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1. In the beginning rice grew wild, but today most countries cultivate varieties belonging to the Oryza type which has around twenty different species. Only two of them offer an agriculture interest for humans.
2. Oryza sativa: a common Asian rice found in most producing countries which originated in the Far East at the foot of the Himalayas. O. sativa japonica grew on the Chinese side of the mountains and O. sativa indica on the Indian side. The majority of the cultivated varieties belong to this species, which is characterized by its plasticity and taste qualities.
3. Oryza glaberrima, an annual species originating in West Africa, covering a large region extending from the central Delta of the Niger River to Senegal.