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An ecological framework for regional agricultural development planning in west africa. Yirenkyi, Emmanuel Ayeh 1972

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AN ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK FOR REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING IN WEST AFRICA by EMMANUEL AYEH YIRENKYI B.Sc.(Agric.) University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, 1967 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE in the School of Community and Regional Planning We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1972 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes nay be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. School of Planning, The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada. Date: 5 ' May, 1970. Dedicated to my affectionate parents. ABSTRACT Agricultural development involves the large scale economic production of plant and animal crops through modification and exploitation of ecosystems. Since crop species themselves are integral parts of the ecosystemic complex, any effort to raise the productivity of tropical agriculture must acknow-ledge ecological constraints as well as the opportunities for improved production. In the tropics this fundamental principle has been overlooked in the reduction of diversity of the ecosystem through monoculture of a very few export crops* In addition to reducing ecosystemic s t a b i l i t y this has led to reduced production of basic food staples. The rich fauna i s being replaced by domestic cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry. Monoculture has led to the adoption techniques requiring a large energy subsidy, i . e . selective breeding programmes, f e r t i l i z a t i o n , mechanization and i r r i g a t i o n . Although the approach has proved conceptually sound in temperate regions and results in some practical benefits in the tropics, i t has had a dis-astrous impact on the socio-economic s t a b i l i t y of the traditional society. Undernourishment, poverty and the social unrest which have characterised Ghana in recent past are inevitable consequences of the mismanagement of agriculture. The underlying hypothesis of the study i s that the development of tropical agriculture within an ecologically sound framework is a fundamental pre-requisite to modernizing the system, to increasing productivity and to i i providing a sound basis for agricultural development planning in West Africa. Properly implemented i t would safeguard the future of tropical agriculture and the environment. This study is based on an examination of available literature, information from a mailed questionnaire and personal familiarity with the study area. Since most of the data refer to Ghana, I have focussed on the Ghanaian situation while drawing on experience from elsewhere. An ecological approach to tropical agricultural development i s described, followed by a comparative study of systems of production in the tropical and temperate zones* This permits an assessment of the impact of the "Green Revolution" on tropical agrarian systems and reforms. The consequences of mismanagement of tropical agricultural development are assessed with respect to socio-economic and p o l i t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s . Most of the source data support the hypothesis. Suggestions are made to redress the underlying causes of low tropical agricultural production. It i s the conclusion of this thesis that tropical agriculture can be best developed by recognising the nature of tropical ecosystems. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT . . . . . i i TABLE OF CONTENTS i v LIST OF FIGURES v i LIST OF TABLES v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i i i CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION 1 Objective . . . . . . . . . 1 Hypothesis . . . . . . . . . 1 Methodology . . . . . . . . . 1 The Significance of the Study for Regional Planning . 3 Historical Perspective . . . . . . . 3 Definition of Ecosystem . • . . . . 9 Perception of Problem . . . . . . . 10 CHAPTER 2 - ECOLOGICAL APPROACH TO AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT 23 Characteristics of Ecosystem . . . . . . 23 The Climate . . . . . . . . . 24 Bioclimatic Belts 26 Soil Regions of Ghana 31 Soils 33 Ecosystems and Agriculture . . . . • . 34 iv Page CHAPTER 3 - SYSTEMS OF TRADITIONAL PRACTICES VIS-A-VIS AGRICULTURAL TECHNIQUES DEVELOPED IN NORTH AMERICA AND OTHER TEMPERATE AREAS . . . 45 Shifting Cultivation 45 Vegetation Regrowth under Natural Fallow * • • 47 The Role of Natural Fallow . . . . . . 49 Problem of Comparison . . . . . . . 51 Green Revolution in the Tropics . . . . . 59 Selective Breeding . . . . . . . . 60 Fe r t i l i z a t i o n . . 61 Pesticides . . . . . . . . . 63 Irrigation . . . . . . . . . 65 Agricultural Mechanization . . . • • • 68 Animal Husbandry . . . . . . . . 70 CHAPTER 4 - ECONOMICS OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION . . . 80 Ghana as an Agricultural Country . . . . . 80 The Role of Agriculture in the General Economy . . 8 3 The P o l i t i c a l Fact of Colonial and Semi-Colonial Dependency . . . . 85 Effect of One-Crop Economy . . . . . . 88 P o l i t i c a l Hazards 91 Economics of Research . . . . . . . 97 CHAPTER 5 - CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS . . . . 1 0 0 APPENDICES 108 BIBLIOGRAPHY 140 v LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE Page 1 Ghana: Administrative Regions . . . . 25 2 Ghana: Maximum Temperatures . . . . . 27 3 Ghana: Minimum Temperatures . . . . . 28 4 Ghana: Vegetation Regions, Annual Rainfall and Potential Evapotranspiration . . . . . 29 5 Ghana Soil Regions 30 6 Examples of Soil Profiles from Different Soil Regions showing Occurrence of Laterites . . . 35 v i LIST OF TABLES TABLE Page 1.1 Ghana Government Development Expenditure 1951-64 14 1.2 Agriculture - Summary, Second Plan 1959-64 . . . 14 1.3 Summary L l 6 t of Ghanaian Wild Mammals . . . . 19 2.1 Shade and Manurial T r i a l . . . . . . . 4 2 3.1 Arrangement of Vegetation Climax and Secondary Formations with Special Reference to Africa . . 48 3.2 Nutrients Stored in Typical Tropical Fallows . . . 50 3.3 Annual Yields of Edible Food and Estimated Net Primary Production of Major Food Crops at three Levels . . 57 3.4 Estimated Protein, Calorie and Fat Contents of some West African and North American National per capita Daily Diets . 58 3.5 Mean Concentration of DDT in Human Fat . . . . 65 3.6 Liveweights and Carcass Weights of some Mature East African Mammals . . . . . . . . 77 4.1 Agricultural Population and Population Economically Active in Agriculture as Percentage of Total Population as estimated for 1965 presented for West Africa as against American countries . . . 81 4.2 Percentage Contribution of Agricultural Produce in Overall Export and Percentages of Major Export Crops in Selected West African countries . . . 82 4.3 Cocoa Producer Prices and Export Prices 1947-48 to 1960-61 . 87 4.4 Food Expenditure as a Percentage of Income and Welfare Index . . . . . . . . 89 4.5 Ghana Government Investment in Agricultural Machinery . 93 v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The writer was very fortunate to have the assistance of Professor William Rees and Dr. H. R. McCarthy of the Canadian Government Department of Agriculture in the preparation of this study for which he i s very grateful. He i s also indebted to Professor Brahm Weisman who counselled on personal as well as academic matters. The time given by respondents of his questionnaire and his contact friends in Ghana Miss Charlotte Afi Boakye and Nana Yaw Nyarko are gratefully acknowledged. The writer also wishes to express profound gratitude to the Governments of Ghana and Canada and their o f f i c i a l s i n the Ministry of Economic Planning * and the Canadian International Development Agency for financing the cost of his studies in Canada. He i s also indebted and most grateful to his patient wife, Margaret. v i i i CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION OBJECTIVE OF THIS STUDY The objective of this study is twofold- f i r s t to assess the present state of agriculture i n West African countries and second, to discuss the relevance and potential of the ecological approach to the development of tropical agriculture i n the context of Regional Development Planning. In order to provide a basis and direction for the study the following hypothesis is advanced. HYPOTHESIS The development of tropical agriculture within an ecologically sound framework is a fundamental pre-requisite to modernising the system of cultivation and increasing production. Properly implemented i t would provide the basis for balanced and integrated regional development planning in West Africa and by preserving the integrity of the ecosystems would safeguard the future of tropical agriculture. METHODOLOGY This study is based mainly on an examination of available literature and personal familiarity with the study area. To provide a cross-check on the accuracy and currency of issues that resulted from the bibliographic research a questionnaire was sent to individuals, mainly in West Africa, who are associated with tropical agriculture. - 1 -The questionnaire covered a wide range of subjects from aspects of the Teaching of Ecology, through Large Scale Commercial Farming, "Ecological Boomerangs" resulting from the use of temperate agricultural techniques in the tropics, Mechanization, research into Problems of Food Production including game, Shifting Cultivation, Farmers' Attitudes and Governmental Participation and Co-ordination. Since only fourteen out of forty-five copies of the questionnaire were returned, a detailed s t a t i s t i c a l analysis was not attempted. The response was analysed qualitatively and used along with bibliographic information to support the body of the thesis. Five chapters were developed. The introductory chapter contains a statement of the objective and hypothesis of this study. A hi s t o r i c a l background of tropical agricultureal development is traced, followed by a definition of an Ecosystem and the problem and factors of mismanagement which militate against increased agricultural production. The proposition i s advanced that an ecologically sound framework i s an essential prerequisite for agricultural development. A conceptual approach based on ecological reasoning is developed in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 i s devoted to a comparative study of tropical and temperate systems of agricultural production. This has been done with the purpose of overcoming deficiencis