Products / Rice History of Rice
People learned how to grow rice in southern China (north of Thailand) and in India (west of Thailand). Certainly people were growing rice in India in the Harappan period (about 2500 BC) and in China in the late Stone Age (about 3000 BC). Rice may have been brought to West Asia and Greece about 300 BC by the armies of Alexander the Great. By the time of the Roman Empire, people were growing some rice around the Mediterranean Sea, in southern Europe and North Africa including Egypt (but not as much as in China or India). By 800 AD, thanks to trade with India and Indonesia, people in East Africa were also growing rice.
It was probably Chinese farmers who first invented the rice paddy. This is a system of growing rice in artificial (man-made) ponds, which saves water and also helps to kill weeds. In the Late Middle Ages in Europe, people blamed rice and the standing water in rice paddies for causing malaria by giving the mosquitoes a good place to lay their eggs. Many towns discouraged farmers from planting rice to try to prevent malaria.
For Thailand, it can be traced back to 5,500 years ago (3500 BC). This was the result of the research of three Japanese scientists, Tayada Watabe, Tomoya Akihama and Osamu Kinoshita who found the husks of Thai rice in the bricks at 108 archeological sites in 39 provinces all over Thailand. The studies indicated that during 5th-14th century, there were three sizes of rice grain which is 1) The large type, 2) The round type or "short grain", 3) The slender type "long grain". Only two types of rice grain still can be found in Thailand. The round type can be found in north and northeast and the slender type can be found central plain and south. There are variety of rice in Thailand such as aromatic rice called "Khao Dawk Mali 105". Others are RD6 (glutinous rice) , RD21, RD23, RD15,Chainat 1, Supahnburi 60 and many more.