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CTA. 1989. Cotton. Spore 19. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44998
Cotton in the series 'The Tropical Agriculturalist' CTA and Macmillan Publishers
CTA and Macmillan Publishers have brought out a new book in the series 'The Tropical Agriculturalist', destined to act as practical guides for farmers, extension officers, agricultural students, teachers, and for rural and community development programmes. 'Cotton', originally published in French, covers in detail the characteristics and requirements of this tricky and labour-intensive crop, and methods of cultivation in a variety of African zones and farming systems, with relevance also to other tropical areas. Pest, disease and weed control, harvesting and ginning are also included. The 88 page volume aims to display in a comprehensive but easily assimilated way the main items of technical inforrnation which, if put into practice, will produce good results fron cottongrowing both in individual enterprises and on a national scale. The purpose is to help extension workers in cottongrowing areas, but their endeavours will be fruitless unless farmers themselves learn how to match environment and crop to the demand for increased productivity. Thus the book seeks to oass on to smallholders then~ selves ali the relevant technical knowhow on supply of seed, fertilizer, pesticides, equipment, and collection of the harvested crop. The chapters in 'Cotton' try to answer the following questions: what are the advantages to the smallholder of growing cotton? how does the cotton plant react to this environment? how Is cotton produced? and what place should it have in the tropical cropping system? The thrust of this handbook Is summed up in two rules, for - as the author says - cotton is no exception to the laws governing agricultural production. The first rule is that the various factors of productivity (namely, correct preparation of the soil, early sowing, adequate and regular plant density, early and effective weeding, well-maintained soil fertility, proper protection against pests and diseases, timely pickings) should all be applied together. The second rule is that it is far less arduous and far more remunerative to produce two tonnes of cotton from a single hectare than to obtain the same quantity of crop from an area of two hectares each producing a tonne. So, it is suggested, cotton-arowers should aim to intensify production rather than extend the area under cultivation, and remernber that the increased yield obtained by costly means is not economically viable unless accompanied by adequate intensification. The little book, illustrated with photograps and diagrams, concludes with a alossary of key terms in cotton production, a short bibliography, and a helpful index. Available from: CTA - Postbus 380 - 6700 AJ Waaeninaen THE NETHERLANDS