As will be made clear in the pages that follow, this book is based on a field research project focused on rice-growing and undertaken in parts of North Arcot District in Tamil Nadu (India) and of Hambantota and Mon-eragala Districts, Sri Lanka. We use 'S.E. Sri Lanka' as shorthand for the whole of the latter study area, and 'Hambantota District' for the part of it which falls in that District. Except where the context requires otherwise, the present in our book refers to 1973-4; while 'Randam' and 'Paha-lagama' are fictitious names for real villages. The project was an inter-disciplinary one, involving workers qualified in economics, geography, hydrology, sociology, statistics and the study of the administration of development.