the squatter area, it means they have to sacrifice to buy the cheap rice and walk to the rice market to buy cheap rice.
  2. Because of different language people might not understand what is being said and then may not catch everything that is being said and then not be able to apply the things that were taught.








Biblical Rationale

From this project I honestly learned a lot. It seemed like

God gave me this idea to do this. Like it is said in Genesis 2:18: The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

God gave me this idea to help people. Doing this project I realized that people does need a lot of food to feed their own family and they are very thankful when people are helping them. We are poor and need in God’s eyes, no one is perfect. We all have to help each other. Psalm 40:17: Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay. Since Lord is our helper we have to be the same to others who are poor and needy. If we are Christians we have to act like Christ-like and show people an good example.



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Brown Rice." Healthrecipes. Healthy Rice. 16 Apr. 2008 <http://www.healthrecipes.com/brown_rice.htm>. 


Hadeed, Lisa. "Growing More Rice." WWF-PHIL. 28 Nov. 2007. WWF Global Freshwater Programme. 30 Apr. 2008 <http://www.wwf.org.ph/newsfacts.php?pg=det&id=97>. 


"Importance of Rice." Infoplease. 7 May 2007. Infoplease. 12 Apr. 2008 <http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0860731.html>. 


"Management of Rice." University of Minnesto. 26 Oct. 1998. IRRI. 10 Apr. 2008 <http://ipmworld.umn.edu/chapters/heinrich.htm>. 


Movillon, Mario M. Personal interview. 30 Apr. 2008. 


Ong, Lawrence. "Rice Prices Hit Philippines Poor." BBC. 6 Apr. 2008. BBC NEWS. 15 Apr. 2008 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7330168.stm>. 


"Rice Crisis." Biusa. 2 Apr. 2008. ADB. 4 May 2008 <http://www.bicusa.org/en/Article.3710.aspx>. 


"Rice is Nice." Macgregoss. MacGregor. 20 Apr. 2008 <http://www.macgregoss.eq.edu.au/qldwebchall/ricemdjt/index.html>. 


"Rice Shortage." IRRI. 03 May 2008. IRRI Asia. 20 Apr. 2008 <http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=77478>. 




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