ĦĦĦĦ A number of tribes in ancient China had a fairly well-developed agriculture. As early as the Qin Dynasty (200 B.C.) the Luoyues in south China cleared jungle land and had developed cultivation and crop irrigation. In what is now Xinjiang, grain, mulberry trees, hemp, grapes and other crops were already being grown by minority peoples 2,000 years ago. Crops such as sorghum, maize, cotton, sesame, grape, watermelon, cucumbers and carrots were introduced into the central areas from the "Western Regions." During the Tang-Song period 1,000 years ago the Wuman and Baiman groups in Yunnan developed water conservancy and irrigation projects on a large scale at Changshan, Dali and Dianchi. The crops of 10,000 "qing" (roughly 67,000 hectares) of land on the Dali Plain were guaranteed at the time by the "Cross Ditch" and "Jinlang River" irrigation works, part of a network with eighteen other water courses covering the whole plain. The Tubo people, in what is now Tibet, had in the Tang Dynasty attained a relatively high level of development in growing wheat, highland barley, buckwheat and kidney beans and in tilling land and irrigating crops. The Fuyus and Yilous of the Han Dynasty had learned to grow cereal grains.

ĦĦĦĦBy enlarging their acreage from 400,000 shang (hectares) to 2,900,000 shang during the Qing Dynasty, the Manchu people inhabiting the Fengtian area of Liaoning in the Northeast became self-sufficient in food grain.