Rice has been considered one of the oldest plants, which is why it has been difficult to establish exactly when man began its propagation.
Chinese literature mentions it 3,000 years before Christ, where they considered the beginning of rice planting as an important religious ceremony reserved for their emperor.
Nor has it been possible to establish exactly where rice came from when it arrived in the Western Hemisphere. Some claim that Christopher Columbus, on his second voyage in 1493, brought seeds but they did not germinate.
The historian Fray Pedro Simón, in 1961, stated that in the Magdalena Valley in Colombia it was planted in 1580, in the area of Mariquita (Tolima). In the municipality of Prado it was cultivated 300 years ago and in 1778 it was introduced by the Jesuits in San Jerónimo (Antioquía).
Another important rice-growing area is that of Los Llanos, which began to grow rice on a commercial scale around 1908, using prisoners from a penal colony located 130 kilometers from Bogotá, under the supervision of General Mariano Ospina Chaparro, as laborers.
It was transported to Bogotá by mule and in 1914 the first rice mill was installed with a capacity of 4,800 kilos in 24 hours. In 1928, the history of rice cultivation was traced back to the Pacific Coast with plantings in the lower Atrato.
Cultivation intensified in the municipalities of Armero, Venadillo, Alvarado and Mariquita in Tolima, and Campoalegre in Huila.
However, the passage of time has also given a place of importance to the department of Meta, to the point that in 1984, when the new facilities of the FEDEARROZ seed plant in Villavicencio were inaugurated, the priest who blessed them, Moisés Rodríguez, stated, "If Jesus Christ had been born in the Eastern Plains, the hosts would be made of rice and not wheat".