Ground for new thoughts
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CTA. 2001. Ground for new thoughts. Spore 96. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46396
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore96.pdf
Dynamics and Diversity. Soil Fertility and Farming. Livelihoods in Africa Edited by I Scoones, Earthscan - International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Institute of Development Studies, Sussex (IDS). 2001. 244 pp. ISBN 1 85383 820
Let s drop those generalised statements and doom scenarios about declining fertility and increasing degradation of African soils, argues Ian Scoones in his latest book Dynamics and Diversity. These assumptions which he once seemed to share - are only partly correct. Soil conditions vary enormously throughout the continent, even at farm level, and over time. All sorts of factors are at play, he asserts. Relatively new soils with volcanic origins are highly fertile; soil processes releasing nutrients can proceed much faster under certain regimes of temperature and moisture, varying according to season. Even the arrival of an immense gully in a field might not be the most important degradation issue at that moment. The book includes detailed field studies with farmers in Ethiopia, Mali and Zimbabwe on local soil classifications, their coping strategies and soil degradation and fertility issues, which all illustrate a rich diversity. It is, Scoones stresses, these dynamics and diversity which should be the starting point for policy makers, extension workers and scientists in developing new ways of thinking about farming in Africa. Dynamics and Diversity. Soil Fertility and Farming. Livelihoods in Africa Edited by I Scoones, Earthscan - International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Institute of Development Studies, Sussex (IDS). 2001. 244 pp. ISBN 1 85383 820 9 GBP 16.95 Euro 27.55 Earthscan Publications Ltd 120 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JN, UK Fax: +44 20 7 278 1142 Email: email@example.com
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