Finding the Faces of Farming: Grains and Groundnuts
For rice I went to Bangladesh, slogging through flooded fields with mud that will suck your shoes off, where the humidity in the vast watery lowlands left me drenched.
Tim Russell with IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) took me to Jahati where village farmers were threshing rice with a foot-powered contraption, beating the rice off the stalks. Three men pumped in unison, whacking bundles of rice against the spinning drum. American farmers seeing this would feel smug until learning that acre for acre, farmers in Bangladesh grow more food than farmers in Illinois.
It was not always so.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s famine stalked the planet. Bangladesh along with China and India were familiar to every American child,