Sudhish Kumar, an Indian expatriate in Sharjah who has cultivated rice in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is waiting for the harvest in July. With his experiment, the world gets to see if the country’s soil, which is primarily sandy and can only grow date palms, acacia and eucalyptus, can yield rice too.

Lack of cultivable land, i.e., lack of rice cultivation, severe heat, locust swarms and lack of water resources in UAE prevent crops like rice from growing. However, none of it deterred the 41-year-old employee of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority from giving rice a shot.

Sudhish has been featured in the Limca Book of Records for growing the longest ladies finger (41.91cm), and the smallest as well (3.81cm), and believes he will be first in the country to grow rice. He is also trying to cultivate wheat which he hopes will harvest next month.

Rice is normally grown as an annual plant and Rice cultivation requires intense labour and requires ample water.

A lover of kitchen gardens, besides growing a handful of vegetable in his backyard, the green thumb has spent four hours every day for the past few months in the farm and it took him almost a day to sow 1,300 seeds.