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FIELDS AND GARDENS
Potatoes are cultivated in the Southern Shan States and elsewhere, for instance in Putao. Sugar cane culture is widely distributed.
In most parts of Burma, tobacco is grown on in all about
120,000 acres. The indigenous varieties are of no great value commercially, perhaps because the processes of curing are either imperfectly understood or unskilfully practised. Burmese cheroots are well known, but for the most part are made of imported tobacco. Experiments with Virginia and Havana seed have been only moderately successful. But some of the best Burmese cigars are now made of tobacco grown at Danubyu from this seed and cured locally. Very little tobacco is put into the large green and white cheroots, wrapped in thanat leaves, which are smoked by every Burmese man and woman and by many children. No doubt there is a great future for tobacco cultivation in Burma; but it may be remote*
The betel-palm (Areca catechu), called by the Burmese kun, is widely cultivated and also grows by nature. From association of name and use may here be mentioned the betel vine (Piper betle) grown in dry districts and producing betel leaves for chewing. This is a very valuable product.
Cotton is grown largely in Sagaing, Myingyan, Meiktila, Lower Chindwin, and Thayetmyo, to a less extent elsewhere. The area under cotton is about 300,000 acres, the annual out-turn about 12,000 tons.
Rubber is grown with success in plantations in Mergui,
Fig. 58. Burmese cheroot.