Every Native Is Perfectly Aware Of This Advantage In Rice
Cultivation; And Were The Supply Of Water Ensured To Them By The
Repair Of A Principal Tank, They Would Gather Around Its Margin.
The thorny jungles would soon disappear from the surface of the
ground, and a densely-populated and prosperous district would
again exist where all has been a wilderness for a thousand years.
The system of rice cultivation is exceedingly laborious. The
first consideration being a supply of water, the second is a
perfect level, or series of levels, to be irrigated. Thus a
hill-side must be terraced out into a succession of platforms or
steps; and a plain, however apparently flat, must, by the
requisite embankments, be reduced to the most perfect surface.
This being completed, the water is laid on for a certain time,
until the soil has become excessively soft and muddy. It is then
run off, and the land is ploughed by a simple implement, which,
being drawn by two buffaloes, stirs up the soil to a depth of
eighteen inches. This finished, the water is again laid on until
the mud becomes so soft that a man will sink knee-deep. In this
state it is then trodden over by buffaloes, driven backward and
forward in large gangs, until the mud is so thoroughly mixed that
upon the withdrawal of the water it sinks to a perfect level.
Upon this surface the paddy, having been previously soaked in
water, is now sown; and, in the course of a fortnight, it attains
a height of about four inches.
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