African Rice is the Other Major Species of Rice Plant on Earth.
African Rice
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African Rice is, along with Asian Rice, is 1 of the 2 major Rice types on Earth!

 African Rice’s wild ancestor still grows in Africa and is called "Oryza barthii." African Rice (Orza glaberrima) originates in the Niger River Delta and has been cultivated for at least 3,500 years in Africa, but never spread very far from its home fields on its own.

African Rice cultivation declined when Asian Rice was introduced to Africa by Arabic traders between 500 A.D. and 1,000 A.D. because African Rice has, on average, lower yields than Asian Rice, poor milling quality and is more brittle and prone to shattering.

It took the Portuguese, and their African slaves, to bring African Rice to the farther reaches of the world starting around the 1500’s, when they introduced it in the Portuguese colony of Brazil. In 1694, African Rice from Madagascar made landfall in the modern United States, in South Carolina.

Up until the end of the Civil War, when the loss of slave labor made profitability untenable, African Rice was a major crop in the South. Coastal South Carolina and Coastal Georgia were major producers and exporters of “Carolina Gold,” as the planters learned the tried and true African techniques from their enslaved work force. Initially, processing Rice was done manually with the aid of wooden paddles, but eventually the power of the industrial revolution caught up with Rice production. The Rice Mill was invented and then harnessed to water power in 1787, which improved profitability further. Coastal Rice production declined after the Civil War until it finally died around 1900.  

Since the 1850’s Arkansas, and Louisiana have been growing Rice along the Mississippi River and in the bayous of the delta. In fact, Arkansas has the largest Rice crop in the United States, but Mississippi and Texas are coming up.

Of all the Rice types, African Rice has the strongest environmental tolerance to different water depths, iron toxicity, soil content, climatic changes, pests and diseases.