Rice (Oryza sativa (2n = 24) is a monocot plant and belongs to the Poaceae family and Oryzoidea subfamily. It occupies almost one-fifth of the total land area under world cereals. It covers about 148 million hectares annually that is roughly 11 percent of the world-cultivated land.
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It is life for more than half of humanity and in past, it shaped the cultures, diets, and economies of billions of people in the world (Farooq et al., 2009). More than 90 percent of the world’s rice is grown and consumed in Asia where 60 percent of the world population lives. The world major rice consuming countries are China, India, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Japan, Brazil, South Korea and USA that consume 135, 85, 39, 37, 26, 18, 10, 10, 9.7, 8.7, 8.1, 5.0 and 3.9 million metric ton, respectively (Meng et al., 2005; USDA, 2003-04).
Rice is a major source of macro and micronutrients for human being. It feeds more than two billion people worldwide and is the number one staple food in Asia. It provides over 21 percent of the calorific needs of the world’s population and up to 76 percent of the calorific intake of the population of South East (SE) Asia (Fitzgerald et al., 2009). It is mostly consumed as a polished grain, which usually lacks its nutritional components such as minerals and vitamins 41 P. Lucca et al., Genetic engineering approaches to enrich rice with iron and vitamin A, Physiol. Plant. 126 (2006), pp. 291-303. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (7)( Lucca et al., 2006). Since the advent of molecular techniques, recently genetically modified rice verities have been developed, which contains more nutritional aspects like minerals and vitamins in endosperm (Vasconcelos et al., 2003; Paine et al., 2005; Fitzgerald et al., 2009). The major value-added nutritional protein constituents of the rice.
In Pakistan, besides its importance as a food crop, rice is the second important component of daily diet of bulk of the population after wheat. About 23% of the total foreign exchange earnings is shared by rice and thus called as ‘Golden Grain of Pakistan’ (Shah et al., 1999). Around one third of total production is annually exported and two third is locally consumed to meet food needs. Rice is also used in dishes for special occasions (Sagar et al., 1988). Pakistan is the third largest rice exporting country. In Pakistan, rice occupies about 10% of the total cultivated area, accounts for 6.1% of value added in agriculture and 1.3% in gross domestic product. Production of rice during 2007-08 was estimated at 5,540 thousand tones,
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