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He discovered that soil erosion, deforestation, overgrazing, neglect, and conflicts between cultivators and herdsmen have helped topple empires and wipe out entire civilizations. Folic acid with or without vitamin B12 for the prevention and treatment of health elderly and demented people. Glycerol enters gluconeogenesis, or glycolysis , depending on the cellular energy charge, as dihydroxyacetone phosphate or DHAP, whose synthesis occurs in two steps. Find out how this tiny clinic on the coast evolved into a hospital with an award-winning floor plan. J Mol Biol ; Russell Smith was 50 years ahead of his time, writing the basic text on agroforestry long before there was such a thing.
It implies maintenance of a level of domestic production plus a capacity to import in order to meet the food needs of the population by exporting other products. The benefits and risks of relying on international trade to ensure food security for all are at the heart of the debate over these alternative strategies.
Discussion of that issue, however, is beyond the scope of this book. The production potential of land is set by soil and climatic conditions and by the level of inputs and management applied to the land. Crop production can be rain-fed or irrigated and can be maximized by matching the climatic and soil attributes of the land with the climatic and soil requirements of the desired crop.
Attempts to grow crops that are not suited to the prevailing ecological conditions will often result in low yields or crop failure, with consequent adverse effects on food security. Figure 13 shows the characteristics of the six major climatic zones of Africa. The type, timing and level of inputs also have a major effect on yield. A low level of inputs is associated with subsistence or small-scale production, low capital intensity, manual labour, local cultivars seed types , little or no fertilization, no pest control and small farm areas.
A high level of inputs is associated with commercial production, moderate to high capital inputs, increased mechanization, improved cultivars, the use of inorganic chemical fertilizer and pest control, medium to large landholdings and accessibility to markets. In general, the continent of Africa as a whole is characterized by a low level of inputs. The suitability of land for each crop may be assessed and defined in terms of a percentage range of the maximum yields attainable.
Land areas capable of yielding 80 percent or more of the maximum yields attainable are classified as very suitable; areas yielding from 40 to 80 percent of the maximum are suitable; areas yielding from 20 to 40 percent are marginally suitable; and areas yielding less than 20 percent are classified as not suitable.
Under the current conditions in Africa, the most extensive area of land million hectares is suited to the cultivation of cassava, followed by maize million hectares , sweet potato million hectares , soybean million hectares and sorghum million hectares. In the Sudano-Sahelian region millets are recommended as the primary crop, suitable for the largest area of land, since they require less moisture, while sorghum is dominant in subhumid and semi-arid southern Africa.
Maize is to be preferred in terms of suitability for the largest areas in humid and subhumid West Africa and subhumid and mountainous East Africa.
In humid Central Africa, the most appropriate crop choice for the widest land area is cassava. Table 13 gives the yield ranges of 11 important crops on land classified by suitability for each crop. The yield differences between very suitable and unsuitable land are substantial. The data also confirm the significant impact of higher levels of inputs on yields. A first approach to food security could be the promotion of a regional 1 food security system based on "comparative advantage", in which countries would grow mainly the crops most likely to yield well under prevailing national conditions and would meet other food needs through interregional trade.
The Southern African Development Community SADC has made moves in the direction of a regional food security policy based on crop specialization, but the issues are still being defined. Sorghum may be the most suitable crop to select as the national food staple on ecological grounds, but many farmers and many governments will switch resources to the production of maize for several reasons: Risks of failure are greater for maize because it is particularly sensitive to the types of moisture shortfall that are typical in East Africa: However, sorghum is not without its problems; for example, it is particularly susceptible to attack by seed-eating birds.
A strategy of crop specialization that tends towards a narrowing of the food base is risky, especially in areas that are ecologically fragile and those that lack an efficient transport and marketing system to ensure rapid distribution of a variety of different foodstuffs throughout the country.
In addition, a food production system in which the main food crop is also the main cash crop, as is the case with maize in eastern and southern Africa, is open to considerable risks, especially for resource-poor subsistence farmers. In Africa, a large proportion of the population is still dependent on small-scale agriculture for food. Therefore, policies that alter land use and farming systems at the subsistence level have a direct effect on food availability, access and consumption.
