By U Khin Win
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Extra info for A Century of Rice Improvement in Burma
Burmese-owned mills had mixed laborers, but a great majority were Burmese. Most of the rice mills were situated in Lower Burma, on the river banks, or along the railway lines. About one-fifth were located in Upper Burma. The European domination of the rice milling industry was more prominent in earlier days, but due to the rapid growth of small mills in Upper and Lower Burma (which were mostly owned by Asians), the monopoly went to the Asians at the close of the century. Generally, large mills concentrated on export trade, while small mills took care of internal trade.
It began to stabilize afterward. Table 6 indicates the rice production trend from 1830 to 1940. It was only 44,000 t in 1830, increasing to 2 million t in 1880. After this take-off period, production rose rapidly, especially at the close of the 19th century. 5 million t in 1910, after which the rate of growth slowed down. (For annual rice production data, see Appendix I). During this era, rice production growth was remarkable, but growth between 1885 and 1910 was most distinct and significant. Such a rapid rise in production growth was the result of many factors having differential impacts— some beneficial and some detrimental-onthe various segments of the population.
Rice production growth during this era may be characterized as a period of frustration for the masses, particularly the farmers. Although the impact of rapid rice production growth on the farmers in this period was regrettable, the fact remains they endured great hardships for the benefit of the next generation. Lands inherited by the next generation needed to be properly maintained and utilized. RICE PRODUCTION UNDER THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT 35 CHAPTER Ill Rice production under the independent Burmese Government The Imperial Japanese Army invaded Burma in 1942.