ENPT

Tradition and Methods

 

 

With over a century of agricultural history and tradition solely dedicated to cultivating rice in this region, rice producers in Orivárzea descend from generations of farmers who have learnt from experience how to grow the best rice in Portugal at Lezíria Ribatejana.

 

Mechanisation, science, and technology have clearly introduced extraordinary innovations in terms of product quality and productivity. However, the essence of rice cultivation has not changed for millennia, and the art of cultivating it – considering the growth cycles and maintaining their noblest characteristics – has been with the Orivárzea rice producers forever. Rice is a cereal that grows in wetlands, which has led to the development of several specific cultivation processes through the history of agriculture.

 

The main rice field operations are briefly dividing into beds, levelling, access organisation, and building irrigation and drainage ditches.

 

Following these operations, land is prepared through scarification and screening, constant field flooding, and levelling with tractors bearing laser levelling blades. Fertiliser is then applied at the same time the seed bed is prepared by crumbling the soil. Only then will soil flooding start – very slowly as to avoid the entrainment of particles and nutrients.

 

The seeds are sown between April 15th and May 25th depending on the soil characteristics, type of seeds, grain quality, and atmospheric conditions. This may be carried using an aeroplane or tractor.

 

During its growth rice remains flooded at all times, since maintenance of a water blade in the beds enables thermal control, which is essential for the plant to develop, as well as providing the plant with nutrients.

 

Before harvest, the rice field still undergoes maintenance operations during which water is removed from the beds.

 

In September, after its reproductive and vegetative cycle is completed, rice is then gathered and transported for drying, which is gently carried out in two stages. Rice is then stored in safe silos ventilated with dry and cold air at all times, ensuring that it is maintained under optimum conditions as to preserve its physical, chemical, and organoleptic properties.

 

After storage rice is transformed, where cleansing and peeling take place; once rice in husk and green speckles have been selected, rice is glazed and polished. Then, whole and broken rice is separated from those with a different colour forming white rice. Finally, rice is packaged and stored for final dispatch.

 

Throughout the entire process, Orivárzea harmonises production advice for certain varieties, carries out seed sowing schedules and crop operations, as well as harvest dates. Drying and preservation processes are also strictly controlled by the Orivárzea team.

 

This enables rice cultivated and packed by Orivárzea to be traced back to the manufacture process, thus clearly identifying all the stages that rice underwent: where it was planted and gathered, from what field does it originate, from which silo does it come, or what farmer. That is, the product may be completely traced from its seed to the shelves.

Integrated Production

 

 

If there is a field where the pioneering role of Orivárzea is obvious, that is without a doubt Integrated Production.

 

Defined as ‘a struggle against harmful organisms using a set of methods which satisfy all economic, ecological, and toxicological requirements, with priority being given to Crop Protection, encouraging a natural limit of pest control measures and taking into consideration the Economic Thresholds’, Integrated Production is basically the use of all pest control measures aiming at a reduced application of pesticides.

 

They are applied in a controlled manner fully respecting the agricultural good practices.

 

Rice with the Orivárzea brand is thus the only rice in Portugal to provide assurance of having been produced without insecticides and only selected and biodegradable herbicides which do not form a residue in the end product.

 

The Integrated Production symbol on each package is not only the certificate of a company at the forefront of ecological procedures ruling its activities, but it is also the certainty of a supervised product by external entities, who are impartial and free of any conflict of interest, thus ensuring the excellent quality of rice leaving these premises, in terms of human health as well as the environment.