Traditional systems of land use, farming practices and cropping patterns are all changing as small-scale farmers face growing demands from markets and government to increase productivity. The farmers are required simultaneously to produce a food surplus for urban consumption, to feed and maintain their own households and often to increase their output of selected cash crops for export. These diverse demands often put a considerable strain on the land, labour and time of the farming household.
Food security at the household level may be affected by this transition. Traditionally, food production in Africa remained at subsistence level and the farming system was based on shifting cultivation and bush fallow farming.
Under these practices, soil fertility was periodically restored to cultivated land by the shifting of cultivation to fresh, rested ground, allowing the recently cultivated land to rest and recover. The use of external inputs such as chemical fertilizers was minimal, with farmers occasionally applying organic manure. Similarly, animal production was practiced as an extensive free-range system in which pastoralists moved with their herds to seek new pastures by following the seasonal rains.
Such systems of agriculture were ecologically appropriate and sustainable under low population densities. However, with increasing numbers of people and animals, more settled cropping patterns were established, and the fallow period was gradually reduced.
As a result, cultivation practices became more intensive; crop rotation, multiple cropping and intercropping were adopted as effective strategies to maximize land productivity without endangering soil fertility.
Land-use patterns were complex, involving the production of a wide variety of food crops for domestic consumption; this strategy ensured a varied diet and helped to stabilize the food supply against climatic and seasonal shortages.
Gradual monetization of the economy and a shift in the socioeconomic environment increased the need for cash. For example, there was increased demand for education, better housing, health services and communications. Cash crop production was increasingly adopted by small-scale farmers as they strived to generate cash both for themselves and as foreign exchange for their countries.
In most cases, governments adopted the policy of balancing the production of exportable cash crops and food crops. The governments of several countries of eastern and southern Africa identified maize as the most appropriate food and cash crop for small-scale production, and cropping packages already adopted by commercial growers were promoted.
However, in many cases there were unforeseen problems, and the maize production of the small-scale farmers failed to meet consumer demand. The transition from subsistence farming to cash crop farming offers the opportunity to increase income, but it also harbours considerable risks. These include the food security risks of increased dependence on a limited number of crops, capital risks linked to prices and socio-economic dependence on the lender when credit is obtained.
Poor farmers in particular have often failed to reap the benefits of technological change or commercialization, or have even lost from them. On the whole, cash crop production can be expected to have a positive impact on nutrition when the income it provides more than offsets not only the food production that is foregone, but also any rise in food prices that may result from an increased demand for purchased food and the freeing of prices.
Changes in cropping patterns resulting from the transition to commercial production may affect household food security. Traditional farmers have generally adapted food production practices to meet environmental, economic and technological limitations. They minimize risk by planting a variety of staple crops that mature at different times during the year.
Monocropping may encourage seasonal shortages; traditional intercropping practices provide a cushion during seasons of insufficient food see Chapter 5. In many communities, a major staple is grown as both food and cash crop. If there is an efficient marketing organization, this crop will be sold, often by the household head male or female , as the major cash source for the household.
These secondary crops are used for various purposes such as home consumption, beer brewing, sale in the informal sector, food for poultry or small livestock, food in case of drought especially cassava or informal exchange or barter during the season in return for seeds, small livestock, poultry or other goods. In the Wedza communal area of Zimbabwe, cultivation and consumption patterns are circumscribed to a large extent by the needs of households to earn money and to subsist see Box A variety of activities are undertaken, including the production of enough food for daily needs, together with a minimal store of food, usually the basic staple, to last at least until the following season.
In some cultures, the provision of food for family use is the responsibility of both husband and wife. In other cultures, it is largely the responsibility of women, who may have their own fields specifically for home food production see Box In the African context, cash crop promotion and commercialization are of particular significance for women. Commercialization has often taken place through expansion of cultivated land rather than through substitution of modern varieties or cash crops on previously cultivated land.
Frequently, the overall result of adopting cash crop production has been an increased demand for labour, especially women's labour. Some of the effects of new agricultural technology on women's workload and the shift in control over resources have been well documented Kumar, The timing of inputs, including labour, is often crucial to securing maximum yields when hybrid varieties are used; thus not only the quantity of labour but also the seasonal application of labour is important.
In many cases, this will result in diversion of labour from other activities, including domestic work, home gardening, child care and regular preparation of well-balanced meals. When adult energy requirements increase, so does food demand, which is likely to be met at the expense of children's food intake.
