Published: 11/15/2006 - Updated: 08/14/2019
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei
Campo La Virgen de la Esperanza cooperative, Calasparra, developed and marketed by association of 95% of rice produced in this privileged area for cultivation since 1962.
The high quality product coupled with the sharpness of directors of its partners has been instrumental in placing the Calasparra rice at the highest pedestal of world cuisine. Being marketed through our co-operative all over the world. Rice is the first in the world to obtain a Designation of Origin, achieved in 1986, BOE, 54 Ministerial Order of 4 March.
The Cooperative is made up of 160 partners, producers, with a total of 450 hectares. Spread across the fertile plains of the rivers Segura and Mundo (main tributary of the left), with the area located in the Autonomous Communities Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha (Albacete).
The water used comes from the rivers mentioned part of the allocations made in the RD and Order 1953 on the Traditional Irrigation in Murcia (Upper and Middle Vegas).
The high quality of water used for rice cultivation, coupled with the altitude above sea level (300 to 500 m), and the mountains of growing area, mainly affect the high quality rice that is produced, is producing between 3,000 to 3,500 Tm./year of rice husk, mainly hybrid Balilla x Sollana.
Cultivated mostly long and is the fundamental representation and majority Calasparra rice.
The Cooperative has facilities for storage and processing of rice in Calasparra (Murcia), with the following key:
- Scale for weighing.
- Warehouses for storage of paddy rice (4,500 tonnes).
- Hair rice husk, gas-oil.
- Equipment for injecting dry air a cold-barns.
- Rice mill for processing.
- Chambers disinfection of parasites.
- Two packaging machines.
- Developing storage bags cloth sewn by hand.
- Store to the finished product and issue.
Rice, dating back some 5000 years, was originally located in southern India, extending from there to China and Indochina to the east, and into Persia and Egypt to the West. In Europe, it arrives in times of Alexander, but its greatest and final distribution by the Mediterranean basin is due to the Arabs, and on our shores, following the Muslim invasion.
Calasparra, due to its location and because it’s completed by the rivers Alhárabe, Argos, and Safe team, knew the way and settlement of all cultures: the Eneolítica, the Argar, the Iberian, Roman, and Muslim defeat by Christians in 1492.
To pacify the area, during the fifteenth century, it is illogical to think that the cultures of the Vega del Segura recovered. In any case we do not have documentation showing the existence of rice until the seventeenth century. We know also that not only the Vega del Segura knew about rice cultivation, but also shared their water and the team Argos.
Puebla-The Charter of 1412-1414, when the Prior of the Order of St John of Jerusalem granted the privilege to distribute Calasparra Commander of the land between fifty neighbors who come to restock, there are no explicit mention of an irrigation network from Segura. Does a population of 50 residents had been able to maintain a dam on the river? It is to believe that the valley was then exploited by their canes, grass and crops using marginal water sources and tributaries.
Calasparra Rice (Oryza sativa L. and its varieties Balillax Sollana pump) with Designation of Origin; it is the fruit of the wisdom of their farmers. Cultivation in mountainous areas with elevations of 350-500 m between crop Vegas in the rivers Segura and Mundo (tributary) make its culinary qualities and exceptional physical and chemical characteristics, thanks to its growing environment.
It highlights of other rice by:
- Grain hardness.
- Due to a natural dehydration that occurs in the latter stages of ripening grain, which coincides with high temperatures and humidity relatively low (30-40 %).
- Since the group consists of starch grain, low level of amylose.
Because it is irrigated with clean and fresh water. Throughout its cultivation does not use chemical insecticides because there are no pests affecting the crop in this environment that practice organic agriculture crop rotations (typical of traditional agriculture) that promote the elimination of potential pests naturally (breaking their life cycle), and favor the proliferation of useful insects (predators of crop pests). As there is no massive chemical insecticide, it does not delete the beneficial fauna and this makes the balance in the populations of insect pests, which do not reach the level of pest insects such as useful.
To take a full course of cultivation, the work traditionally performed on the crop is described below, from preparing the ground.
Post-harvest (November) is a work with a deep grille with chisel cultivator, rotavator and for incorporation of stubble and increase soil organic matter to smooth the ground and a power plant a legume, which grows and develops over the months from December to April, at which time the plants are crushed by incorporating the ground work for mixing board with rotovator.
In the 2 nd -3 rd week of April, operations slopes (reinforced) are prepared, upgrading of water falls between terraces of different height with plastic or non-erodible, retouching leveling the ground, weed margin, trails and slopes.
In flooded soil total mind-operation is conducted "Fangueo” (4th sem. April), which is the introduction of the tractor in the bench completely flooded with special wheels as a cage, to produce a compaction of the soil (hard soles), while the silt and clay to create a precipitate bed seat particularly suitable for wrapping the rice grain and encourage the germination the proper grip of the seedlings to the ground and avoid thus they are torn by the wind.
Subsequently sowing is performed (28/4-15/5). Manual seeding, at random, is the traditional method of planting used in the cultivation of rice in Calasparra.
Operations after planting are limited to the removal of weeds, either manually or by varying the height of water on the bench. This will be a dry month in July (first week), where weeds grow and re-flooded to a height of 10-15 cm, dying suffocated and Rice prevailed.
This operation was used to incorporate 100 Kg/Ha. Of ammonium sulfate (21%) and nitrogen for fertilization.
Harvesting is done from September 20th to October 15th. Collected by cereal crops suited for rice, by changing the front wheel drive rubber, for some strings and some changes in the system threshing machine.
Control of seed
Prior to sowing, seeds are carefully selected by farmers that are going to place in the field. The seed to be planted one year has been cultivated by farmers in our Cooperative last year. These farmers have particular regard to the manual removal of weeds to prevent seed mixtures, and so on.
Shell and storage of rice quality control
Upon receipt of the paddy rice field, heading to heading, it makes analysis of moisture, impurities, grain defective performance, etc.
It is then dried to a moisture content of rice up 14% and their storage. Once stored, preservation is to keep the cereal in the best conditions for further development, which is basically maintaining a temperature of 15 º C. This is achieved by cold air industry (Granifrigor) which collects air from the atmosphere, and once it has cooled remove moisture and inject the store through ventilation ducts located below ground. This is achieved by keeping rice dry and cool, thereby increasing the yield and negating the impact of storage pests.
Daily grain temperature controls and status.
Control of development and product packaging
Twice a day, they are controlling the quality of rice produced in response to the Order of November 12th of 1980 on "Quality Standards for rice packaging. It is controlled specifically:% medium% yellow grains and copper;% Red and Red-graining;% gypsum and green stained and chopped%;% Foreign material in order to ensure the quality of the rice filling.
Every half hour the quality of packaging, printing, cleaning, measurements, etc.is checked four times daily.
1. Registered no. 1 of the regulator of the appellation of origin "Calasparra" subject to the Quality Standard EN-45011
2. Registered no.: MU-018-E, as a processing ORGANIC RICE, Council of Organic Agriculture in the Region of Murcia (1980).
3. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
4. Intervention by members of the Coop. Agricultural Region of Murcia. (FECOAM)
About the author