Rice first domesticated in China at about 10,000 years ago: study

  • Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-30 05:45:21|Editor: Mu Xuequan

    WASHINGTON, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Rice, one of the world's most important staple foods sustaining more than half of the global population, was first domesticated in China about 10,000 years ago, a new study suggested Monday. "Such an age for the beginnings of rice cultivation and domestication would agree with the parallel beginnings of agriculture in other regions of the world during a period of profound environmental change when the Pleistocene was transitioning into the Holocene," Lu Houyuan, professor of the Institute of Geology and Geophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who led the study, said. The research, published in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was done in collaboration with Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Relics and Archaeology and the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Questions surrounding the origin and domestication of rice have led to a lot of debate in the last decade. Rice remains have previously been recovered from the Shangshan site in the Lower Yangtze of China and recognized as the earliest examples of rice cultivation. However, the age of the rice fossils was derived through radiocarbon dating of organic matter in pottery shards, which can be contaminated with older carbon sources, Lu said. To constrain the age of the phytoliths, the researchers developed new ways of isolating rice phytoliths from carbon sources, such as clays and carbonate, and dated the samples directly using radiocarbon dating. It turned out that phytoliths retrieved from the early stage of the Shangshan site are about 9,400 years old. Further studies showed that approximately 36 percent of rice phytoliths at Shangshan had more than nine fish-scale decorations, less than the approximately 67 percent counted from modern domesticated rice, but larger than the approximately 17 percent found in modern wild rice. That means that rice domestication may have begun at Shangshan at about 10,000 years ago during the beginning of the Holocene, when taking into account the distance between phytolith samples and the lowest bottom of cultural strata of the site as well as a slow rate of rice domestication, Lu said. The time coincided with the domestication of wheat in the Near East and maize in northern South America, both of which are also believed to have occurred at about 10,000 years ago, when the global climate experienced dramatic changes from cold glacial to warm interglacial.
  • PM: China raises rice quota

  • A team of farmers prepare to plant rice seedlings in a paddy in Kampot province last year.   China has agreed to increase its import quota for Cambodian rice to 300,000 tonnes by next year, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced yesterday following his return from Beijing where he attended the Belt and Road initiative summit. In a post to his official facebook page, Hun Sen detailed a conversation he had with Chinese president Xi Jinping, who said China would increase its imports of Cambodian rice from the previously agreed limit of 200,000 tonnes a year to 300,000 tonnes in 2018. The message also said Xi expressed hope that bilateral trade between the two countries would reach $6 billion by 2020. Hun Sen added that during his visit earlier this week he sought to promote Cambodian trade and tourism ties with China. He added that Cambodia will seek to open trade centres in several Chinese provinces to exhibit some of the Kingdom’s export products and provide information related to tourism and investment opportunities. He called for Chinese businessmen to further invest in Cambodia, noting the country’s peace and macroeconomic stability. The Cambodian premier said he was impressed by the outcome of the Belt and Road initiative summit due to its potential to increase connectivity between countries in the region and the rest of the world. The prime minister added that 100 Chinese companies were currently looking to invest in a special economic zone near Sihanoukville, symbolising the strong economic relationship between the two countries.
  • Cambodian rice a big hit in China

  • Cambodian milled rice is becoming increasingly popular in China

    KT/Chor Sokunthea

    A senior official in China’s biggest import and export commodity center has praised the quality of Cambodian rice and called for more agricultural products – mainly milled rice – to be sold on the Chinese market.   “Cambodia’s milled rice here has become very popular among Chinese consumers because our main daily consumption is rice,” said Franklin Gnwang, vice general manager of the largest Import and Export Commodity Center (IECC) in Changsha city in Hunan province.   “It sells very well here because your quality is very high.”   Mr. Gnwang, told Khmer Times in Changsha city that after Cambodian fragrant milled rice became available for sale in his center last year, many Chinese people supported the product because of its quality compared with imports from other neighboring countries.   “Cambodian milled rice prices were a bit higher than prices from Thailand and Laos but Chinese people were still buying more Cambodian milled rice due to the good quality.   “We welcome more Cambodian rice to be available for sale here. We do hope to see more Cambodian products and Cambodian milled rice imported to Changsha,” he said.   In October last year, China signed an MoU with Cambodia to import rice with an export quota of 200,000 metric tons.   Mr. Yoy Jiade, an official of the Hunan Jiade Group which owns the IECC said that Cambodian products are at the early stage entering the Chinese market and he hopes to see more imports as Cambodian milled rice is very popular in China.   “I think right now Cambodia is paving the way,” he said.   “In the future we are looking about 1,700 different commodities into our zone. Of course your milled rice is already displayed here and we will make sure that your product is very popular.   “I call on your businesses to come to do business here or to look for partners to do business with.   “Every year we organize 15 to 16 business activities to allow all business people to come together.   “In the middle of next month there is going to be another event, an exhibition of global commodities so business people from around the world will display their products here.”    Mr. Yoy said Cambodian businesses can rent space in the center to display products directly or they can cooperate with a local partner to promote more Cambodian products in China.   He said his center also provides tax incentives for foreign business people.   “We welcome all business people from foreign countries to be here because we provide the whole chain of services from transport to customs clearance, land, air and sea transport and warehousing within our import-export free trade zone.   “I would like your business people to come together to rent a display booth to interact with local customers.   “Of course, you can also cooperate with a local partner as we have a preferential policy for them,” he added.   Mr. Gnwang said, “I think your export volume of 100,000 metric tons per year to the Chinese market is very small so we want to import more rice from Cambodia.”   Cambodia exported 46,387 metric tons of milled rice to China in the first two months of 2017, up 127 percent over the same period last year.   China is the top buyer of Cambodian rice, followed by France, Poland, Britain and the Netherlands, the Agriculture Ministry said.   
  • 70% of rice exported to China

  • Submitted by Eleven on Mon, 02/13/2017 - 17:09
    Myanmar exports rice to over 50 countries and more than 70 per cent of exported rice goes to China, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
    Traders export rice to China via both border routes and shipping lanes but use the former more.
    Between April 2016 and January 2017, the country exported 1.15 million tonnes of rice and broken rice and earned more than US$ 370 million. But that amount is less than that of the same period last year by about 150,000 tonnes. In 2015-16, the country exported 1.5 million tonnes of rice.
    The ministry is hopeful that it will meet last year’s record since it has received offers for government-to-government rice-trade deals.
    Assistant permanent secretary Khin Maung Lwin at the ministry said: “Foreign countries have offered to buy rice under a government-to-government deal. Sri Lanka now wants to import Myanmar's rice.”
    Five companies have won contracts for the export of 50,000 tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka by June, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation.
    Chinese authorities have confiscated the rice imported from Myanmar at the border as smuggled goods due to restrictions on imports, and the Muse border trade halted temporarily due to armed conflicts between government forces and armed rebels in November reducing total export.
    Translated by Nay Thiha