Oryza sativa L.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a plant belonging to the family of grasses, Gramineae (Poaceae). It is one of the three major food crops of the world and forms the staple diet of about half of the world’s population. The global production of rice has been estimated to be at the level of 650 million tones and the area under rice cultivation is estimated at 156 million hectares (FAOSTAT, 2008). Asia is the leader in rice production accounting for about 90% of the world’s production. Over 75% of the world supply is consumed by people in Asian countries and thus rice is of immense importance to food security of Asia. The demand for rice is expected to increase further in view of expected increase in the population.