Rice, its History

H. B. Proctor
1891 Scientific American  
Thus God created man. God made food and drink, rice, fire, and wa ter, cattle, elephants, and birds.-A Burmel5e account of the creation. EXTRAORDINARY as has been the progress of the wheat trade of England during the last century, the wheaten loaf having supplanted those of rye and barley as the staple food of all classes of the people, it nevertheless will not bear comparison when contrasted with the same movement in rice, the importation of which has increased not less than one hundred fold
more » ... one hundred fold durillg the sallle period. The rice trade of England continued in extremely small compass. and was limited to the varieties pro duced in Carolina, Bengal, and Madras, until the year 1852, when the most fertile provinces of Burma were conquered and annexed to the British empire. Of all the countries in the world, Burma is the best adapted for the cheap culth'ation of rice; all that was wanted was a just and strong government, able to put down petty internal warfare, and willing to protect the cultivators from excessive taxation, viole nce, and oppre!i�ion. These blessing'S, which universally attend British rule, soon changed the condition of the people from extreme poverty to the greatest prosperity. As soon as the war was over, and the country became settled, the export trade in rice beg3n, and since then it has steadily increased year by year, until in 1881 the ex ports to Europe amounted to no less than 736,650 tons, besides which 178,600 tons were exported coastwise and to other parts of the world. This immense addition to the rice supply of the world has not checked the trade in the same article from the rest of India, as might have been anticipated, but it has grown larger too; last year, the exports to Europe amounted to 89,650 tons.
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican10101891-13157asupp fatcat:brqqzbgz2bdaxgfjtkfqiwhkna