Rice and Human
The growth of civilization depended upon the gifts of nature, particularly the wealth yielded by the soil.
All ancient communities worked hard to produce food as we know food is the basic need of a community to survive. Man wandered from place to place in search of food. Fertility and prosperity worked hand in hand for the development of the human culture.
So, the crops that were produced determined the security and wealth of the community. In other words, all early civilizations were agricultural. lt was soil that was of the great importance to them and even now it is so in very many countries. All the nations of the world owe their existence to the soil.
In our country one of the most important food crops is paddy. Rico is the staple food for most of the people in south India. It is the staple food of the Chinese and it is commonly grown and eaten by the people of other Asian countries and those of some African countries also.
There are innumerable varieties of paddy. Various diseases and pests attack the crops. We have discovered ways to protect crops from diseases. We use pesticides for killing pests and fungicides for protecting crops from disease.
There are various ways of cultivating paddy and the best known way in Asia is the transplanting system.
Seeds are sown in a small, carefully prepared area and the seedlings are sown. After a few days growth, they are transplanted by hand in the main field.
The seedlings raised in one hundredth part of the land can fill the entire land. They are carefully spaced out at regular intervals. Weeds are generally pulled out.
In Thailand, there is a particular variety of growing rice, where flood are common. The plants grow normally but when floods co-Ma-and the water level rises, the stems grow longer and longer. They sometimes grow to a length of fifteen feet and the tops which have the grains stay above water. When the water level falls, the plants fall down, but the grains are safe. This variety is known as the floating paddy.
Our food comes the skin of the earth, the soil. When crops are grown, the soil gets tired. No doubt we nourish it with manure and fertilizer. In spite of this the soil grows weaker and weaker all the time. It is very important to reserve the strength of the soil. One way of doing: this is to grow different crops at different times.