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Highland field house with a farmer and ducks near Mai Chau

A farmer carrying a basket stands by a highland field house near Mai Chau. The house has a thatched roof and is elevated, but the construction is of lighter and less permanent materials than a wooden village house. On the right, domesticated ducks walk along a path by a canal or pond. In many parts of Southeast Asia, farmers raise ducks and wet-rice fields in a mutually beneficial, or symbiotic, relationship. Duck droppings fertilize the water in which the rice grows. Ducks also eat the algae and other weeds that grow near the young rice plants. The ducks are herded away from the ripe rice when it is ready for harvest. The farmers ultimately eat both the mature rice and ducks.

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