Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

What is Madagascar pink rice?

About Madagascar Pink Rice.

Madagascar pink rice plantations are valuable because they bring needed money from pink rice production to the Malagasy people. 

Pink rice production is important to the economy of Madagascar since rice is a staple in Africa and pink rice is a economic growth boom. Madagascar Pink Rice is produced near Madagascar’s large inland lake, Lake Alaotra.

History of pink rice plantations in Madagascar.

Rice forms the staple of most meals in Madagascar however, Madagascar rice economy is very fragile due to too much rain or not enough rain.

Madagascar’s economy is very fragile; the country imports significant amounts of rice from international markets for everyday consumption, around 51 percent.
Planting rice in Madagascar 

What is Madagascar pink rice?

Madagascar Pink Rice is a type of rice that is grown on the island of Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa. It is a medium-grain rice with a distinctive pink color that comes from the natural pigments in the rice bran.

Madagascar Pink Rice has a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture, and is often used in salads, pilafs, and rice bowls. It is also a popular ingredient in traditional Malagasy cuisine, where it is often served with meat or seafood dishes.

Madagascar Pink Rice is a type of heirloom rice, which means that it is grown using traditional methods and has not been genetically modified. It is also considered a sustainable crop, as it is grown using traditional farming methods that do not rely on chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

In recent years, Madagascar Pink Rice has gained popularity in the Western world as a gourmet ingredient, and is now available in many specialty food stores and online retailers. It is often sold as a premium product due to its unique flavor, color, and sustainable farming practices.

All rice starts as a whole grain, which means that the germ and bran layer is intact. When these are removed, you have white rice. The most common bran layer for rice is brown. However, there are also red and black grains of rice. 

Some kinds of rice are partially milled, so some of the bran layers are left on. These grains of rice tend to be light tan, pink or even a striated color. 

Lotus Foods Madagascar Pink Rice is rice that is partially milled retaining 66% of its bran layer retaining a high level of nutrition, but cooks faster and has a texture that is closer to white rice. 

Since the year 2007, the US rice-importing company Lotus Foods has been working with the CoopĂ©rative Koloharena Ivolamiarina Besarety, Amparafaravolato market special pink rice, called Varini Dista, named after the farmer who popularized the rice. 

The Koloharena Ivolamiarina is part of the Confederation Nationale Sahavanona Koloharena, established in 1999, as the national office for 29 Koloharena farmer cooperatives including 950 village-based associations are committed to increasing small-farm income using environmentally sound farming methods. The cooperatives are concentrated along the threatened, humid forest in eastern Madagascar.

The rice production technologies used in Madagascar are still largely traditional, rice production is still largely highly labor intensive. Rice cultivation is found in almost every climate in Madagascar.  

Lowland rice production structures are well developed and rice terraces are regularly found along the roads between the capital and largest city in Madagascar Antananarivo and the third largest city in Madagascar Antsirabe.

Madagascar’s economy is very fragile; the country imports significant amounts of rice from international markets for everyday consumption, around 51 percent. Madagascar rice is a hugely important part of life on the island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa. 

How to cook Madagascar pink rice
Pink rice

At times, pink rice shows up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

How to cook Madagascar pink rice

Combine 1 ¾ cups of water

1 cup rice and a pinch of salt

Bring to a boil over high heat. 

Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Remove from heat. Let stand covered for a few minutes. 

Fluff and serve. 

A rice cooker may be used with the same water-to-rice ratio.


How is Pink Rice grown in Madagascar?

Madagascar pink rice usually takes around 4 to 5 months from planting to harvest and the steps involved in growing pink rice in Madagascar are:

The rice fields are first cleared of any debris, rocks, or weeds. Then, the soil is tilled to make it loose and ready for planting.

The pink rice is usually planted during the rainy season, which typically runs from November to April. The seeds are sown directly into the soil, either by hand or using a machine. The seeds are typically sown in rows, with a spacing of about 15cm between them.

After planting, the rice fields are flooded with water to a depth of about 10cm. This helps to keep the soil moist and provide the necessary environment for the rice to grow.

The pink rice is typically fertilized with a combination of organic and inorganic fertilizers. The organic fertilizers are usually applied before planting, while the inorganic fertilizers are applied during the growing season.

Weeds can compete with the rice plants for nutrients and water, so it's important to remove them regularly. In Madagascar, weeding is typically done manually using a hoe or other hand tools.

Pink rice is typically harvested by hand, with workers cutting the rice stalks and bundling them together. The rice is then threshed to separate the grain from the stalks.

After harvesting, the pink rice is typically dried in the sun for several days to reduce its moisture content. The rice is then milled to remove the outer hull and reveal the pink-colored grain inside.

Growing pink rice in Madagascar requires careful attention to detail and a lot of hard work, but the end result is a unique and delicious crop that is highly prized around the world.

The pink rice is usually planted during the rainy season, which typically runs from November to April. After planting, the rice usually takes about 2-3 weeks to germinate and start growing. Then, it takes approximately 2-3 months for the rice to mature and reach the flowering stage.

After flowering, the rice grains begin to develop, and the rice plants usually require another 1-2 months to complete their growth cycle and reach maturity. At this point, the rice grains are fully formed and ready for harvest.

Did you know?

Madagascar was one of the last major landmasses on earth to be colonized by humans. Madagascar’s population consists of 18 main ethnic groups, all of whom speak the same Malagasy language. Most Malagasy are multi-ethnic, however, reflecting the island’s diversity of settlers and historical contacts.



More easy lunch and dinner rice recipes to make right now so you never have to eat or prepare a boring white rice recipe again.

  1. Mozambique Coconut Beans Recipe
  2. Black-Eyed Pea Casserole with Rice and Herbs
  3. Rice and Beans Ghana Style
  4. Fried Banana Rice Dumplings
  5. Fried Rice Cakes Recipe

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