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paddy

small, level, flooded field used to cultivate rice in southern and eastern Asia. Wet-rice cultivation is the most prevalent method of farming in the Far East, where it utilizes a small fraction of the total land yet feeds the majority of the rural population. Rice was domesticated as early as 3500 BC, and by about 2,000 years ago it was grown in almost all of the present-day cultivation areas, predominantly deltas, floodplains and coastal plains, and some terraced valley slopes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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