(Photo: Peter Fredenburg)</span Living standards can rise only as workers become steadily more productive. For rice farming, improving productivity...

Perhaps surprisingly, farmers do not perform most of the labor on rice farms in South and Southeast Asia. In the Philippines and on the Indonesian island of Java, for example, rice farm families work  on average less than 40 days per year on the fundamental tasks of growing rice. If both husband and wife share this labor, each averages 13 hours per month. This is good...

(Photo: IRRI) In the years following World War II, there was growing concern about the food problem in Asia. The population was growing at close to 3%...