China is one of the original centres of rice cultivation. It is the world's largest rice producer, and is the pioneer of hybrid rice.
In the North China plains, the rice season is from May/June to August/September.
In the Yangtze River Valley, rice is planted from April to June and harvested from August to October. In south-eastern China, the early (March to July) and late (June to November) rice crops are bountiful. In most parts of Yunan, the rice season is generally long, from March to September.
Indica rice (Hsien) is dominant in the south, while japonica rice (Keng) is widely planted in the north. Also, aromatic, glutinous and other special types of rice are widely planted. The commercial cultivation of hybrid rice has allowed about two million hectares of ricelands to be diversified to other uses, which helps increase farmers' incomes. Rice production, post-harvest activities and the processing of rice into other products provide the main source of employment and income for at least 50 million families.
Rice is the staple food of the Chinese. In the past, people greeted each other by saying "Have you had your rice today?" China has a rich collection of rice dishes, and fried rice is very popular. The variations of fried rice are endless, depending on the type and amount of added ingredients. Today, this tasty and versatile dish is popular not only in China, but around the world.