Much like Nabokov’s prose, China’s agricultural scene conceals more than it reveals. In most countries, including China, the road to agricultural development is lettered with sanitized rhetoric, stale platitudes, broken promises and failed strategies. The starting point in economics is the economic man --- a mechanistic homunculus with fixed patterns of attitudes and tastes. For each country, the trajectory of development in agriculture that emerges is a species of historical accident. Almost by definition, in China as in other developing countries, the agriculture sector is often the least integrated regionally and where the overlap of regions is most often complete.