Outstanding national producers
Extremadura is one of the leading rice producers at national level. Second only to Andalusia in production, Extremadura has over 25,000 hectares dedicated to rice cultivation. This cultivation is found mainly in Vegas del Guadiana and Cáceres, while the most important town in this area is Miajadas, which is also home to an industrial processing, steaming and packaging plant, an important economic driver in this town and its surroundings.
By variety, Indica (long grain) rice is the main variety grown in the province of Cáceres, followed by Japonica (round grain).
The River Guadiana has allowed the Vegas del Guadiana plains to be a fertile area irrigated by the river’s waters in its course towards the Atlantic. The irrigated lands in this area produce a rich aquatic agroecosystem of great ecological interest.
Today, five rice farmer cooperatives are in charge of giving life to a modern rice industry with the ability to produce and process the majority of their production.
Rice is grown on the farms of their members. The cooperatives’ members are advised by their technical services during all stages of cultivation, which takes place according to the services’ instructions and indications, as well as under the requirements of integrated production. This is an agricultural production system that uses practices compatible with protecting and enhancing the environment, natural resources, genetic diversity and conservation of the soil and landscape, very similar to organic agriculture.
Harvesting takes place mechanically, and the paddy rice is transferred to the cooperatives’ warehouses, where it undergoes an initial selection and classification process. It stays stored in the warehouses until it is transported to the processing plant, where it is packaged so that it will reach our kitchens in the best condition.
The restaurateurs of Miajadas are also responsible for making this local high-quality product visible, so it is not unusual to find interesting rice-based suggestions and different ways to cook it in the best restaurants: rice with lobster, seafood, cooked in fish stock... which dish do you fancy trying today?
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