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In Mekong Delta, rice boom has steep environmental cost

Yale 360: Phan Dinh Duc leans against yellow sacks of freshly harvested rice. It’s a warm spring evening in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, and Duc, a local farmer, is waiting for traders to arrive by truck to purchase his produce and sell it on commodities markets. Beyond him lies a vast checkerboard of rice paddies, each filled with water and bordered by a network of canals and roughly 10-foot-high earthen dikes. They enable year-round rice cultivation in an area where, a half century ago, vast floodplains typically...