More than half of the world’s population depends on rice. Some say two thirds.
The Asian governments consider rice so important that they don’t allow free and open trade. They do this to ensure that their people, especially the poor, don’t become victims of open markets and globalization. Usually, where there’s big money, the economic interests end up hurting the average people.
But rice is also culturally important. It is a symbol of prosperity in many countries and it is used in many traditional dishes that date back centuries. For example, China’s rural culture has developed around the growing of rice. It is widely accepted that rice was first domesticated along the Yangtze River in China, some 10.000 years ago.
I took the picture below in another ancient region of China, the Li River valley, famous for its karst formations and cormorant fishing.
(Click for larger version!)