English: Cloze Test(New Pattern) for Upcoming Exams – Set 159

Directions(1-10): In the passage given below there are 10 blanks. Every blank has four alternative phrases given in options (A),(B),(C), and (D). You have to tell which phrase is INAPPROPRIATE according to the context. If all are appropriate then mark your answer as “E”.

Nearly 16% of Indonesia’s 250m people survive on $1.90 a day or less, as do more than 6% of Cambodia’s 15m people. In both countries, rice is the staple crop, providing more than half the daily calories of the poor. That puts needy Cambodians at a ___1___: between January of last year and April of this, the average wholesale cost of a kilo of rice in Cambodia was roughly $0.40, while in Indonesia it was nearly $0.70.
There are a few reasons why rice is more expensive in Indonesia. For one, it is a ___2___, whereas Cambodia grows more than it needs. Indonesia is also a ___3___ with abysmal infrastructure, which raises transport costs. But David Dawe of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a division of the United Nations, has found that transport costs account for only a small share of the gap in prices. Instead, the culprit is policy.
Like many Asian countries, Indonesia wants to be self-sufficient in rice. But as well as trying to help farmers become competitive through investments in agriculture and infrastructure, its government, like others in the region, manipulates the rice market ___4___ of subsidies, tariffs and other support mechanisms for domestic producers. These interventions, though well-intentioned, raise prices for consumers and harm the region’s poorest people.
Asia consumes 90% of the world’s rice. It is used to make flour, noodles and puddings. Babies and the elderly survive on rice gruel. Steaming rice porridge ___5___ breakfast in skyscraping hotels in Hong Kong and rustic village kitchens in Hunan. Alcohol made from rice—be it sake in Japan or rice whiskey in Thailand—is ___6___ into the night in karaoke parlours and roadside stalls.
But rice is not just a ___7___: it has religious and cultural uses across the continent. It appears on Buddhist altars and in offerings to deceased ancestors; farmers pray to gods who govern rice before the harvest and thank them afterward. In many Asian languages the verb “to eat” literally means “to eat rice”.
Its ubiquity and cultural centrality make rice far more important politically than any other food. Every country believes its own rice superior: Thais love the fragrance of the local jasmine rice; Indians ___8___ of basmati; Japanese rave about the delicate texture of koshihikari from Niigata prefecture. Having to rely on foreign rice seems to many a ___9___.
The early adoption of especially productive strains during the Green Revolution briefly helped Indonesia and the Philippines to achieve self-sufficiency in rice in the 1980s, but for most of the past century they have been importers. The rice-exporting countries on the mainland have a big competitive advantage, in the form of large river deltas, which offer the perfect setting for growing rice and a handy means of transporting it. Peninsular, island and archipelagic countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines lack ___10___ of flat, swampy land. Their farmers produce more rice per hectare, but have a far smaller area under cultivation.

  1. hazy superiority
    distinct advantage
    fuzzy edge
    obscure benefit
    None of these
    Option B

     

  2. gross income
    make profit
    clear monger
    net importer
    None of these
    Option D

     

  3. ice breaker
    far-off reef
    far-flung archipelago
    outlying ground
    None of these
    Option C

     

  4. throughout flounder
    by means of turmoil
    through a welter
    via lurch
    None of these
    Option C

     

  5. is eaten for
    being eaten with
    likely to be eaten
    being eaten for
    None of these
    Option A

     

  6. caroused abyss
    rinsed obscure
    swilled deep
    sloshed abstruse
    None of these
    Option C

     

  7. alimentary avert
    culinary mainstay
    cookery periphery
    dietary nemesis
    None of these
    Option B

     

  8. admonish the thickness
    condemn the bluntness
    castigate the heaviness
    extol the fluffiness
    None of these
    Option D

     

  9. cultural affront
    ethnic compliment
    raising appease
    didactic scrutinise
    None of these
    Option A

     

  10. undersized segments
    dinky constituents
    vast tracts
    infinitesimal partials
    None of these
    Option C

     

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