inherent in the tropical systems of production. The Economics of a g r i e s i R u r e iajjixaoined and the consequences of mismanagement of the planning strategy are assessed in Chapter 4. This i s related to undernourishment, poverty and social unrest which has characterised Ghana in the recent past. As a concluding section, Chapter 5 contains a series of recommendations for the advancement of agriculture in West Africa. - 3 -THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY FOR REGIONAL PLANNING Ghana and the other West African countries depend on agriculture as the main source of livelihood (F.A.O., 1970). Agriculture i s , indeed, the indispensable element in any human society, and thus the Regional Planner who deals with the complexities of society particularly in the developing countries must involve himself in i t . Unfortunately, the planning strategy developed for agricultural production in many such regions and including West Africa is deficient in scope and intent. The conse-quences of poor planning - undernourishment, poverty, social and p o l i t i c a l unrest which often characterise traditional societies in the modern world -are tragically wasteful but largely avoidable. While the problem of feeding tropical people could become a p o l i t i c a l hotbed, the solution does not l i e in any p o l i t i c a l philosophy but in the proper development of agricultural resources (Wrigley, 1961, p. 17). In order to be able to redress these d i f f i c u l t i e s and also to provide for an adequate standard of living compatible with the increasing population Regional Planners must help to formulate policies regarding the servicing of agriculture. They must also hold the responsibility for making recommend-ations for i t s future. These policies must reflect an in-depth under-standing of ecological r e a l i t i e s which need be integrated with soci-economic factors native to his area of influence. Thus, this study provides the framework for agricultural development within an ecosystemic framework, an essential prerequisite for sound Regional Development Planning in West Africa. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE The course of agricultural development can be traced to the historical association of West Africa with Metropolitan Europe. This period dating - A -back to the fifteenth century, when West Africa had her i n i t i a l contact with Europe, reflects a sad situation in which the African human and natural resources were used to produce raw materials solely for the economic interest of Europe (Boahen, 1966). This involved a shift from the traditional system of agriculture to the European cropping system and, untimately, modern agriculture. This was not without ecological consequences. The period can best be divided into four important eras, beginning from the time preceding the advent of the white man, continuing through the slave trade era and the colonial era, to the post colonial administration. (a) The Period Preceding the Advent of the White Man This period was characterised by a subsistence economy supported by shifting cultivation and the ancillary practices of game cropping, nomadic herding, processing of sylvan produce and -spinning and weaving of some expensive clothing like the Ghanaian Rente (Oluwasanmi, 1966). This period i s important for this study because of the ecological s u i t a b i l i t y of the system of agriculture and also the s t a b i l i t y of i t s society. It i s estimated that prior to the slave trade era the population of the African continent was about one-fifth of the world's total population (Oluwasanmi, 1966). (b) The Slave Trade In the wake of plantation establishments in the Caribbean, in North America and Latin American countries the need for labour was greatly f e l t . Consequently the slave trade was developed to meet this demand. The effect of the slave trade on society and agriculture can be aptly summed up in the words of H. A. Oluwasanmi: Apart from destroying whole communities, the slave trade demoralised society and seriously undermined the foundations on which law and order had been founded. What had been peaceful - 5 -agrarian societies were disrupted almost completely. The middle-man engaged in procuring slaves from the interior preyed upon the peasantry, spread anarchy and instigated i n t e r - t r i b a l wars which reduced the villages and the countryside to desolate the empty wilderness. What agriculture remained was static (Oluwasanrai, 1966, p.9). (c) The Colonial Era This period is very important for i t marked: 1. the end of the slave trade, 2. a shift from subsistence economy to commercial agriculture based on money, 3. the establishment of modern governmental machinery, 4.. the infusion of European values into the social system, and 5. the introduction of institutions for formal education. The declining importance and consequent abolition of the slave trade was the result of declining profits from investments in the West Indian Plantations where the slaves were largely employed. H. A. Oluwasanmi quotes Eric William to the effect that in 1773 twelve out of the thirty houses which dominated the slave trade in Liverpool had gone bankrupt (Oluwasanrai, 1966, p. 9). Meanwhile the industrial revolution provided a more profitable outlet for capital. In the wake of the industrial revolution there had been rapid urbanization of unprecedented dimensions. The urban dwellers needed lig h t , soap and lubricants for machines, the demand for o i l from plant sources changed the course of events. The desire of the industrialized societies, particularly, Britain, France and Germany, to control the sources of the raw materials led to the "Scramble for Africa" (Oluwasanmi, 1966, p. 10). In West Africa four colonial powers participated in the partition drama - Britain, France, Portugal and Germany. Britain colonised the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria; France colonised Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Guinea and Dahomey Niger. Portugal had only one colony - Portuguese Guinea, Germany had two, namely, Togo and the Cameroons but losfthem to France and Britain after the Second World War. To promote orderly trade transactions between the colonialists and the native citizens i t became necessary to establish peace among the citizens and also to transform the social structure and the subsistence agricultural economy. Lugard wrote in 1893: It i s in order to foster growth of the trade of the country, and to find an outlet for our manufactures and our surplus energy, that our far-seeing statesmen and commercial men advocate colonial expansion ... If our advent in Africa introduces c i v i l i z a t i o n , • peace and good government, abolishes the slave trade, and effects other advantages for Africa, i t must not be therefore supposed that this was our sole and only aim in going there. However greatly such objectives may weigh with a large and powerful section of the nation, I do not believe that in these days our national policy i s based on philanthropy only (Lugard, 1893, pp. 381-2). Many methods were employed to colonize West Africa during which period the Metropolitan powers deliberately encouraged development of a "colonial model" whose destiny was to supply certain raw materials and crops. From the agricultural point of view the steps were to establish the following: 1. plantations of cocoa (Theobroma cacao), oilpalm (Elaeis guineensis) and rubber (Hevea br a s i l i e n s l s ) , 2. commercial livestock outfits, 3. monocultures of cereals - rice (Oryzea sativa), maize (Zea nays) and groundnuts (Arachls hypogaea) 4. communications, roads and railways, and 5. formal training of agricultural personnel. - 7 -Plantation agriculture was a novelty in West Africa but insofar as incentives were provided i t took off nicely. Ghana had good prospects for cocoa growing. Prior to the advent of cocoa, Theobroma cacao, in the 1850's and I860'8 in West Africa, the oilpalm, Elaeis guineensis, and rubber, Funtumia elastica, had been well established. These trees grew widely across West Africa. Palm o i l was exported from Gold Coast (now Ghana) from about 1820 onward. By 1890 Ghana had become the world's third largest producer of rubber. But the rubber industry died because of reckless tapping and conse-quent destruction of trees, competition of Malayan rubber on the world market, and the establishment of the cocoa industryJAdu, 1966). The importance of the oilpalm industry also declined i n Ghana, in part the result of the neglect of the palm trees and, in part, from the' method of tapping them for palm wine whereby the trees were felled f i r s t . In most cases the trees were never replanted. Thus Ghana's agriculture became centred solely on the cocoa industry while Nigeria, Ivory Coast and some other countries developed a more diversified agricultural base. Groundnuts were f i r s t produced at the present sites of Gambia and Sierra Leone after the railway linking the south to the north had been constructed. Production of timber, gum, coffee and cotton was encouraged in many countries of West Africa. Commercial livestock husbandry was given l i t t l e encouragement. Agricultural reserarch institutions were established such as the West African Cocoa Research Institutute (W.A.C.R.I.) based i n Ghana and the West African Institute for Oilpalm Research (W.A.I.F.O.R.) in Nigeria. Harbours, roads and railways were built to f a c i l i t a t e exploitation in the extractive industries and agriculture. In Ghana these were restricted - 8 -to the south which had the resource base. In Nigeria the railway lines were extended to the north and the road network was much more extensive but these were built with the sole intent of f a c i l i t a t i n g cultivation of ground-nuts. The development of the transportation systems in Ghana and Nigeria started i n the 19l0«s (White, 1962; Oluwasanmi, 1966). (d) Post-Colonial Administration Colonial agricultural development, inherited from the Colonial Powers was unbalanced in scope and emphasis. Many African countries have therefore sought to rectify this anomaly. This is being done by a more liberal use of pesticides, irrigation, mechanical ploughing, harrowing, weeding, harvesting and the employment of specially bred or treated planting materials. There has also been an attempt to train students for technical and profes-sional responsibilities such, as planning, research and agricultural exten-sion. A number of high level agricultural institutions and agricultural technical schools have been built where resources so permit. In Ghana the Government established a "Ghana State Farms Corporation" which was charged