Chinese Rice Farming Essay

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Chinese Rice Farming
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An ancient Chinese proverb reads, “Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.” In a comical manner, this proverb illustrates an important point - rice serves an essential function to the people of China. As the pivotal mediator between the Chinese people and the rice they consume, the weather, climate, and environment has played an integral role in rice’s production and utility, as well as the importance it plays within the culture. Ironically, something so integral to Chinese society may not indeed be sustainable for the future.

Before discussing the important inter-dynamics between rice, people and the environment, it is necessary to briefly review the importance of rice
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The Chinese planted them, and months later, rice crops arose in abundance. While this myth is far-fetched, it is clear through the folklore that the people of China associate the gods’ benevolence with their gift of rice to the Chinese people.

Having thousands of years to experiment with this gift from the gods, the Chinese discovered that rice production required a specific type of environment and climate to thrive. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, rice grows best in warm, humid, rainy regions.31 Typically, the temperature must average at least 70 degrees during the 18 week growing season and the average rainfall must be at least 45 inches per year, unless irrigation techniques are used to increase productivity. Due to the topographical complexity of China, the South and Central China are the primary rice-cultivating regions. These regions are hot and humid, averaging 40 inches of precipitation a year – primarily due to the summer monsoons. In the summer months of June, July and August for example, the Southern city of Guang-Zhou reflects this trend: Highs around 90 degrees, low around 80 degrees, and 28 inches of rain.32 Although the northern cities such as Beijing have comparably warm temperatures in the summer, averaging in the high 80’s low 90’s, they are not humid or rainy enough to produce large quantities of rice. In all of last year, for example it rained only 25 inches in the capitol. In most areas north of Qin Ling (a centrally located city),…

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