Since I arrived in Taiwan, I did a lot of different visits to undersand better the taiwanese culture and learn about it as much as possible.
The Rice production was my favorite one, for one day we were following the farmers on the field to see their job but we also get to see the work in the factory.
That's why I want to share what i learn during this visit because rice production is really important in taiwanese culture as you can guess.
Rice is a cereal grain and the seed of the rice plant. It's cultivated for more than 10000 years in China. It is the grain with the second- highest worlwide production.
Rice is now the most important source of storable food in the world. 687 million tonnes of rice were produced in 2009. They are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences, for exemple in the Far East, there is a preference forr softer and stickier varieties.
Rice has considerable cultural importance. It's often associated with prosperity and fertility. Therefore, there is the custom of throwing rice at weddings. In many cultures the word "rice" is the same as the word for meal. (Japan). And also, in China, people say " Have you eaten your rice today?" to say " how are you?"
Our visit of the rice production started with the field.
On the field
Normally rice is cultivated as a one year plant. The rice fields will be flooded in springtime and the young seedlings will be set in. Actually, the flooding is not necessary for the rice. Thought it needs a lot of water the reason is rather to need less weed and pest control during the growth season.
During the growth season the plants grow and farmers have to manage the water lever, the weed and pest control and take out unhealty rice plants.
The rice will be harvested in the fall season when the water content in the seed is less that 25%. After harvesting, there is treshing then the seeds need to dry. In traditional small farms the rice is usually dried in front of the house!
In the factory
I was really impressed when i saw the factory, all thoses huge machines just for rice!
First the Drying of the rice. Drying has to be done quickly and efficiently to prevent moulding. Mills range from simple hullers, with a through put of a couple of tonnes a day, that simply remove the outer husk, to enormous operations that can process 4,000 tonnes a day and produce polished rice.
After the seeds are dry enough they will be brought to the mill. Either the farmer sells the rice to the mill or the mill charges the farmer for the milling process.
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