Rice is life to the people of Asia. Being more than just food, it is central to the Asian way of life; its culture, spirituality, traditions and norms, especially for the grassroots. Over the centuries, rice has sculptured the culture, diet and economies of billions of people in Asia. It is very much a part of Asian celebrations, festivals, community sharing, and agriculture. For Asians, life without rice is simply unthinkable. To protect rice means to preserve the rich cultural and spiritual heritage that is rice. There are thousands of rice varieties all over the world.