National Geographic : 1955 Apr
Rice Fields Climb Like Stairsteps Farmers make up half of Formosa's population. Many hold title to their lands. An installment system permits them to pay as they till. Three acres is the aver age holding. Favorable climate, irriga tion, and use of fertilizers allow two or three crops yearly. Watered fields of rice, the island's major crop, terrace Formosa's fertile lowlands. Bumper crops in 1954 produced a record 1,873,910 tons. This farmer and his water buffalo plow a paddy near Tanshui on the northwest coast. Son wields a hoe. Young green sprouts will replace the clipped stalks of an earlier rice crop. To avoid the torrid sun, the family works in the late afternoon. Neighbors often help one another, a dozen or more combining their efforts in a single small field. To weed rice, For mosans crawl through muck and water on hands and knees, like charwomen scrubbing floors, instead of stooping as Japanese weeders do. National Geographic Photographer J. Baylor Roberts + Tea Pickers Harvest a Crop for Export Formosa oolong is popular in the United States. North Africa prefers the island's green tea. Balancing baskets of leaves, this worker heads toward a weighing station in the hills near Taipei. 581 K. C.Tan, U.S.I. A.