Rice needs a lot of water to grow and much of the rice that comes from places like Vietnam, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries is grown on terraces. The idea is to make different layers of terraces on hillsides to allow for farming where it could not otherwise be feasible. With the terrace farming idea, water stays on the level surfaces allowing the rice to grow in these types of areas.
Terrace farming slows water runoff, and allows water to be trapped in the “terraces” created, so crops that require lots of water are able to stand in this water as they need to. The practice dates back to the Incan civilization in Peru, who would cut ledges into mountainsides for cultivation. Some theorize that terraced farming was used in Babylonian times.
I think the association between terrace farming and specific crops, has more to do with what food crops people living in mountainous areas had/have available to them. Rice cultivation is perhaps easiest in large, flat river floodplains. The fact that farmers throughout the mountains of Southeast Asia grow rice speaks more to their ingenuity and ability to modify their environment than to rice’s specific adaptation to terrrace farming.
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