| || The Balinese, organized into subaks (farming cooperatives), have exploited the volcanic landscape and the approximately 150 watercourses of their island by building a vast irrigation network, allowing them to grow rice. Water retained in the hills is directed into the terraced fields through a maze of canals and ditches. Rice is considered by the Indonesian farmers to be a gift of the gods. Temples are erected in the middle of the rice fields and, at each stage in the harvest, offerings are made in honor of Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice. The introduction of a new, fast growing variety of rice in the 1970s and the (often heavy) use of fertilizers and pesticides has increased the number of annual harvests from two to three, making Indonesia the third-leading producer of rice in the world, after China and India. In 2007 Indonesia produced 57 million metric tons, 9% of the total world production. Rice is the staple food for over half of the population of the world.
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