On the other hand, the nutritional status of overworked adult women stands to be compromised if the food available is insufficient to meet their increased body requirements for energy. Box 12 - Cash and food production strategies of households in the Wedza communal area, Zimbabwe. Most households in this area try to combine several methods of improving their living standards.
Box 13 - Gender roles in agricultural production in the Wedza communal area, Zimbabwe. Traditionally, even today, it is considered the responsibility of women to provide for the daily food needs of household members "from the field to the plate".
This has its origins in certain traditional divisions of labour between men and women, with men being the hunters and cattle owners and being responsible for heavy labour such as land clearing and ploughing.
As landholders through usufruct and cattle owners, men also have controlled the households' most valuable assets. Today, the division is not as strict as it once was, with many women, by force of circumstances, taking on more responsibilities for ploughing, herding and other tasks.
Most households reported that women take the main responsibility for the production of most crops in terms of labour and decision-making. In half the survey households, the income accruing from maize sales was said to be received jointly by the husband and wife, and in two-fifths by the wife only. Practically all other crops excepting sunflower and cotton which are cash crops are said to be "women's crops".
A previous study in Wedza showed that despite this responsibility, men are still key decision-makers when it comes to allocation of land to particular crops, access to loans and control of income accruing from crop sales.
Among the survey households, there appeared to be some disagreement over those issues Women in Wedza suggested that they must have access to land in their own right or jointly with their husbands to overcome the disparity. Women have joined farmer groups in large numbers as a way of overcoming some of the constraints they face.
Production of cash crops often requires a variety of additional inputs. To increase yields, farmers are encouraged to purchase hybrid or improved seeds in place of their own local varieties saved from the previous harvest. The farmer often requires credit to purchase not only the improved seeds but also the appropriate fertilizers and pesticides. A farmer growing cash crops therefore faces the risk of going into debt, especially if payment for the previous cash crop is delayed.
These circumstances may limit the family's cash flow resources and reduce household food security. Despite the potential risks, commercial agriculture can provide opportunities for household food security and nutritional improvement, particularly if it is managed so as to benefit the rural poor. To obtain such benefits it may be necessary to increase the productivity of small-scale farmers through targeted measures such as production incentives, development of marketing infrastructure and more research on rain-fed and other disadvantaged areas.
The impact of such programmes can be strikingly enhanced if they are accompanied by effective extension services, farmer education and nutrition education programmes. Programmes to increase production and incomes in enterprises controlled by women can also contribute to the improvement of household food security; many studies have shown that earnings by women are likely to be utilized for increasing family food consumption.
However, projects targeted towards women with the goal of income generation need to be sensitive to competing demands on their time - particularly demands generated by child care. A policy for self-sufficiency in food production or adoption of a "food first" policy that emphasizes food crops to the exclusion of cash crops is not necessarily desirable or crucial for alleviating malnutrition, when market infrastructure and transportation do not impede trade.
Where market infrastructure is not well developed, it should be strengthened in the long-term interest of achieving food security on a sustainable basis.
In the short and medium term, the joint promotion of food crops and cash crops, especially home gardening and small animal rearing, is required in support of food security enhancement. Selling cash crops on the market instead of producing only food crops often increases household income and may thus also be likely to increase food consumption, provided the switch to cash crops does not lead to a change in income control at the household level and consequently to decisions for its disposal that could reduce expenditure on food.
Additional employment and income can also be derived from the development of small-scale agro-industries involving post-harvest activities, from cleaning and sorting of crops to storage, processing and marketing of foods and other agricultural crops. This is a key factor both in overall development and in providing income to poorer sectors of the population. Commercialization of agriculture, the development of labour-intensive agro-industries and an active food system, supported by an appropriate policy environment, provide the only way out of subsistence agriculture and allow communities and governments to generate the wealth required to pay for needed social and infrastructural improvements.
To ensure that agricultural growth will benefit the poor and to meet the consumption needs of present and future populations, the creation and dissemination of nutrition-enhancing agricultural technologies developed to suit different agro-ecological areas and farmer groups are of major importance. In many humid and subhumid areas, people commonly cultivate compound farms or home gardens, which are sometimes also referred to as backyard or kitchen gardens Figures 14 and The home garden is only one of several field systems operated by a farmer or farm household Figure 16 , except in urban and pert-urban areas and in areas of land scarcity, where the home garden may be the only cultivated plot.
