Eduard B. VERMEER
Water buffalo pull carts of hay in Hubei Province, near the Yangzi River, a scene that has changed little over the centuries. Agricultural productivity is a long-standing challenge for China, where the population almost doubled between 1700 and 1800, causing an increase in demand for food production and a strain on China’s natural resources. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.
By the early twentieth century, China’s population growth had placed great