Against the grain

The Economist

January 18, 2014


THE prospect from Sam mountain, a rocky outcrop in southern Vietnam’s Mekong delta, is timeless. Paddy fields shine emerald. Irrigation canals reflect the sunlight like mirrors. Three times a year, farmers in surrounding towns put on their rubber boots and plant rice seedlings in the deep soil. A few months later they sell their sacks of grain to traders, who bring it to riverside mills for processing. In its essence, this activity is timeless, too.


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