Rice (oryza sativa) is the seed of a cereal grass. According to the World Food and Agriculture Organization, rice is one of the most important foods for human nutrition, with more than half of the global population depending on it.
Rice was already cultivated around 3,000 B.C., having its origins in Southeast Asia, where the species Oryza sativa originated, spreading first in India, in the provinces of Bengal, Assam and Myanmar, with several varieties cultivated in lowland soils, even spontaneously. At a time when humans fed on hunting and fishing, rice grains were gathered for consumption. Rice was also used as an offering in religious ceremonies.
Rice is the second most cultivated cereal in the world, and most of its production (90%) comes from Asian countries. It is a central component of many cuisines, including those of India, China and Southeast Asia.