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Grain storage silos in Queensland, Australia

The breadbasket or the granary of a country is a region which, because of richness of soil and/or advantageous climate, produces an agricultural surplus which is often considered vital for the country as a whole. Rice bowl[1] is a similar term used to refer to Southeast Asia, and California's Salinas Valley is often referred to as the world's salad bowl.[2][3] Such regions may be the subject of fierce political disputes which may even escalate into full military conflicts.

Classical antiquity[edit]

Sicily and Africa were considered the breadbaskets of the Roman Republic. Later on Egypt was considered the breadbasket of the Roman Empire. Crimea was the source of a huge quantity of grain supplied to Greek City-States, especially Athens.



The Chaouia plain south of Casablanca has historically been the breadbasket of Morocco thanks to its fertile soil called Tirs and relatively abundant rainfall (avg. 400 mm/year).

South Africa[edit]

The Free State province is often considered the "Breadbasket" of South Africa due to its wheat, sunflower and maize fields.[4]

The Overberg region in the Western Cape is also known as the "Breadbasket" of South Africa[5] due to its large wheat fields, as well as fruit growing.


As Rhodesia, Zimbabwe was the breadbasket of Africa, exporting wheat, tobacco, and corn to the rest of the continent and beyond. Zimbabwe contains the most fertile farmland on the continent.[6]



The Punjab and Haryana regions are considered the breadbasket of India. Chhattisgarh is said to be the "rice bowl" of India.


The Punjab province is considered the breadbasket of Pakistan.[7]


Sichuan has been historically known as the "province of abundance" due to its agricultural prowess. The regions on the banks of the Yellow River and Yangtze River have also been known for their rich fertility.


The Al-Jazira area in northwestern Syria, and its Euphrates basin is considered the country's breadbasket due to its abundance of wheat.

Rice Bowl in Southeast Asia[edit]


The delta of Chao Phraya in are considered rice bowl of Thailand.


Plains of Java in Indonesia are considered the rice bowls of the Indonesia.


delta of the Mekong in Vietnam are also could be applied as the rice bowls of Vietnam


The Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar used to be one of the most important source of rice in the region until its production declined due to various reasons, including its unstable political situation.



The Beauce plains are considered the breadbasket of France.


Around the 1970s, Alentejo was considered the breadbasket of Portugal.


In the 19th century Romania was considered part of Europe's breadbasket.[8]


The Hungarian Plain has produced significant amount of corns and grains. In the early 20th century 34% of Europe's total corn production and 11% of the European flour production was grown in Hungary.


During Tsarist times the Ukrainian provinces of the Russian Empire were referred to as the Empire's breadbasket.[citation needed] During the Soviet era, the mantle passed to the Ukrainian SSR.

There is also the Central Black Earth Region within Russia proper.


Vojvodina was considered the breadbasket of Serbia. About 70% of its agricultural products are corn, 20% industrial herbs, and 10% other agricultural cultures.


In the 18th century, there were plans to drain the Ljubljana Marsh and transform it into the breadbasket of Carniola.[9][10]

United Kingdom[edit]

Eastern England, particularly East Anglia, the Vale of York and South East England are considered the main crop-producing areas of the UK.

North America[edit]

The United States Corn Belt

North America's Great Plains are a common breadbasket shared between Canada and the United States. In Canada the grain-growing areas are also called the Canadian prairies. Sometimes the province of Saskatchewan also known for producing a huge supplement of potash is further singled out from within this region as the main "Breadbasket" of Canada. In the United States, this region is called the Corn Belt, or (occasionally) the "Grain Belt", and it generally extends from the Canadian border between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes down through the Texas Panhandle.

Additionally, The San Joaquin Valley in California has also been called the "The food basket of the World." The San Joaquin Valley produces the majority of the 12.8% of the United States' agricultural production (as measured by dollar value) that comes from California.[11] Grapes—table, raisin, and to a lesser extent wine—are perhaps the valley's highest-profile product, but equally (if not more) important are cotton, nuts (especially almonds and pistachios), citrus, and vegetables. Oranges, peaches, garlic, tangerines, tomatoes, kiwis, hay, alfalfa and numerous other crops have been harvested with great success. According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture’s ranking of market value of agricultural products sold, nine of the nation’s top 10, and 12 of the top 20, producing counties are in California. [12]



The Murray-Darling Basin is seen as Australia's breadbasket, being the source of 40% of the nation's agricultural income, a third of the wheat harvest, 95% of the rice crop and other products such as fruit, wine and cotton.[13]

New Zealand[edit]

When New Zealand became a British colony, the fertile lands produced food that would be shipped back to England, causing New Zealand to become colloquially known (occasionally along with Australia) as 'Britain's Breadbasket', subsequently leading to the Dunedin being the first ship to complete a truly successful transport of refrigerated meat, she was refitted with a refrigeration machine with which she took the first load of frozen meat from New Zealand to the United Kingdom.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bryce, Emma (2013-05-08). "Wildlife forced out of California 'salad bowl' by food safety regulations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  3. ^ Kaplan, Sheila. "Salinas, California: The Salad Bowl of Pesticides". Politics Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Pakistan flood: Sindh braces as water envelops southern Punjab". Guardian. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Sheilah Kast and Jim Rosapepe, Dracula Is Dead (2009) p 104
  9. ^ Melik, Anton. 1959. Slovenija: Geografski Opis, vol. 2, part 3. Ljubljana: Slovenska Matica, p. 187.
  10. ^ Vidic, Marko. 1987. "Agrarna revolucija." Enciklopedija Slovenije, vol. 1, pp. 20–21. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "The Murray-Darling Basin: A catchment in crisis". Special Broadcasting Service. 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2008-10-12.