Rice is the largest crop of Southeast Asia. Fifty-eight percent of the world's rice is produced in the region, with Thailand the world's second-largest rice exporter (following China). Tea, spices and coconuts are also major food crops produced in Southeast Asia.
Rice is a staple food for more than half the world's population, particularly in Asia. Rice requires a great deal of water to grow and thus is suited to countries with high rainfall. The most prevalent method of rice cultivation in Southeast Asia is paddy field farming, a labor-intensive method that involves flooding fields in which seedlings are planted.