with responsibility for plantation agriculture; large scale farming of cereals and groundnust and livestock production. Other farming organisations such as the Farmers" Co-operations, the Builders Brigade etc. were also established. Despite these efforts, tropical agriculture based on technologies developed for temperate regions has been characterised by an unfortunate number of spectacular failures. Perhaps what remains to be done i s to break from the traditional temperate system of agriculture to the development of agricultural techniques based on the characteristics and limits of tropical ecosystems. - 9 -DEFINITION OF ECOSYSTEM, By definition an ecosystem is "a biotic community of interrelated organisms, together with their common habitat" (Geertz, 1968, p.18). Ecosystems may be studied from different perspectives. Structurally an ecosystem consists of (1) inorganic substances (C, N, CO2, H2O, K, etc.) involved in material cycles, (2) organic compounds (proteins, carbohydrates, l i p i d s , humic substances), (3) climate regime (temperature and other physical factors, (4) producers, i . e . autotrophic organisms, largely green plants, which are able to manufacture.complex food substances from simple inorganic substances, (5) macroconsumers, phagotrophs, heterotrophic organisms, chiefly animals which ingest organic matter, and (6) microconsumers, saprotrophs, or osmotrophs, heterotrophic organisms,chiefly bacteria and fungi which synthesise the complex compounds of dead protoplasms into forms that they could use and release inorganic substances which either provide energy sources or which may be inhibitory or stimulatory to other biotic compounds (Odum, 1971). The composition of temperate s o i l fauna differs markedly from the tropical s o i l fauna. The main difference i s that termites are a dominant factor i n the conversion cycle in tropical soils (Brammer, 1962, p. 122; Thomas, 1962 p. 162). The inorganic substances, organic compounds and climatic regimes constitute the abiotic components of ecosystems while producers, macro-consumers and microconsumers from the living weight or biomass (Odum, 1971). An ecosystem may also be studied from a functional standpoint in the following terms: (1) energy c i r c u i t s , (2) food chains, (3) diversity patterns in spcae and time, (4) nutrient (biogeochemical) cycles, (5) development and evolution and (6) control or cybernetics (Odum, 1971). An ecosystem may also be viewed from a trophic standpoint, namely (1) an autotrophic component associated.with photosynthesis or chemosynthesis - 10 -and (2) a heterotrophic component which subsists on complex food substances obtained mainly as a result of photosynthesis (Odum, 1971). The following features characterise tropical ecosystems: 1. tremendous diversity of plant and animal l i f e and complex trophic relationships, 2. a relatively stable and highly predictable physical environment (climate, etc.), and 3. energetic weathering as the result of high temperatures, high r a i n f a l l , and high microbial activity and soil s that are prone to leaching, erosion and laterization. PERCEPTION OF A PROBLEM To say that agricultural productivity in West Africa i s very low i s to state the obvious. The problem i s not peculiar to West African countries but i s characteristic of many other countries in the tropics which have accepted temperate zone agricultural techniques as a bsis for tropical agrarian reforms. ® Low agricultural productivity results from the fact that imported temperate zone agricultural techniques have in many cases replaced the traditional systems of cultivation, without any attempt to develop.' a sound agricultural framework adapted to tropical conditions. Ironically, although the traditional systems provided the most elegant and sophisticated means of u t i l i z i n g tropical ecosystems from ecological point of view (Rappaport, 1971) they have been dismissed as being primitive. Unfortunately in unmodified form they support small populations only (Questionnaire response). Some of the temperate zone agricultural^techniques have undoubtedly been beneficial at least in the short run, but many of them have also been disruptive. They have been dysfunctional in respect to the production of - 11 -vegetable food products, meat and fibre, and maintenance of the ecosystemic integrity. As L. S. Harding remarked: Thus production techniques developed in temperate zones do not always transfer readily to the tropical and sub-tropical regions ... (in Preface to Fletcher and Merril, 1968). Other authors have made the same point: The basic principles underlying agricultural practices are universal, but their application under tropical as compared wiith temperate conditions i s markedly different (Tempany and Grist, 1962, p. xv). This i s the result of the striking difference between temperate and tropical ecosystems. Unfortunately, in developing societies there i s often the tendency to adopt applied research in preference to basic or fundamental research. "Urgency to produce results often makes fundamental research a luxury" (Sey, Respondent to questionnaire 1972). Although this i s a natural reaction to the pressing demands of developing societies the specific technical know-how so essential for high agricultural productivity in the tropics can only result from fundamental research, especially i f we are to avoid the recurrence of the past mistakes by wholesale application of temperate zone agricultural techniques. In the early days of tropical planting too many mistakes were made by the application of farming practices suitable for temperate countries, but the pioneers had no alternative. To repeat many of the mistakes would be inexcusable, and tropical agriculture must rest on i t s own foundations (Wrigley,1961, p. 18). Higher and sustained productivity can result only from ecological planning based on thorough understanding of tropical ecosystems. Adopting some but not - 12 -a l l of the temperate zone agricultural techniques and improving tropically adapted techniques to create an ecologically sound plan w i l l raise overall productivity. Another unfortunate feature of West African agriculture which sadly reflects on production strategy i s what may be termed "the temperate technical training mentality". This includes the tendency on the part of the tropical agriculturalists, planners, executives and government o f f i c i a l s of many developing countries to be too much preoccupied with the agronomic needs of export crops to the englect of staples for local consumption (Questionnaire response, 1972). In many West African countries there are vir t u a l l y no higher i n s t i t u -tions or technical colleges for training agriculturalists and technical personnel. Even in those countries where such f a c i l i t i e s exist, the standards are comparatively low and the scope of training relatively narrow. Hence the necessity of training at least some of the students in temperate agri-cultural institutions. Unfortunately these students return home on comple-tion of their studies to f i l l positions without undergoing any programmes of re-orientation to familiarise them with conditions in their own country. It i s essential that such programmes be arranged, "Otherwise the wrong methods are applied and agricultural extension becomes ineffective" (Director of Agriculture, Respondent to Questionnaire 1972). In Ghana foreign trained dentists and doctors serve a period of internship to re-orient them and qualify them to practise and I am suggesting that a similar policy should be adopted for foreign agricultural trainees returning home. The length of such a programme of orientation may. vary according to the ecological bias of the students' previous academic curriculum. - 13 -Large sums of money are annually allocated for agricultural development but the money usually goes into training of temperate rather than tropically oriented agriculturalists, the research into management and agronomic needs of export crops and the production of such animals as cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. The rich indigenous fauna are exterminated by physical means (Nasimovich, 1970; Thomas, 1962) or by creating conditions i n the natural environment under which they cannot survive (Questionnaire res-pondent, 1972). Viewed in this respect the criticism that only l i p service has been paid to the importance of agriculture (Oluwasanmi, 1966) may not be wholly true at least for some West African countries. On the contrary, agriculture has received a f a i r share of the expenditure allocations as shown by Tables 1.1 and 1.2 of the Ghana Government Development Expenditure. Percentages of development expenditure allocated agriculture and natural resources over total Government Development Expenditures for the plan periods 1951-59 and 1959-64 are 6.4 and 9.9 respectively. Although these figures are low relative to amounts spent in some other sectors, the development of other sectors iof the economy especially the establishment of infrastructure is an essential prerequisite to agricultural progress (Republic of Ghana 1957-8), and has been considered under the plan. The need for developing export crops for foreign exchange cannot be underestimated but a proper balance needs to be developed and maintained between production of export crops and food staples for local populations. An examination of the agricultural targets shown under Table 1.2 shows that the staples had been neglected. The six top p r i o r i t i e s of agriculture - 14 -Table 1.1 : GHANA GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURE 1951-1964 Sectors of the Economy First and Consolidation Plans: 1951-1959 Second Plan 1959-1964 £G.000 £G-000 Agriculture and Natural Resources 7,616 (6/4%) 24,668 (9.9%) Industry and Trade 5,548 25,331 El e c t r i c i t y 4,440 8,765 Communications 35,955(30.6%) 53,010(21.1%) Local and Regional Governments 6,000 18,852 Education 17,390(14.8%) 27,852(11.1%) Information and Broadcasting 1,176 2,677 Health,Sanitation and Water Supplies 15,033 43,650 Housing 7,862 17,000 Police and Prisons 2,953 7,677 Miscellaneous 13,549 13,684 Contingencies - 6,834 117,522 250,000 Source: Nkruraah-Debate on Second Development Plan, 1959-64, p. 1. Table 1.2 : AGRICULTURE - SUMMARY, SECOND PLAN: 1959 - 64 PROJECT ALLOCATION £G- 000 Agriculture 12,973 Agricultural Credit 1,000 Animal Health 2,499 Forestry 1,502 Fisheries 500 Co-operation 194 Agricultural Development Corporation 6,000 24,668 Source: Nkrumah-Debate on Second Development Plan, p. 65. - 1 5 -under the Second Plan were as follows: 1. to raise the yields of the cocoa industry, 2. to establish large acreages in rubber