| || In the region of Antananarivo, the Merina people, a Malayo-Indonesian ethnic group, use traditional methods to cultivate their rice paddies in the plains surrounding the villages. Rice paddies now take up two-thirds of the country’s cultivated area. Two types of rice-growing are practiced on the island: irrigated cultivation on flooded terraces along the river valleys; and dry cultivation on steep slopes after land clearing by fire. Madagascar is the second-leading per capita consumer of rice in the world (about 246 pounds, or 112 kg, per capita per year, behind Myanmar at 462 pounds, or 210 kg), but it is not a major producer (producing 2.8 million tons, it ranks approximately twentieth in the world). For a long time the country has imported rice of average quality while exporting a high quality variety. Rice, wheat, and corn are the three most consumed grains in the world.
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