National Geographic : 1994 May
TIIN REAPEl Sinthreadbare clothes carve out a hard-earned rice harvest in Madagascar. Cool temperatures, poor soil, sporadic rains, and manual labor-with scythe and bullock instead of machines-keep yields below one ton per acre, among the world's worst. Still, the Malagasy people rank among the highest in rice consumption, eating an average of 260 pounds ayear. Desperate for cropland, farmers turn forested hills into paddies, leaving rivers awash in mud.