and bananas (Musa sapientura) in the wet south-west, 3. to establish the foundations of the cattle industry, 4. to raise the yields of cereals in the Northern Region, 5. to bring the Volta flood plain under ir r i g a t i o n , and 6. to study and promote the use of f e r t i l i z e r s (Second Development Plan, p. 4). Every encouragement was provided for increasing the yield of cocoa by provision of high yielding stocks, f e r t i l i z e r s and control of diseases and weeds. A programme of replanting cocoa farms in the Eastern Region was instituted whereby £G30 per acre was offered to those farmers who were affected by cutting out cocoa trees infected with swollen shoot virus disease. £G2,500,000 went into spraying cocoa trees against capsid attack and £G194,000 went into f e r t i l i z e r demonstrations. Rubber-and bananas also received favourable attention. More than £G300,000 was set aside for clearing and planting subsidies. A subsidy of £G30 an acre for the f i r s t 50 acres was payable to farmers who would follow recommended practices of plantation establishments while planting loans were made available through the Agricultural Credit Board. Bananas were deemed potentially profitable, especially the"Gros Michel" variety, and interplanting with rubber was recommended for growing on the same land for the f i r s t four years of cultivation. Under the Plan the yield of cereals was to be stepped up in Northern Ghana through the increased application of f e r t i l i z e r s and planting hybrid maize. - 16 -On the other hand, millet and sorghum which are major staples in Northern Ghana have been neglected. Pri o r i t y should have been given to developing these crops while looking into the prospects for large scale production of maize. The North is relatively dry and millet (Eleusine  coracena), which is particularly drought-resistant, is a favourite crop among the Northerners. Similarly in the South the improvement and c u l t i -vation of plantains (Musa paradiasica) and cocoyams (which are staples for large sectors of the population) are totally neglected while cassava (Manihot  utilissima), yams (Dioscorea), pawpaw (Carica papaya), mangoes (Mangifera indica) and other native vegetables and spices receive only nominal treatment. Application of f e r t i l i z e r s i s s t r i c t l y limited to export crops. The Plan sees the increasing consumptionof imported meat (primarily beef) and milk as a threat to Ghana's balance of payment and recommends cattle husbandry to the people. What a paradox! Even the so-called West African shorthorns, N'dama and White Fulani, which are the most important breeds of cattle, are not truly indigenous having been introduced only a few centuries ago (Thomas,1962). They originated in south-central Asia, where during the course of evolution they differentiated into the zebu and the aurochs. While the aurochs spread over to the temperate regions the zebu remained in the tropics (Tempany and Grist, 1962). The zebu might have been introduced f i r s t by the Arabs into North Africa where the Tuareg herdsmen reared them and eventually to the Old West Sudan states of Ghana, Mali and Songhai. By cutting down trees to provide pasture and through the disastrous feeding habits of cattle, sheep and goats, ancient man favoured the course of development of the Sahara (Silverberg, 1969)» - 17 -Animals well adapted to any ecosystem are essentially characterised by: 1. Minimum loss in body weight during exposure to stress such as heat, nutritional deficiency and transport, 2. high reproductive rate, 3. high resistance to disease, and 4. longevity and low mortality rate (Hafex, 1967). Temperate livestock represented by cattle, sheep and goats and to a lesser extent, pigs and poultry are thus i l l adapted to tropical conditions (Tempany and Grist, 1962). The Second Development Plan cites disease, poor quality of cattle, poor grass and d i f f i c u l t y of dry season feeding and av a i l -a b i l i t y of water as the bottlenecks to successful establishment of the cattle industry and sets up elaborate plans to counteract such conditions i n order that the industry might succeed. £G75,800 was allocated for the control of tsetse f l y . The problem of dry season feeding was to be overcome by teaching farmers to make hay and silage. It i s important to note that one of the reasons increased agricultural production was favoured in the North was to provide cheap food for cattle (Second Development Plan, 1959-64). Rather than teaching the farmers to provide hay and silage for i l l -adapted cattle at such a great cost, the farmers could have been more use-f u l l y employed growing millet, sorghum, groundnuts and maize to feed the population. For instance in January, 1969, a bag of 220 lbs of maize sold for not less than U.S. $20.00 which the masses of the people could i l l - a f f o r d . Many of the methods employed in improving livestock seem to have f a i l e d . The method of "grading up" has proved to be usefully rapid elswhere but has not been successful in West Africa. This method involves crossing imported males with indigenous females, the underlying principle being to select - 18 desirable qualities from the male (Tempany and Grist, 1962). In view of d i f f i c u l t y of acclimatization of these animals to the environment, intro-duction of new genes could be harmful. Lansbury (1962) has suggested that a rapid increase in cattle and other ruminants in West Africa is neither possible nore desirable. In Nigeria, Shaw and Colvi l l e (1950) have shown that European cattle are unable to withstand the tropical stresses due to heat, the low plane of nutrition and enzoatic diseases. Cattle are characterised by slow growth rate and need longer periods in becoming sexually mature. For example i t takes a West African bullock four to six years to reach the slaughter weight (Thomas, 1962). These characteristics of traditional temperate livestock cause temperate livestock husbandry to be a luxury in the West African setting; game provides the cheapest meat. Although the once rich fauna of Ghana has been very much depleted, sufficient quantities s t i l l remain to re-establish viable herds. ' Thomas (1962) quoting Collins (1961) wrote that barely 50 years ago the plains of Ghana were teeming with game. Of course the bulk of the larger wild ungulates have been k i l l e d , and except in the Mole Game Reserve they are indeed rare. The Mole Game Reserve, occupying some 850 square miles to the North West of Ghana near Damongo, is believed to have a high population density of game similar to those in East Africa (Thomas, 1962). Squire (1962) estimated that there are 186 different species of mammals. Of this 95 species are confined to the forest regions, 59 species are in the savannah, 30 species are common to both the forest and savannah regions while the remaining three are aquatic. These mammals are summarised into Table 1.3. - 19 -Table 1.3 : SUMMARY LIST OF GHANAIAN WILD MAMMALS Type of Animal Number of Species Forest Savannah Both Total Hedgehoe (Hemiechinus and Paraechinus) m 1 _ 1 Shrew 3 2 1 6 Fruit bat (Pteropus niger) 7 1 3 11 Insectivorous bat 24 12 2 38 Potto (Perodicticus potto) 1 - - 1 Bush baby (Galago spp.) 1 1 - 2 Monkey 8 4 - 12 Ape 1 - - 1 Pangolin (Manis spp.) 2 - 1 3 Flying Squirrel (Petaurista spp.) 4 - 4 Squirrel (Sciurus spp.) 12 2 14 Dormouse (Grapbiurus spp.) 1 - 1 2 Rats and mice 14 8 30 Gerbils - 2 1 3 Mole rats - 1 1 Porcupine 1 - 1 2 Cutting grass (Thryonomys swinderianus - - 1 1 Temminik) Hare (Lepus capensis Matschie) - 1 1 Dog - 1 1 Otter (Aonyx capensis) - - 1 1 Badger - - 1 I Genet (Genetta spp.) and civet ( C i v e t t i c i t i s civetta) 2 2 1 5 Mongoose (Hemestes spp.) 2 3 1 6 Hyena (Hyaena hyaena) - 1 - • 1 Cats (including leopard and lion) 1 4 2 7 Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) - 1 - 1 Elephant (Loxodonta africana Blum) 1 1 - 2 Hyrax (Dendrohyrax spp.) 1 1 - 2 PiK (Potamochoerus porcus porcus L.) 2 1 - 3 Chevrotain (Hyemoschus sp.) - - 1 1 Duiker (Cephalophus niger Gray) 5 2 - 7 Other antelope 2 7 3 12 Buffalo (Syncercus caffer beddingtoni Lyd) - 1 1 95 59 30 184 Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius L.) and manattee (aquatic) 2 Grand total less whales unexplored; whales so far include sperm whale (twice) and a dolphin 186 Source: Squire, F.A. 1962 Mammalian Fauna in Agriculture and Land Use in Ghana, J . B. Wills (Ed.), Accra, p. 170. - 20 -Among the reptiles there are at least 37 species of snakes of various shades of temperament and size and 12 species of lizards (Consdale, 1955). There are also snails both aquatic and t e r r e s t r i a l . West Africa is parti -cularly rich in variety and abundance of birds - the parrots, hornbills, kingfishers, eagles, kites, herons, cuckoos, nightjars, sunbirds, doves, pigeons, egrets, snakebirds, swallows, vultures and plaintain eaters. Fishes include herring, lungfish, mullfish, sharks, barracudas, halfbeaks, and stingrays, as well as mussels, crabs, crayfish, oysters and edible turtles. Insects are particularly numerous and they include beneficial, harmless and harmful beetles, ants, termites, butterflies and their larvae, crickets, bugs, and major public health pests: mosquitoes, tsetse f l i e s and blackflies (Encyclopaedia Britanica, 1965, Vol. 10). This l i s t offers a wide range of prospects. Wildlife in West Africa has traditionally contributed immensely to protein supply, use being made of both large and small game. Among the edible animals are deer, antelopes, duikers, bush cow or buffalo, hartebeeste, rodents (including rats, grass-cutters), rabbits, wild hogs, monkeys, some of the big snakes (such as pythons), elephants, hippopotamuses, some types of crocodiles, ten species of tortoises and turtles, snails, and many birds and locusts. Game meat i s much more appreciated than meat of domestic livestock, given an assured supply; this i s borne out by interviews conducted among West African students at U.B.C. and respondents from West Africa. Bush meat as i t i s called, i s sold on some of the important roads in West Africa and at the local markets. One has only to v i s i t Kajetia near Kumasi Municipal Bus Terminal - a spot christened the "Ashanti Bush Meat Association" - to see the people who flock there to buy bush meat. It is the height of f o l l y to - 21 -neglect this important industry " i n the name of c i v i l i z a t i o n " . Francis Aylward, contributing to a symposium of the Nutrition Society on the Place of Food Science and Technology in the Campaign against Malnutrition, 1961, a t t r i -butes in part the low consumption of meat to the fact that West Africa lacks a tradition of