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Heritage

Almost since the immemorial times, rice has been relished by man. Today, rice is the most vital food crop in the world and a staple food for more than a half of the world's population. Rice is heavily cultivated in 89 countries around the world with a yield of nearly 500 million metric tons. The rice belt is distributed geographically over a wide range; from hot Australian and Egyptian deserts, to the cool Himalayan foothills of Nepal. However, 90% of the world crop is raised and almost entirely eaten in Asia.

Rice is used on all occasions in Pakistan: festive, mournful, religious and in ordinary routine life. No banquet is considered complete in Pakistan without rice on its menu. For centuries rice has been woven through the culture and diet of Indo-Pak Sub-Continent and South East Asia. During this period, farming communities throughout the region developed, nurtured and conserved over thousand distinct varieties of rice to suit different tastes and needs.

Pakistan is the fastest growing rice-producing nation in Asia. Unlike in other South and Southeast Asian countries, rice is not considered a subsistence crop in Pakistan. It is a major cash crop grown for export.

Rice is an ideal food; delicious, energy giving and nutritious. It is easy to digest. White rice has about 80- percent starch. The rest is mostly water, plus protein and minute amounts of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and vitamin B. The percentage of starch component in rice is called amylose . If it's low, 10 to 18 percent, the rice will be soft and some what sticky, as preferred in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China. If it's high, 25 to 30 percent, it'll be hard and fluffy, to the taste of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka. In between tends to be the preference of South East Asia, U.S.A and Europe.