Rice is the staple food of Madagascar with an average of three portions per person eaten daily totalling to an annual consumption of about 200 kilograms per capita. Rice culture remains the main economic activity on the island and is one of the main sources of income for many.
This traditional agriculture dates back to a much earlier period. Rice, a tropical plant that grows best in warm, moist places, has indeed always played a major role in Malagasy society and is present today in most national dishes.
Because of their ubiquity, rice fields are part of the landscape of Madagascar, except in the extreme south where the climate is arid. These endless green fields draw stunningly beautiful geometric lines across the land. The Betsileo region, in particular, is considered the rice granary of the island; it is famous for its incredible rice terraces dotted with clusters of bright-coloured houses throughout.