animal production and warns that "the place of wild l i f e in the food pattern w i l l inevitably decline as populations increase, unless special conservation efforts are made; hence proposals for 'game farming 0" (Aylward, 1962, p. 7). In East Africa i t has been shown that native game are more productive in terms of biomass, are better adapted and can be reared at less cost to human and natural resources than introduced livestock (Nasimovich, 1970; Adu, 1964; Darling, 1962; Pearsall, 1962). Similarly Ghanaian fauna are better adapted that the domestic livestock. Endemic forms have evolved in the environment for millions of years and have performed a climax community. There i s l i t t l e doubt that they are potentially more productive, as i s the case i n East Africa, than the exotic livestock which have been introduced only a few centuries ago (Thomas, 1962). West Africa can benefit from the East African experience. While i t is necessary for wild animals such as ungulates to be semi-domesticated, other animals such as snails, rodents and others are very much docile. Tourism is a novelty in West Africa and again the experiences in East Africa could be used profitably to bring in money. The impact of developing game husbandry can be seen in the case of Tanzania which in 1960 derived no revenue from tourism but owing to developing game husbandry derived more than 50 per cent of her 1966/68 f i s c a l year revenue from tourism (Nasimovich, 1970; Owen, 1969). Many West African countries operate game reserves like the Mole Game Reserve in Ghana. Game - 22 -reserves per se have very l i t t l e economic significance; i t is proper conservation measures that make the difference, and which must ensure not only the preservation of a quality environment but also a continuous yield of useful plants, animals and materials by establishing a balance cycle of harvest and renewal (Odum, 1971). This i s a f i e l d for students of African conservation which calls for special studies. West African countries are seeking to diversify their agricultural base. One of such approaches i s the plant introduction programme. But instead of looking solely to the plant introduction programme as an avenue for identi-fying exportable commodities, West African countries stand a better chance of developing some of the native forest products for export. West Africa i s rich in variety of plant forms. It is estimated that Ghana has about 3,300 species of flowering plants alone. Thus, for example, the sweet berries of Synsepalum dulcificum - "whose fru i t s when eaten have the curious property of making everything else eaten for some time afterwards taste sweet" (Lawson, 1970b, p. 13) are shade tolerant shrubs that grow well in the forest zones of Ghana. The sweet taste of the sweet berries is due to the presence of a soluble biodegradable protein called "monellin", a low-calorie sweetener said to be 3,000 times more intense than sugar. Monellin has recently been isolated. The Chief Researcher described i t in a recent press release as the f i r s t protein known to man to e l i c i t a sweet taste, adding "I was immediately struck by the persistent quality of the sweetness" (Vancouver Province, Friday, February 25, 1972). A crop like this could be developed. With the banning of cyclamates in the U.S. as a r t i f i c i a l sweeteners, the potential of sweet berries as foreign exchange earner i s really great (Lawson, 1970b). CHAPTER 2 ECOLOGICAL APPROACH TO AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION The underlying premise of this study is that optimal agricultural development requires recognition of the specific characteristics of the ecosystem to be modified. Agricultural techniques must necessarily be developed in relation to the properties of ecosystems which present on the one hand a set of constraints and on the other hand a wide spectrum of prospects. The "sum" of the relevant variables helps to determine the scope and direction of agriculture. To i l l u s t r a t e the importance of the ecological approach to agricultural development i t is intended to identify at this stage the important variables in order to work out a reasonable ecological framework. Characteristics of Ecosystems A study of ecosystems emphasizes: 1. The obligatory relationship and causal relationship between elements of the biotic community, climatic and causal factors. 2. The energy environment; i.e. the linear flow of energy by way of the autotroph-consumer-decomposer chain. Although energy cannot be destroyed nor created i t can be transferred from one form to another by degradation from a concentrated to a dispersed form (these are the f i r s t and second laws of thermodynamics). Intact ecosystems are the most stable means of u t i l i z i n g energy in agricultural practices. 3. The biogeochemical cycling of matter through the various trophic levels of the biotic component of the ecosystem to the physical environment and back again. - 23 -- 24 -4. The homeostasis of ecosystems. Ecosystems are capable of self-maintenance and self-regulation in the face of stress. It w i l l be seen therefore that cybernetics or the science of controls also applies in ecology. Nevertheless there is a threshold level beyond which ecosystem's homeostatic mechanisms are no longer able to compensate. The resulting change i n character (e.g. species composition) of the ecosystem i s one form of "ecological backlash" or "ecological boomerang" which Odum defines as "unforeseen detrimental consequence of an environmental modification which cancels out projected gain or, as i s too often the case, actually creates more problems than i t solves" (Odum, 1971, p. 409). 5. The complexity and diversity in plant and animal l i f e , i n excesses and deficiencies of temperature and r a i n f a l l , and in s o i l l i f e . 6. The adaptations to their habitats of associations of plants and animals. Native species or species from identical habitats are best adapted (Odum, 1971; Rappaport, 1971; Geertz, 1968). The general ecological perspectives outlined above provide the basic principles for agricultural development. The relevance of the ecological approach as a basis for the development of tropical agriculture would be better appreciated by f i r s t studying the climate, s o i l and vegetation of Ghana. The Climate In Ghana like the rest of West Africa, the direction and persistence of the moisture-laden winds blowing from the Atlantic Ocean and the dry harmattan winds from the Sahara have a major influence on the weather. As one would expect the southern country within the forest zone i s generally more humid than the northern part of the country and the narrow strip of coastal savannah belt. Figure! :t SCALE. '•'.'.•'/.•'.•'.•'. 1 Inch =50 Miles. GHANA : ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS. SOURCE i Compiled by the Department ol Survey of Ghana Accra.1960. - 26 -Temperatures in Ghana are high. As seen from the temperature data for various reporting stations (Figure 2), the average daily maximum temper-atures increase from the coast northwards. Conversely, as Figure 3 shows, daily minimum temperatures increase in the southward direction. Areas with daily maximum temperatures above and below 33.5°C (95.9°F) and minimum temperatures below and above 18.0°C (64.4°F) (Papadakis, 1966) are also shown on Figures 2 and 3. Rainfall is seasonal so the climate i s characterised by distinct dry and wet seasons particularly in the north. While in the southern end of the country the rain comes in two peaks, in the north the rain comes in one peak. As is shown in Figure 4, Southern Ghana i s wetter by far than Northern Ghana. For example Axim and Tafo both in the south have an annual r a i n f a l l of 213 cm. and 164 cm. respectively; comparative figures for Tamale and Navrongo are 108 cm. and 109 cm. respectively. Except for the coastal savannah belt southern Ghana has more than seven wet months with intensity of r a i n f a l l increasing in the south-west direction. Northern Ghana has a distinct dry period of about six months and six months of wet season. Rainfall is erratic throughout the country (Walker, 1962; Brammer, 1962; Ahn, 1970). Bioclimatic Belts The bioclimatic belts of Ghana and their salient features are presented in Figure 4 and in Appendix H respectively. The climatic belts have been formed under the incluence of r a i n f a l l , temperature, parent rock material and biotic agencies. The interacting effect of these factors is important in crop production. Two widely separate geographical areas may have the same amount of r a i n f a l l and be in entirely different bioclimatic belts. For GHANA: MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES? KEY"-A.Average daily maximum of the warmest month >centigrades. NB, Numbers refer to points (not to regions). Above 33-5* C. Below 33*S*C . SOURCE '-Crop Ecologic Survey in West Africa. Volume II -Atlas, 1965. GHANA: MINIMUM TEMPERATURES. KEY : A Average daily minimum ol the coldest month.centigrades. N.B.Numbers refer to points (not regions). Equatorial above 18-0*C.(64-4*F.). Tropical below 18-0"C.(64-4*FJ. SOURCE-' Crop Ecologic Survey in West Africa. Volume ll-Atlas.1965. • 109/240. v/ • B O L G A T A N G A UU/194. •TAMALE k 108/202. 119/187. • SUHrAHt, 140/165. /Sene-Obosum ^Rivers Game Hesen pioposeol h02. A U 8 / T l 5 v A 142/139.1 A}64/J10>\ K0FOBIOUA» M12/152. ^CCRA A 73/104. 86/94. 5APE C O A S T A 92. 