The economic downturn in China has caused more than 20 million Chinese peasant farmers working in factories in the major cities to return to the land. The migrant workers had been forced by the devastating May 2008 earthquake into the cities to find work.

Prior to the economic downturn, the Chinese government had introduced interest-free loans for machinery purchases and other incentives to lure the farmers back to the land. The result is that farmers have gone home by the millions, and there’s not enough land to sustain them.

Rice needs more water than any other grain crop, but China is experiencing its worst drought ever. The combination is causing chaos in the rural sectors, as fear rises of riots and demonstrations by farmers seeking more government support. That’s according to foreign companies involved in farming in China.