This is probably happening because the variable names are not listed on the first row of the spreadsheet, or the spreadsheet name has not been specified.
If the worksheet is not named 'Sheet1' then the name of the sheet should be specified as shown here.
read (C:\Users\name\Desktop\rice.xls|TheSheetName) firm year prod area labor fert / list
A guide to using Excel with SHAZAM versions 9 and 10 is also available here which may help you.
Please see Method 3) which demonstrates the way to use Excel using the READ statement in both the Standard and Professional Editions.
In SHAZAM Version 10 (Service Pack 1) there is a sample spreadsheet in the SHAZAM directory and this can be tested using these commands:
read(c:\shazam\sample.xls|SampleSheet) Igm Fgm Cgm Ic Fc Cc
Note also that many versions of Excel open spreadsheets exclusively preventing software like SHAZAM from reading them while Excel has them open. If this happens you will need to close the spreadsheet in Excel before attempting to read it into SHAZAM.
You may also export spreadsheets using the Data Interchange Format (.dif) which is a long established common format for exchanging data between spreadsheets. This can be combined with the /NAMES option which is useful when there are a large number of variables because they do not need to be listed with the READ statement. This is described in the SHAZAM manual.