3EKONDI >"118/87. Figure d Scale : 1 Inch = 5 0 Miles. GHANA .'VEGETATION REGIONS, ANNUAL RAINFALL & POTENTIAL EVAPOTRANSPIRATION KEY : p e c e o Moist Evergreen Forest. Moist Semi.Deciduous Forest. Deciduous Thicket-Guinea Savannah. Deciduous Thicket-Coastal Savannah A Rainfall / Potential Evapotranspirationjtin centimeters.) When only one number is given it refers to rainfall. Numbers refer to points (not to regions ). SOURCE: Crop Ecologic Survey in West Africa Volume II - Atlas ,1965 . - 10 -example, Copenhagen in Denmark and Nara in Mali have the same annual r a i n f a l l of 23 inches, but Nara is arid while Copenhagen is temperate sub-humid (Papadakis, 1966). Thus i t is necessary to devise different cultural prac-tices for agricultural production. An important practical ^criterion for deciding whether a climate is dry or adequately wet is to decide which crops w i l l grwo well under available r a i n f a l l and temperature conditions. Accordingly "potential evapotranspiration" and "water surplus" have been used as climatic measures (Papadakis, 1966). Evapotranspiration is defined in terms of water loss due to evaporation from free surface and water loss due to transpiration from plants. Thus "water surplus" is the total annual r a i n f a l l less evapotranspiration. Water surplus is a very important concept for agroecological consideration since i t can be used to delineate areas where crops can be grown based on their water requirements. In Figure U "water surplus" data for selected l o c a l i t i e s are also given. Similarly water surplus in combination with edaphic factors and human agency is important for the study of vegetation. Where the water surplus exceeds 20% of potential evapotranspiration the climax vegetation i s woody and dense, while grassland vegetation is formed where the water surplus i s markedly less than evapotranspiration (Papadakis, 1966). The vegetation of the Interior Savannah including the Ho-Keta plain consists of shrubs and trees irregularly interspersed in a matrix of grassland, dominated by perennial grasses such as Andropogon and Hyparrhenia species. In the Coastal Savannah belt stands of shrubs and trees are denser than those of the Interior Savannah (Innes 1962). In farming areas where pressure resulting from farming a c t i v i t i e s i s intense, the trees are almost destroyed - 31 -and perennial grasses are replaced by short annual grasses. In the south the forest i s f l o r i s t i c a l l y divided into evergreen rain forest and moist semi-deciduous forest. The physiognomy consists of different trees of various sizes, in which the layers are distinct. Where farming is intensive there has been invasion by grasses. The derived savannah is f i r e climax (Baker, 1962; Ann, 1970). Soil Regions of Ghana . There are seven s o i l regions in Ghana as shown by Figure 5. The physical and chemical characteristics are summarised in Appendix III. There are, in addition to the s o i l regions shown on Figure 5, two other s o i l groups, namely the flood plain land and young s o i l s . They are present in small amounts in a l l the seven major s o i l s . The characteristics of the seven major soils w i l l be presented b r i e f l y : 1. The coconut sands occur as narrow strips of land at the extreme south-western and south-eastern ends of the country. This group of soils consists of pure sand and is poor in bases. 2. Located next to the coconut sand are soils of the forest oxysols. These soils are strongly leached and characterized by the presence of excessive concretions of gravel or iron pan occurring near the s o i l surface. The region includes some of the poorest soils in the country. They are acidic and haveilow humus content. 3. The forest ochrosols are generally well drained. The s o i l texture i s associated with parent materials. Soils associated with peneplain remnants may contain massive iron pan or ironstone concretions. In the absence of concretions they are easily t i l l e d . The f e r t i l i t y of such soils i s very high but available plant nutrients are concentrated in the humus top-soil. The Figure 5a. Scale:1 Inch = 50 Miles. GHANA: SOIL REGIONS. KEY: Coconut Sands. Terre de Bar re. • e s e e Forest Oxysots. The Voltain Basin. Forest Ochrosols. The Lower Volta Basin. • l i t > • • • • • • c Savannah Ochrosols. SOURCE: Crop Ecologic Survey in West Volume II-Atlas 1965. - 33 -clay content has high nutrient holding capacity. There are forest ochrosol-oxysol integrates. They occur under humid conditions such as prevail on the Atewa range near Asiakwa. Soils of the forest ochrosol-oxysol integrates are slightly acidic usually below pH 5.5. 4. Savannah ochrosols are similar to the forest ochrosols but are very poor in organic matter even in the surface layer. The soi l s are red and brown in colour and are texturally friable and porous. Characteristically there may be a thin iron pan capping the s o i l . 5. Terre de Barre consists of small group of soils that occur at the extreme south-east corner of Ghana. It is almost free of concretions and very f e r t i l e . 6. The Voltain basin is by far the largest single s o i l region in the country. The soils are poorly drained due to presence of groundwater laterites and unweatherable materials. 7. Lastly, the Lower Volta Plains Basin: They are also characterised by occurrence of groundwater laterites. The soils of the Lower Volta Plains are rich in bases but they are d i f f i c u l t to t i l l (Papadakis, 1966). Soils Because of high r a i n f a l l s and high temperatures tropical soils are badly leached. Papadakis (1966) cl a s s i f i e d soils of the world into five groups according to degree of 1 leaching. High leaching grades of 3, 4 and 5 are associated with tropical soils while temperate soils have comparatively low figures of 1 and 2. As a result of high leaching intensities the content of alkaline metals is minimal and presence of aluminium and iron compounds i s high. In many cases laterites have been formed. A laterite i s defined as "a massive vesicular or concretionary ironstone formation, nearly always - 3A -associated throughout the world with uplifted peneplains and undoubtedly formed on areas of low r e l i e f subject to high tables"(Prescott and Pendleton, 195V-p. 42). Weathering is very energetic and soils are highly leached and highly l a t e r i t i c . Soils with l a t e r i t i c profiles are generally formed from acidic rocks. Lateritic soils are generally impermeable and mayloccur at varying depths in the s o i l profile as shown in Figure 6. Conversely soi l s formed from basic rocks have free iron particles present in the s o i l profile but no l a t e r i t i c horizon i s formed. Such soils are generally very permeable. Low f e r t i l i t y status of tropical soils may be associated also with the clay content. There are two types of clay soils designated as 1:1 and 2:1 clay types together with their integrates. Tropical soils show dominance of 1:1 clay types which are unfortunately, the least f e r t i l e of a l l the clay types. Soils of 2:1 clay types are more f e r t i l e than 1:1 clay type of so i l s but where in tropical areas they are subject to high leaching intensity their f e r t i l i t y status has also f a l l e n . Generally the f e r t i l i t y of soils under tropical vegetative cover i s appreciably high where the amount of organic matter present i n the soils i s high (Papadakis, 1966). Ecosystems and Agriculture A detailed working definition of the ecosystemic variables enables one to better understand risks inherent in agricultural development in the tropics. Risks of encountering ecological boomerangs become more imminent when temperate agricultural techniques are used li b e r a l l y without reference to the nature of the native ecosystems. In West Africa sheet erosion, possible changes in such climatic factors as r a i n f a l l and evaporation, change of vegetation, health hazards (e.g. bilharzia) and the threat to, and loss of - 35 -Figure 6 EXAMPLES OF SOIL PROFILES FROM DIFFERENT SOIL REGIONS SHOWING OCCURRENCE OF LATERITES ^ t»jfl;:ttr '^KTV'U'^ v^ i — Dark tyey-brown humoul loam: 7-0. ' ' •'/••//'*/•'',•—Drown pcrout loam: 6-3 l'-- Leaf litter -Dark brown humous lcam:7-0 —Red poroui clay: 5-5 £ * Brown Ii^ ht c!jy; frequcne iron.tone "•- -I'^y- concretion.: 6-5 ['-•.?/ Hard vesicular Ironpan ^ ^•'*yyY " ^ v / ^ — Indurated yellow and red mottled loam: SS (a) ^ — G^rey-brown ilijhtly humous loamy land: —"Red-brown porous »*ndy light clay: 6-0 Slight!/ Indurated yellow and red mottled —.Grey-brown slightly humous silty loam: 6-5 Orange-brown silty clay: 6-0 » * « ' » . - — Orange and red mottled Indurated landy clay or Iron pin: S-0 Ferruglnlxcd weathered Mod it one: 5-0 — Leaf litter ^ry^^i^T^j — Dark brown humou» wndy loam: 7 0 f (b) — Orange-brown gravelly concretionary clay: 5-0 Quartz vein — Mottled weathered phyllite: 5 0-55 Q •> •-— Reddiih-brown clay with occasional quartz , •v - - ^~ 00^ gravel and iromtone concretlonc 6-0-6$ 4" • Brown tandy light clay: 6-5-7-0 ^ - v ^ v . Leaf litter \Z%j}£mmpf»w^rr Rcddnh-brown humou» clay: 70-Ji 0 '///////////////JCr Reddiih-brown plaice clay: 7-0 -Red plaitic clay: 7-0 (c) Reddfih-brcwn cdy mottled yellow and -••"red with weathering rock bmh towardi bite: 60-45 — Hornblende granodiorite .1-^— 7 Jo Red plaitic clay: 6 0-7 0 Red plastic clay with frequent ironstone concretions and quart! gravel: 6-0—65 Red and yellow mottled loamy highly weathered basic schist: 6-0-7-0 Akumadan (l e f t ) and Wenchi i l l u -strating a Forest Ochrosol over Lower Birimian Phyllite and a peneplain residua! Figures refer to pH. Damongo (right) Zed (l e f t ) i l l u -strating Savannah ochrosols over Voltain Sand and Lower Birrimian P h y l l i t e . Figures refer to pH. WACRI (left) and Susan illus t r a t i n ; Ochrosol-oxysol intergrades. Figures refer to pH. Source: Braramer, H. 1962. Soils, in Agriculture and Land-Use in Ghana, J. B. Wills (Ed.) Oxford University Press. - 36 -wildlife are very serious ecological boomerangs that could result from large scale application of such techniques. Gully erosion, decline in s o i l f e r t i l i t y and threat to watersheds resulting from removal of plant cover are considered serious. Changes in s o i l structure, pest resurgence after crop treatment with pesticides and nutritional problems such as low protein content of cereals are serious (Questionnaire response). As previously noted a distinct characteristic of tropical ecosystems i s . the high diversity of plant and animal l i f e (Geertz, 1961). Tropical regions have many more species of most taxa than temperate areas of similar size and small areas in the tropics have many different plant species. Species inter-action may therefore be more important in the tropics than in the temperate areas (MacArthur, 1969). The s t a b i l i t y and high productivity of tropical ecosystems is associated with effective transformation of energy and unimpeded circulation of matter which is made possible by the interaction between the biotic community, climate and edaphic factors (Odum, 1959; 1971). Tropical ecosystems are characterised by a "particularly delicately balanced relation-ship between the physical factors of the climate and s o i l and the natural biological communities that have become established. This balance is very easily upset and any major upset i s likely to be disastrous, for i t could lead to the destruction of the habitat from the point of view of biological productivity" (Adu, 1964; p. 4). Accepting the fact that plant and animal crops are an integral part of ecosystems the quality and quantity of yield w i l l therefore be determined in relation to the mechanism of the ecosystems. Considerations for crop production must include: 1. Intrinsic factors: These relate to the genotype or the genetic characteristics of the crop, and - 37 -2. Extrinsic factors which are largely environmental