Upland and lowland rice in the Netherlands Indies

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Abstract

The global trade in rice is historically recent and its total quantity relatively small. Colonial explorations were the main incentive for its development, but only beginning in the 19th century did rice-producing countries in Asia export rice outside the continent in bulk. In previous centuries rice was transported over land and across the oceans in small quantities, mostly for consumption on the journey. The industrialisation of north-west Europe in the 18th century triggered the emergence of rice as a global commodity. The Carolinas in North America were the first colonies to produce rice for Europe. With the rapid changes in shipping capacity and shipping routes, in particular the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, Asian countries took over and continued to dominate exports of rice to Europe. Although several million metric tons are transported each year, the volume of rice for international trade has been low, at the level of 5 per cent, and even today only amounts to 7 per cent of total production.1 Because trade within rice producing countries is at a higher level, about 50 per cent, and due to its overall importance in national food security, rice is foremost a strategic commodity
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLocal Subversions of Colonial Cultures : Commodities and Anti-Commodities in Global History
EditorsS. Hazareesingh, H. Maat
Place of PublicationLondon
Pages49-69
Number of pages232
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameCambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd

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