The peoples sciences
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CTA. 1986. The peoples sciences. Spore 1. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44435
book 'Indigenous Agricultural Revolution: Ecology and Food Production in West Africa' / Paul Richards
Is Africa ready for a 'Green Revolution'? In his recent book 'Indigenous Agricultural Revolution: Ecology and Food Production in West Africa', British anthropologist Paul Richards argues that it is. But, says Richards, it is the peasants themselves who best know their local environments. The author suggests that the way forward is to build on this foundation of local knowledge. As an example of the peasant enterprise on which researchers should build, Richards cites Mende farmers in Sierra Leone, who are developing their own new rice strains and carrying out their own field trials. Richards does not argue that science cannot help peasant systems. In recent UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) fertilizer trials in Nigeria, half the crops were grown under FAO's ''improved cultivation practices' and half using traditional crop-mixing. The peasant methods yielded far more than FAD's, but fertilizers increased the peasants' yields. The book overflows with examples of how the 'peoples' sciences' in West Africa are worth serious consideration