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Hwa, Saw Siok (1963) The Rice Industry of Burma, 1852-1940. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study begins with a discussion on the ban on rice exports imposed by the Burmese kings and the expansion of rice cultivation, the growth of the main ports --- Rangoon, Bassein, Akyab and Moulmein --- and the setting up of rice firms in the early British period. It is apparent from the brief account of the geography of Burma in Chapter II that vast stretches of land in the delta and coastal plains of Lower Burma are eminently suited to paddy production. The expansion of paddy acreage, cultivation methods, and the work of the Agricultural Department are described. The system of assembling and marketing the crop from the threshing floors to the mills is considered next, followed by an account of the changing patterns of location, ownership and size of mills as well as milling functions and mill products. The next chapter considers the supply of Burman and Indian labour in paddy production and the rice mills. Land tenure problems, consisting mainly of the loss of land by small owner-cultivators to absentee landlords and the deteriorating tenancy conditions, and the attempts to bring about legislation to restrict land alienation and improve tenancy conditions are discussed in Chapter VI. The supply of and demand for agricultural credit as well as the causes of indebtedness are presented in Chapter VII. Chapter VIII discusses the various markets for Burma rice and the competition, especially from Siam and Indochina, encountered in these markets. Finally, the concluding chapter shows the importance of the rice industry in the economy of Burma, traces the main factors in its development, points out the shift of population to Lower Burma due mainly to this development and attempts an assessment of the shares of the profits of the rice industry accruing to the various participants.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:14

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