factors and include distribution and intensity of temperature and r a i n f a l l , the relative length of day and night (which is important for photo-periodism), amount of solar-radiation, topographical conditions, disease and pest hazards, edaphic conditions and cultural practices (Azzi, 1956). Solar radiation intensity, a i r temperature, relative humidity, wind, and the relative lengths of day and night affect growth. The various bio-chemical events and l i f e phenomena are either temperature or light dependent or both. For example respiration i s a thermo-chemical process while photo-synthesis involves both photochemical and thermo-chemical events (Gates, 1960). Consequently the f i r s t step involves identifying crops that w i l l give the highest yields under prevailing conditions. .Often crops which are known to be high yielding in their natural habitats do not grow well else-where. This has been shown by experience derived from plants and animals imported into the tropics. The unexpectedly poor peformance results from their i n a b i l i t y to withstand the environmental stresses of the tropics. It i s also recognised in plants that the genotype plays a dominant role in the control of natural phenomena. Gates (1960) found that the size and shape of a leaf is essential for controlling internal temperature, absorptiveness of radiation depending on thickness of the leaf, the internal structure, pigment content and surface characteristics, leaf reflectiveness and transmission. Leaf thickness and internal composition are a l l geno-typically influenced. Hiessey et a l . (1967) showed that photosynthesis and respiratory rates are genotypically incluenced though temperature and light also exert some influence. The fact that plants from cold climatic - 38 -zones have relatively low optima compared with plants from warmer climates indicates this influence (Gates, 1960). This phenomenon may explain at least partly why cool loving plants do not grow well in hot climates. A relatively low temperature range of 68°F and 86°F i s deemed necessary for maximum photo-synthesis in such species. Lower temperatures may be essential where there are other inhibitory factors (Papadakis, 1966). It is therefore advisable to use native plant species or species from identical habitats. Examples of subdivisions of habitats identical to those in Ghana have been presented in Appendix II. The intent is to f a c i l i t a t e plant introduction programmes. Many of the currently important food and export items were imported from identical habitats elsewhere. Examples of these crops are cassava, maize and cacao from the New World and rice from the Far East (Aylward, 1962). Another important factor which favours the cultivation of potential native species or species from similar environments i s that fact that they are already photoperiodically adapted to the local environment. Plants and animals can be divided into three groups according to their adaptation to specific lengths of day and night. Tropical crops are generally short day' plants while temperate crops are long day plants. Between these are plants which are indifferent to photoperiod. Variation in the lengths of day and night has a marked effect on crop performacnce, accelerating, retarding or preventing flowering in photoperiodic plants (Tempany and Grist, 1958) . In Ghana light intensity is low especially near the coast and this does not favour economic production of long day plants. The alternation of short cloudy days with long warm nights does however favour vegetative growth of temperate vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, I r i s h potato, and carrot, at the expense of such storage organs as bulbs, roots - 39 -roots and tubers, or fru i t s and heads (Papadakis, 1966). Rather than introducing high yielding temperate crops which are i l l -adapted to the tropics we must reverse the usual concepts of agriculture ( i . e . growing familiar food in a new environment) by discovering plants which grow best and making new foods of them (Pirie, 1963). Or to extend Pirie's contention we must investigate which animals thrive and make the best use of existing endemic plants (Ledger, Sachs and Smith, 1967). Parallel to the selection of potential crops is the problem of devising the cultural techniques that w i l l ensure optimum growth. There are two effective means of u t i l i z i n g natural habitats (Geerts, 1968). The f i r s t approach involves transforming the ecosystem into a monoculture of a parti-cular crop. This i s the system adopted by temperate agriculture. The other approach maintains the overall pattern or composition of the forest f l o r a only replacing some species by some human foods. The second approach i s traditional in the tropics.-From the point of view of agricultural ecology i t may be more rewarding in the long run to use the ecosystem according to i t s capacity without any serious modifications. It i s recognized that often unsatisfactory results are obtained by modifying,in a major way, the environmental conditions native to any given geographical area in order to enhance crop production. Satisfactory results which can be achieved by transforming environmental conditions are few indeed (Azzi, 1956). In view of the precarious nature of tropical ecosystems the following strategy may be advisable. 1. Crop ecological zones need-to be delineated. The parameters to be employed should be natural rather than physical, defined by climatic factors - 40 -or s o i l conditions or both. Crop ecological zones follow climatic variations and s o i l distributions and may, therefore, vary in size from a small topo-graphical area to a whole region (Papadakis, 1966). Generally crops which are found in the same ecological zone have similar ecological requirements. On the one hand, crops i n the drier zones of the Guinea Savannah, such as millet, Guinea corn, groundnut and others are drought resistant although they require some period of wet conditions for growth. On the other hand, crops in the forest zones are generally moisture loving and are tolerant to high humidities, shade and cloudy weather. But as Azzi (1956) points out, the climatic conditions within any crop ecological zone may only indicate average growth conditions. This leads to the second step. 2. Plants in particular have observable periodical or phenological phenomena during which their environmental requirements in terms of nutrients, moisture and temperature vary. The ecological requirements during the various pheno-logical phases of plants are very c r i t i c a l for ensuring high yields. Azzi (1956) has proposed the concept of "meteorological equivalent" which i s a combination of the degrees of temperature and amount of r a i n f a l l which distinguish normal conditions from those defined as abnormal, both in respect to excess and insufficiency. To grow any crop in any area, there must be sufficient time in the season for the plant to complete i t s development from sprouting to f u l l maturity. During this period adverse atmospheric conditions should not reach an intensity that w i l l lower the yield below expectations. Cultivation of cocoa illustrates this point. - 41 -The growth cycles of cocoa may be divided into five phenological phases, v i z : (a) from budding to flowering; (b) from flowering to formation of the f r u i t s ; (c) from formation of the fr u i t s to the f i r s t stages in maturity; (d) from maturity to harvest; (e) from the beginning to the end of harvest (Azzi, 1956). The fourth phase (d) is very c r i t i c a l . In Ghana cocoa grows under a wide diurnal range: 55-95°F., but i f the weekly mean maximum temperature f a l l s below 83°F flushing (flowering) is suppressed. It has also been observed that where the weekly mean temperature f a l l s below 85°F there is a reduction in the number of flowers two months later (Adams and McKelvie, 1955). During the same period excessive moisture leads to black pod disease caused by Phytophthora palmivora - a pathogenic fungus in the humid tropics (Wharton, 1962). Shade may under certain circumstances be a limiting factor to y i e l d . Wrigley (1961) using the results of the experiment presented in Table 2.1 stated that although a crop may be shade tolerant i t s production may be enahanced by good management. It seems clear that the table indicates that shade i s an important factor in increasing yield only in the absence of treatment. The post treatment figures indicate that the treatment i s the most important factor in producing yields. There was a decline in yi e l d during the third year of post treatment. Subsequent figures would be essential for confirming the conclusion which the research officers at W.A.C.R.I, have drawn. - 42 -Table 2.1 : SHADE AND MANURIAL TRIAL (Annual Yields in lbs of Dry Cocoa/Acre) Yields - Pre-treatment 1945-55 1955-56 1956-57 Yield - Post-treatment 1957-58 1958-59 1959-60 G l i r i c i d i a shade without f e r t i l i z e r 30 G l i r i c i d i a shade with f e r t i l i z e r No shade - no f e r t i l i z e r No shade with f e r t i l i z e r 24 19 20 44 32 29 18 205 211 170 173 615 868 1,080 1,576 958 1,211 2,348 3,091 756 906 2,187 3,088 The Amelonada cocoa was planted in 1947. The f e r t i l i z e r treatments were as follows: October 1956 Ammonium Phosphate N Single Superphosphate T?2®5 Sulphate of Potash K20 Urea N 13.4 lb/acre 90.7 lb/acre 90.4 lb/acre 50 lb/acre 30 lb/acre 50 lb/acre - April 1957 Triple Superphosphate ^2^5 September 1957 Urea N Field was sprayed against capsid damage. Original Source: Annual Report W.A.C.R.I., 1957-58, 1958-59 and 1959-60 Wrigley: 1961, p. 63 Gordon Wrigley has given a general discussion of the role of shade in tropical agriculture. The advantages of shade are: i . The range of the a i r temperature within the crop i s less e.g. on Mount Elgon, Uganda, "hot and cold" disease of arabica coffee i s associated with this change and occurs less frequently in shaded crops. - 63 -i i . The range of the s o i l temperature under shade is less, i i i . The humidity within the crop is higher. i v . The surface soild moisture is higher, particularly important where a dry season occurs. v. Shade trees act as a drain in removing excess r a i n f a l l . v i . The wind effect i s reduced. Apart from the physical damage from the wind, hot dry winds such as the Harmattan in West African can increase trans-piration to a serious level. v i i . Shade trees add organic matter, v i i i . Shade trees bring up nutrients from the deep subsoil and add i t to the surface leaf mould. The deep penetrating roots open up the subsoil. ix. Leguminous shade trees add nitrogen to the leaf mould. Albizzia