The home garden is thus one of the components of the whole farming system and is under the same household management or subject to related multiple decision-making processes Okigbo, The home garden often includes a permanent agricultural plot or forest garden which contains an ecologically balanced mixture of perennial and annual crops.
The garden forms a hub' with the homestead at its centre, from which paths lead to other field systems and other production units devoted to annual crops for the market and for home consumption. Home gardens are often highly diversified. Crop mixtures found in home gardens are mainly the result of deliberate selection and cultivation of a wide variety of herbs and trees occupying complementary levels and playing supportive roles.
The gardens provide farmers with a mixture of food and cash crops Table Livestock, including sheep, goats, poultry and to some extent cattle and pigs, are also kept, although on a small scale, providing food, income and manure. Mixed tree and herb cropping systems have greatly extended harvesting periods and thus ensure continuous availability of some food. Tree species, once established, require only minimal labour and inputs for maintenance. They provide a continual food supply for years without the need for annual replanting.
The biological diversity and complexity of home gardens decline with the transition from the humid to the semi-arid and arid areas of the Sahelian countries. Precipitation exceeds potential evapotranspiration for two to seven months of the year. Rainfall tends to be erratic, both in timing and areas covered, and this problem is worse in the low-rainfall areas. The dry season is a period of drought, with hot days and warm nights.
In some areas, rainfall is less than 30 mm per month for five to seven months of the year. Thus plant growth is limited for a considerable part of the year. FIGURE 16 - Schematic diagram of compound farms in relation to associated field systems in traditional farming systems of the humid tropics of Africa. An increase in land productivity in these areas is essential to reduce the pressure to extend into even more marginal areas, which could provoke further land degradation.
As the drylands are characterized by marked seasons, the availability of resources changes through the yearly cycle. Insufficient water is one of the major constraints to successful gardening in dryland areas; however, through effective soil management and cheap and effective solutions for harvesting and storing water, crops can be kept growing through some of the dry periods.
Gardens in dryland areas can contribute greatly to the nutritional and economic well-being of households by reducing the level and duration of seasonal food shortages and introducing an increased variety of nutrient-rich foods into the household diet. Boxes 14 and 15 describe some of the gardening principles and suitable plants for home gardens in the semi-arid tropics. As Africa's marginal lands are much greater in area than its fertile rain-fed or irrigable lands, even modest increases in local food supplies in the semi-arid areas could contribute considerably to the food security of the continent.
Ecologically the compound farm or home or forest garden, together with animals, forms one of the most sustainable traditional farming systems; it maximizes biological production, protects the soil against erosion and can provide a varied and nutritious diet on a continuous basis, thus ensuring food security at the household level.
However, with increasing population density farmers have sometimes adopted farming practices that have led to tree removal, thus enhancing soil erosion and decreasing crop yields and returns to labour. Tree removal has often culminated in serious environmental degradation. Continuing replacement of home gardens and traditional farming systems with row crop production systems has also resulted in increased soil erosion, soil degradation and deterioration of the environment.
Box 14 - Gardening for food in the semi-arid tropics. A garden may surround a house or be located in a family field or in a community gardening area on the edge of, or some distance from, the village.
It may be a home garden for one family, an income-generating project for a group of village women or a youth group, a school project or a health centre garden. The following suggestions advocate the use of indigenous design and systems rather than a fixed model. The structure of the garden is adapted to the semi-arid tropical environment. It provides a diversity of foods over a long harvest period. Unlike the neat rows of annual crops characteristic of the industrialized countries in the temperate zone, the mature mixed garden consists of a dense mixture of annual crops and perennial trees.
The mixed garden makes maximum use of limited space and maximizes the total yield, even though some of the individual plants would yield more it given more space and sun. It is multi-storied, making full use of the air space with a maximum of trees, bushes, climbing plants on poles or branches, erect and spreading plants and ground-trailing plants. The roots also exploit different levels underground, with some close to the surface and others, including the trees, reaching to the moisture further down.
