The Nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan has just completed another dam and reservoir project in a continuing effort to boost agricultural production that is already among the highest in Asia.
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View of dam
Farmers dig channel
Workman presses buttons
Farmers open valves
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Background: The Nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan has just completed another dam and reservoir project in a continuing effort to boost agricultural production that is already among the highest in Asia.Taiwan is one of the few areas in the Orient that consistently produces more food than its own people can consume in addition to being well on its way to industrialization.
The Paiho reservoir will serve a farm area in the southern part of this island province of the Republic of China.In case you don't understand Chinese.Paiho means "White River," and the dam is built on the tributary of a river named "Muddy Water." While it is modest by American standards -- the spillway rises to 101 feet -- the Chinese are proud of the accomplishment because the Paiho dam was designed, constructed and financed entirely by their own people.No American money or personnel was involved in any way.
Its primary function will be to provide water for irrigation of dry farm lands.Two-thirds of Taiwan are covered with forests and only 24 per cent of the land is suitable for farming.Every acre is precious.With a rainfall of 100 inches a year, the reservoir behind the Paiho dam is assured a contest supply of water.
Even so, the demand for water continues to increase with free China's agricultural and industrial expansion.Taiwan is about to become the world's largest exporter of bananas.It is already the 2nd largest exporter of sugar.
Water released from here will not only go to farm land, it will also serve several nearby sugar refineries and a paper mill.And of course, an additional function of the reservoir is providing flood control.
The Paiho dam will irrigate 12,000 acres -- much of it flooded rice fields -- and it is expected that the land will now produce an additional 10,000 metric tons of rice each year.
The Chinese have been getting more returns from their limited farm acreage by constantly improving their century-old farming methods to keep abreast of modern scientific development.The improved methods have helped give the people of free China the second highest standard of living in the Orient.