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Rice, although produced in similar quantities to wheat and maize, feeds more people on the planet than any other grain and has done so for many centuries. Yet, in many forms of its cultivation it has led to significant environmental modification. The rice plant (Oryza sativa Linn.), often known as paddy (padi), is a varied and adaptable crop. Varieties of the rice plant are adapted to a wide range of environments, and rice will grow across a broad spectrum of climatic and soil types different cultivars offer variations in taste and texture. Rice is found in the tropics, but also in sub-tropical and warm temperate regions. Some varieties suit unirrigated swidden agricultural systems and may be grown on steep hill slopes others require a very ...

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