Dynamics and diversity: soil fertility and farming livelihoods in Africa : case studies from Ethiopia, Mali, and Zimbabwe

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Earthscan, 2001 - Business & Economics - 244 pages
* Gets behind the picture of crisis and collapse in African agriculture * Shows how farmers successfully manage their most crucial resource * Exemplary demonstration of how a new approach is needed in development policy and practice Soils are critical to agriculture and, in turn, to food supply and to livelihoods. Sustainable management of soils is crucial for a large proportion of the population of Africa. Contrary to many claims, soil fertility is improved and managed successfully by small-scale farmers there. Careful studies from widely different areas reveal how closely bound up soil management is with a whole complex of social, cultural and ecological factors - requiring a far more subtly tuned approach in development policy and practice. The book is an exemplary study of how the context of livelihood systems has to inform development policy and practice.

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Styles of investigation and sources of evidence
some contrasts and comparisons
new perspectives on soil management

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About the author (2001)

Ian Scoones is co-director of the ESRC STEPS Centre at Sussex and joint convenor of the IDS-hosted Future Agricultures Consortium. He is an agricultural ecologist by original training whose interdisciplinary research links the natural and social sciences. His most recent book is "Avian Influenza: Science, Policy and Politics".

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