The Impact of the Second World War on Commercial Rice Production in Mainland South-East Asia
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South-East Asia’s commercial rice economy all but collapsed during the Japanese Occupation owing to the disruption of existing trade networks and a severe shortage of transportation and fuels. Unable to find a market for their grain, farmers in rice-exporting territories cut back on production, and by the time the war ended were growing little more than they needed for their own use. In rice-deficit areas, people experienced food shortages and malnutrition as they struggled to grow vegetables and root crops to replace imported rice. The post-war period brought a degree of recovery, but government controls and domestic political turmoil prevented the restoration of the export trade, while territories with food deficits before the war increased agricultural production to reduce their dependency on imported rice.
KeywordsRice Production Milled Rice Mekong Delta Draught Animal Southeast Asian Study
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