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Photographer's Note

This is a detail of the rice plants in the fields close to Sapa, in the north of Vietnam.

With a production of 36,3 million tons, Vietnam is number 5 between the biggest world producers of rice, behind China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Rice is the basic food for more than half of the world population and the means of life for the main part of the rural population in Asia. (81% of the 2005 production came from 7 asian countries).

In terms of growing surface, rice is number 2, just behind wheat. But from the nutritional point of view, rice is the cereal giving the highest number of calories per growing surface unit.

Flooded fields offer a unique environment for the growth and nutrition of the rice. As the roots cannot get the needed oxygen from the ground around,the rice plant tissues are specially adapted to an efficient air circulation. Air enters through the stomata of the leaves, and is conducted to the base of the plant, moving to the inner of the roots where the oxygen is used in the respiration process.

Optimal temperature for growth is 23ºC and 30-35ºC for germination. Although grown in many countries in the world, rice is a typical product from the humid tropical areas.

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Additional Photos by Antonio Elduque (Elduque) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 214 W: 0 N: 138] (624)
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