A good design for a mixed garden takes account of the way different plants can share light, air and root space and leave little room for weeds. The multi-storied garden provides "canopy mulch" and protects the soil and the plants from the wind, excessive sun and rain. Her "Quick Return Compost System" is aimed at gardeners and smallholders -- the majority -- who don't have access to livestock manure to activate their compost heaps. This activator really works. Sixty years later it is still being made commercially: Miss Bruce provides the formula and full instructions for preparation and use, and suggests alternatives if any of the six plants is unavailable.
They need to have a house and temporary fence to confine them to the area. As soon as it has been cleared, move the house and fence ready for the next section," says Country Smallholding Magazine. Newman Turner in Fertility Farming. Here's how, by a master of the subject. Full-text online, or download the PDF version 3. It looks for instance as though the small quantity of seaweed meal I regularly add to my potting composts may play a part not only in nutrition and even in disease resistance but also in their crumb structure and water-holding capacity.
Not only can these plants provide trace elements, growth substances and protection from diseases for their crops, but the seaweeds are ultimately also a potent source of soil nitrogen. Truly a useful 'workhorse'. This Famishing World by Alfred W. Doran, New York, The subtitle says it all: Full text online with thanks to Kirk and Karen McLoren. In de reeks van de werken van Weston A. Price, roept Nourishing Traditions veganisten en vegetariers op om een bepaalde mate van dierlijk voedsel - zoals ook goede biologische melk en eieren - te beschouwen als essentieel voor het menselijke leven.
We kunnen dit niet kunstmatig vervangen, maar moeten ook streven naar biologisch voedsel van goede vruchtbare mineraalrijke bodem, en dit op de juiste manier bereiden.
Men kan uit dit boek leren om betere voedselkeuzes te maken. Met toestemming voor de internetpublicatie van Sally Fallon. Vertaling Rob Hundscheidt en Christine Audenaert. It was his work in the s and 30s that put the subject on a solid scientific foundation. Waksman coined the word "antibiotic", and won a Nobel Prize for the development of streptomycin and other antibiotics from soil actinomycetes. Their Utilization as Humus" and "An Agricultural Testament" see above , and indeed Waksman refers to Howard's work at the Institute of Plant Industry at Indore in India, where Howard developed and refined the Indore composting system which became the foundation of the organic farming movement.
Waksman's laboratory results confirmed Howard's on-farm findings and vice versa. Waksman authored or co-authored more than scientific papers and 28 books. His three main books on soil microbiology and humus can be downloaded below as pdf files derived from page images online at Cornell's Core Historical Literature of Agriculture library: Waksman's massive work of scholarship was refused by many publishers who thought there was no market for such a book, but it became a best-seller and dominated the field for decades.
The Soil and the Microbe: Albert Howard welcomed "Waksman's admirable monograph on humus in which the results of no less than 1, original papers have been reduced to order". Waksman writes at the beginning: All you have to do is read the book. Sir Albert Howard said F.
King was "one of the most brilliant of the agricultural investigators of the last generation", and that King's book Farmers of Forty Centuries "should be prescribed as a textbook in every agricultural school and college in the world". King's remarkable account of his agricultural investigations in China, Korea and Japan in was an often-quoted source of inspiration for Howard in his 26 years as an agricultural investigator in India.
Department of Agriculture's Division of Soil Management until he retired in He was a pioneer in the development of soil physics, which found the purely chemical approach wanting: However, three years later his widow, Mrs. King, published more of King's work in the book Soil Management , with the final chapter "Agriculture of Three Ancient Nations", which Mrs King had assembled from 10 of King's lectures and papers, along with much further information on the practices of the Orient in the rest of the book.
Farmers of Forty Centuries , Soil Management , and The Soil , King's practical guide to soil physics, can be downloaded below as pdf files derived from page images online at Cornell's Core Historical Literature of Agriculture library: King, , Macmillan, New York, London, , pages, illustrated, pdf Ley Farming by Sir R. Sow a piece of land with a good pasture mixture and then divide it in two with a fence. Graze one half heavily and repeatedly with cattle, mow the other half as necessary and leave the mowings there in place to decay back into the soil.
On the grazed half, you've removed the crop several times and taken away a large yield of milk and beef. On the other half you've removed nothing.
