What is terrace farming?

Terrace farming is commonly found through Asia, and is used when the terrain is particularly hilly or steep.

Terraces are made using low walls of Earth up the side of the hills, these allow the farmers to make flat areas for planting their crops – the terraces.

The terraces act in several ways but especially in allowing the soil to remain in place and water flowing down the hill through natural gravity can be moved and channelled through the terrace set up using a system of small openings and gates to allow different areas to be dry or wet at any one time.

Terraces are often seen in the rice-growing areas of sour-east Asia, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and so on.

The Indonesian island of Bali is particularly well-known for large areas of rice terraces, but at higher altitudes the crops in the terraces will be replaced by different crops as rice cannot grow too high.


These wonders of the landscape are totally man made, but nature can beat anything we can make! Find out about mysterious fairy rings (and no, they’re not a iced biscuit) in How It Works issue 63, the magazine that feeds minds.

You may also like...