【Rice Agri-food education】A Brief History of Rice Farming in Taiwan: Neolithic Age, Hezhi Period, and Requesting Period
There are different food crops in different regions. Humans can absorb the calories needed by the human body from rice, wheat, taro, millet, sweet potato, soybean, corn, etc. The three major grains in the world are rice, wheat, and corn. They are all annual grasses of the Poaceae family. We eat their seeds. These grains have been used as staple food and poultry feed since ancient times, and they have written history with human beings.
Among them, rice is a tropical crop, mainly distributed between the equator and 30 degrees north latitude, mainly produced in Asia, where they produce 90% of the world’s total production. Rice yields in Asia are high because the monsoon climate is rainy and warm, suitable for rice growth, and because paddy fields have no obstacles to continuous cropping, they can be planted for many years and maintain high productivity.
*Continuous Cropping Obstacle: It refers to the situation that continuous planting of crops of the same species or family in the same field area will lead to a gradual decrease in yield and a gradual increase in pests and diseases. The reason is generally believed to be the continuous cultivation of the same crop, which leads to an imbalance of soil microorganisms and nutrients.
The Nanke Archaeological Site is a collective name for the various archaeological sites located in the Tainan Park of the Southern Science Industrial Park in Taiwan. The earliest rice fossils found in Taiwan are the rice fossils discovered at the Nanke Archaeological Site by the archaeological team of Zang Zhenhua, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. They are from 5000 years ago, which can be called “Taiwan’s first rice”, and through DNA testing, it was found that most of the rice was japonica rice, and the size of each grain of rice was similar, indicating that Taiwan may had the ability to breed rice in the Neolithic Age.
Extended reading: Wikipedia- The Nanke Archaeological Site)
荷蘭統治時期Dutch Rule in Taiwan
雖然台灣在距今 5,000 年前的南科考古遺址，就已經發現稻米化石，但在文字記載上，最早是追朔到 17 世紀荷蘭統治台灣時，有水稻的栽種。
Although rice fossils which are from 5,000 years ago have been found at the Nanke archaeological site, in written records, the earliest record of rice cultivation dates back to the 17th century when the Netherlands ruled Taiwan.
According to the records of “Taiwan Prefecture Chronicle” in 1717, the rice planted at that time was dominated by the drought-resistant and prolific “Zhandao” strain, which belonged to indica rice (Zailai rice). Crossing the Heishuigou along the coast of Guangdong, it was brought to Taiwan. The “Zhandao” has strong resistance and growth ability, and for the early Han immigrants, it is a choice that can adapt to harsh environments and maintain stable production.
明鄭與清領時期Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty
Extended reading: Wikipedia – Lukang Bajiao
In the early Ming, Zheng and Qing dynasties, Taiwanese rice was harvested once a year. Farmers deducted land rent, taxes, and other living expenses. In fact, there was not much rice that was used for food by the rice farmers themselves. The staple food of most farmers was rice mixed with sweet potatoes, grains, etc. And the precious rice will be exchanged for currency to buy life necessities.
After the Yongzheng Dynasty (1678-1735), the Qing court opened rice to be sold in Taiwan. After the 18th century, there was a general shortage of food along the coast of China, so Taiwanese rice played a role in helping Chinese provinces. At that time, growing rice can be benefited greatly. It has attracted many Han immigrants to invest money and reclaim land.
However, when rice is sold for export, it is necessary to go through several intermediary rice merchants to reach the suburban merchants at the port (such as Quanxia Suburb of the Eighth Suburbs of Lukang). Among them, the “earth ridge room” can be said to be an important place to convert rice into commodities. The rice will be hulled in the “earth ridge room”, and the hulled rice will be exchanged for currency. By the way, the hulled rice will be lighter in weight, which is convenient for transportation and export.
【米雙語食農教育】系列文章 Rice Agri-food education: Series of Articles
Welcome to indicate the source and share the articles, and also welcome to book a rice culture experience tour with us!
【Rice Agri-food education】A Brief History of Rice Farming in Taiwan 1: Neolithic Age, Hezhi Period, and Requesting Period
【Rice Agri-food education】A Brief History of Rice Farming in Taiwan 2: Japanese Occupation Period
【Rice Agri-food education】A Brief History of Rice Farming in Taiwan 3: Kuomintangs Retreat, WTO, Recent Years
【Rice Agri-food education】Status of Rice Planting in Taiwan, Nantou and Rice Planting in Puli
【Rice Agri-food education】 Rice Planting Process: Breeding, Ploughing, Transplanting, Management, Field Drying, Harvesting
【Rice Agri-food education】 Why there is less continuous cropping obstacle in rice: Poaceae and paddy field characteristics
【Rice Agri-Food Education】Land and Climatic Environment Suitable for Rice, Planting Environment in Puli
【Rice Agri-Food Education】Rices life & The Two Stage of Rice Harvesting in Taiwan
【Rice Agri-Food Education】8 Important Functions of Paddy Fields: Environmental Protection and Cultural Heritage
【Rice Agri-Food Education】4 types of rice & factors that determine the taste of rice
【Rice Agri-Food Education】9 Popular, Must-Try Rice Varieties In Taiwan