Plough up both halves and plant a grain crop, or any crop. Which half has the bigger and better yield? The grazed half, by far. Leys are temporary pastures in a rotation, and provide more than enough fertility for the succeeding crops: Stapledon draws on the work of Robert H. Elliot of Clifton Park, whose work with deep-rooting leys was the culmination of hundreds of years of development in grass rotation farming. The Clifton Park System of Farming, and laying down land to grass -- a guide to landlords, tenants and land legislators by Robert H.
Elliot, introduction by Sir R. George Stapledon, , , Faber and Faber. The master-work of the ley farming rotational grazing system of laying down cropland to grass -- actually a complex mixture of grasses, legumes and deep-rooting herbs aka weeds. The rotational grass ley provided beef and dairy produce, as well as enough high-grade soil fertility for a succession of grain and root crops after the grass was ploughed up -- truly sustainable farming.
Download the PDF version 1. One of the seminal books of the organic growing movement. Working with Sir Albert Howard, founder of the movement, Newman Turner, along with Friend Sykes, Lady Eve Balfour and others, was central to the development of organic farming in the s and 50s. This is his first book, of three.
Turner did excellent work adapting Robert H. Elliot's system of ley farming to organic methods. The main purpose of my book is to demonstrate the simplicity and effectiveness of farming by the laws of nature; and above all to show that it can be done on the poorest of farms, by the poorest of men.
The only way to get the humus back to the land is by R. Elliot's mixture of deep-rooting grass for a four years ley; if you use that, you will have 'millions of men' working for you while you are asleep," says Lamin, and what he did with the dry, empty, sandy soil at his farm proved his point. Ploughman's Folly , Edward H.
Faulkner, Michael Joseph, London, Why do farmers plough? In examining this obvious yet seldom-asked question Faulkner laid the foundations for "ploughless farming". His views raised considerable interest and a lot of argument. Faulkner's methods are impracticable and useless," farmer and writer A.
Street wrote in The Farmer's Weekly. Seeds mixtures for ley farming EU only: Cotswold Seeds Freephone Fax Dr Oliver was one of the first to harness the earthworm to the needs of the farmer and gardener -- to make highly fertile topsoil for optimum crop growth, and to produce a constant supply of cheap, high-grade, live protein to feed poultry.
He devised simple yet elegant and effective systems to bring costs and labour down and productivity up to help struggling farmers to make ends meet. Oliver had an observant and critical eye and understood Nature's round. His ideas on the nature of modern food and health or the lack of it are only now being confirmed, half a century later.
A classic of ecology. He experimented with worms for more than 40 years. This is one of his conclusions, following a most elegant series of experiments: This book is a rare delight. My Grandfather's Earthworm Farm -- The story of a self-contained farm of acres, maintained in ever-increasing fertility over a period of more than sixty years, through the utilization of earthworms.
A true story related to Thomas J. Barrett by the late Dr. George Sheffield Oliver -- inspiring! From "Harnessing the Earthworm" by Dr. Lady Eve Balfour was a key figure in the forming of the organic farming movement, and one of the founders of Britain's Soil Association. The founder of the organic farming movement discusses the role of earthworms, Darwin's work, the work of Dr Oliver in the US, and much besides, in this 4,word introduction.
The use of houseflies in treating sewage sludge -- and for a free source of rich protein for poultry-feed. Trees and Toadstools by M. Dr Rayner can be credited with putting the mycorrhizal association on the agricultural map.
Mycorrhizas are fungus-roots, a symbiotic relationship between plant roots and friendly soil fungi without which most plants cannot thrive, while many cannot even survive without their fungal partners.
The fungus actually feeds the plant, and in return the plant feeds the fungus the products of the green leaf which the fungus is unable to make for itself. Enhanced by good humus maintenance and often damaged by chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the mycorrhizal association is fundamental to why organic growing works.
Russell Smith was 50 years ahead of his time, writing the basic text on agroforestry long before there was such a thing. He travelled widely and saw it all coming. The best book about trees -- it's inspired generations of environmental activists. A highly readable blueprint for the development of high-yield tree crops showing that vast, untapped food sources can be harvested from common species of trees.
Smith says agriculture must be "adapted to physical conditions," that "farming should fit the land. As my work took me all over the world, everywhere I could see it, thanks to Russell Smith: Agriculture in mountainous, rocky, or dry regions is a disaster, but trees are salvation.
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