chinensis shade often increases the tea yield in North India by an amount equivalent to adding 90 lbs of nitrogen per acre (A. R. Tocklai, 1959). x. Weed growth, particularly of undesirable grasses is less under shade. A well grown crop canopy should do this. x i . Shade may reduce the incidence of pests and diseases. Cocoa capsid and coffee thrips prefer unshaded crops. xn Costa Rica, unshaded cocoa has more sever Phytopthora infections due to the heavier dew. Tea bushes under leguminous shade trees are attacked less by red spider than are unshaded bushes (Hainsworth, 1952). In the Douars tea d i s t r i c t of North Bengal, shade was removed from tea then replanted to reduce red spider attacks. It is a question of economics whether the pest would be best controled chemically. x i i . Some crops, including tea and young cacao, do better with a reduced light intensity. x i i i . Shade plants may themselves be crops, e.g. Fibres (bark-cloth) i n coffee, bananas in coffee and cocoa, timber species, rubber in coffee. - m -xiv. Unshaded forest s o i l rapidly loses i t s structure. A good crop canopy and mulching w i l l prevent this. xv. Shade tends to reduce overbearing and "die-hard" of coffee. This can be largely prevented by the use of manure and f e r t i l i z e r s . The disadvantages of high shade are: i . Shade plants compete with the crop for nutrients, i i . Shade plants compete with the crop for water in the dry season. This can be evaded by using a deciduous shade tree such as Terminalia superba, which drops i t s leaves to form a mulch at the start of the dry season, i i i . Shade plants compete with the crop for oxygen in the wet season, iv . Shade reduces the light intensity which certain crops can u t i l i z e f u l l y . v. Some shade trees are incompatible with the crop, v i . Some shade trees are alternative hosts for pests and diseases, v i i . Shade trees or their branches may f a l l and cause serious damage. Wrigley, 1961, pp. 67 and 68). The importance of meteorological equivalents i s to enable a researcher to determine what combinations of the relative values of these inter-related environmental factors are necessary for optimum conservation. In the light of the above discussion, i t i s concluded that agricultural development plans in the tropics must seriously consider the f u l l range of biotic and geo-climatic factors characteristic of such areas. CHAPTER 3 SYSTEMS OF TRADITIONAL PRACTICES VIS-A-VIS AGRICULTURAL TECHNIQUES DEVELOPED IN NORTH AMERICA AND OTHER TEMPERATE AREAS A coaparatlve study of shifting cultivation and permanent agriculture i s presented i n this chapter. In order to provide a better comparison of the two systems an in-depth description of the technique and philosophy c of shifting cultivation i s also given. Attention w i l l then be focussed on the Green Revolution in order to ascertain i t s Impact on tropical agri-cultural development. The chapter w i l l end by reviewing the potential of pastoralisra and game management* Shifting Cultivation From time immemorial shifting cultivation has been employed as a means whereby a "natural forest i s transformed into a harvestable forest" (Geertz, 1969; p. 14). It is practised under different s o i l , vegetation;and climatic conditions and by people of different origins and cultures, so that there are variations in crops grown, methods of cultivation and periods of fallowing (Nye and Greenland, 1960). Shifting cultivation, widely practised in the tropics describes the traditional experience of the local people with the land. The International Union (1952) defines the system of shifting cultivation as follows: 'The system whereby cultivation i s carried on for a few years and then the land i s allowed to rest, perhaps for a considerable period, before the scrub or grass which grows up is again cleared and the land recultivated" (Wills, 1962, p. 201). The term "shifting cultivation" Is sometimes used interchangeably with "land rotation", often with soae confusion. In land rotation the associated - 45 -- 46 -settlement i s more permanent than i t i s with true s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n ( W i l l s , 1962). Nevertheless, both systems share one major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , v i z . they leave land under natural fallow to recuperate from loss of produc-t i v i t y . In Ghana both s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n and land r o t a t i o n are p r a c t i s e d . In t h i s text s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n applies to the technique of land use rather than the permanency of associated settlement. In the f o r e s t zones of Ghana farms are prepared by c l e a r i n g the under-growth and the small trees are f e l l e d with an axe or machete, leaving some of the bigger trees to provide i r r e g u l a r shade. The mass of vegetation i s burned and the ash i s l e f t on the ground. In some cases the vegetation may be l e f t on the ground to decay. On good s o i l s cocoyam and p l a n t a i n are among the f i r s t crops to be grown, planted as conns and suckers r e s p e c t i v e l y at i r r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s of time and space. These crops grow r a p i d l y and provide a l e a f y cover which shades and protects the s o i l from excessive I n s o l a t i o n and r a i n f a l l . Other crops such as okra (Gossypium 8 £ . ) , tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum). pepper (Piper nigrum), sugar cane (Saccharum o f f i c l n a r u a ) and maize may be grown. The number of kinds of crops grown may be as high as twenty or even more* In cocoa and coffee (Coffea sp.) growing areas, cocoa or coffee seeds may be planted under the shade provided by the food crops, e s p e c i a l l y where the farm has been cleared from v i r g i n f o r e s t . Rubber and o i l p a l m may replace cocoa and coffee where annual r a i n f a l l i s high. The cocoyams and plantains continue to y i e l d from new suckers growing at the base of the o l d ones f o r up to three years or more depending on s o i l f e r t i l i t y . - 47 I f the cocoa o f other tree crops grow s u c c e s s f u l l y , the fares are maintained by weeding r e g u l a r l y and the tree crops are made to take over from the food crops. On secondary farms or le s s f e r t i l e s o i l s , however, i t may be more des i r a b l e to grow food crops instead of tree crops. In t h i s case the cropping phase may s t a r t with maize, then p l a n t a i n and l a s t l y cassava which i s the l e a s t demanding of a l l crops. In the damper v a l l e y bottoms, sugar cane or r i c e (Oryza sa t i v a) may be grown (Ann, 1970). The farms are l e f t under natural fallow a f t e r an average of three years continuous use. In Savannah areas dominated by grass, the ground cover i s f i r s t burned and the burned s t a l k s of grass and shrubs are then cleared with hoe or machete. In such areas the only trees which survive are the s o - c a l l e d f i r e r e s i s t a n t t r e e s ; these are usually characterised by very thick bark. Valuable trees such as shea butter nut tree (Butyrospermum p a r k l i ) and other small trees are l e f t f o r t r a i n i n g yam v i n e s . In a t y p i c a l cropping sequence yam mounds are constructed with hand hoes at the end of the r a i n s when the s o i l i s s t i l l moist. Yams (Dioscorea S£.) are planted i n the mounds while a v a r i e t y of crops i n c l u d i n g maize are planted i n the intervening spaces between the mounds. In the following year the yams are harvested and the mounds are l e v e l l e d to f a c i l i t a t e the p l a n t i n g of maize and sorghum (SorRhum vul g a r e ) . In the subsequent year groundnuts are i n t e r p l a n t e d with m i l l e t (Eleusine coracana) which completes the cropping cycle and the land i s then l e f t under natural f a l l o w . Vegetation Regrowth under Natural Fallow The tempo of regrowth depends upon the s o i l , climate, regenerative - 48 -capacity of coppice shoots, v i a b i l i t y and dormancy of seeds of the previous f o r e s t cover and the adjoining f o r e s t s , the previous h i s t o r y of c u l t i -v a t i o n and the si z e of the c l e a r i n g s (Ann, 1970). One hundred acres i s harder to regenerate than ten, and ten harder than two or three acres. Outlines of secondary formations and vegetation climax (with s p e c i a l reference to A f r i c a ) and nutrient storage i n t y p i c a l t r o p i c a l fallows are presented i n Tables 3.1 and 3.2 r e s p e c t i v e l y . These o u t l i n e s exclude areas of high a l t i t u t d e s , desert and semi-desert zones, and low l y i n g or swampy areas. TABLE 3.1 ARRANGEMENT OF VEGETATION CLIMAX AND SECONDARY FORMATIONS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO AFRICA R a i n f a l l i n . p.a. C l i m a t i c Climax Formations Secondary Formations Mainly Woody Mainly Grass 65 Moist evergreen f o r e 8 t Secondary brush, • Secondary f o r e s t Imperata c y l i n d r i c a var. Major grassland (Asian form) 45 - 90 Moist semi-deciduous f o r e s t Secondary bush, Secondary f o r e s t , Semi-deciduous t h i c k e t High grass savannah -Imperata c y l i n d r i c a var. Af r i c a n a ( A f r i c a n form) Pennisetura purpureym Andropogon spp. Hypharrhenia spp. 35 - 65 Dry deciduous fo r e s t Deciduous th i c k e t woodland T a l l bunch-grass savannah 40 Deciduous t h i c k e t Short bunch-grass savannah Source: Nye.P.H. and Greenland, D.J., 1960. The S o i l Under S h i f t i n g C u l t i v a t i o n , Tech. Comm. No. 51 Commonwealth Bureau of S o i l s , Harpenden, p. 14. Regrowth of vegetation i n West A f r i c a has been described by Nye and Greenland (1960), Richards (1952), and Ann (1970). In f o r e s t areas the i n i t i a l - 49 -regrowth i s dominated by soft-stemmed, leafy, quick-growing herbs. This stage i s known as forbregrowth. Thicket regrowth takes place when shrubs and coppice shoots and various climbers become dominant forming an impene-trable regrowth. Six to ten years after the farms have been abandoned, young secondary forest i s formed consisting of even aged trees dominated by .one tree, the umbrella tree or parasolier (Musanga cecropioides) in West Africa. The f i r s t dominant species dies out without replacing i t s e l f and i s suc-ceeded by other dominants. With maturity the species composition of secondary forest changes giving place to slower growing, shade tolerant trees. This process continues gradually until a mature forest i s formed. The secondary vegetation of the dry deciduous forest may consist of a dense serai-deciduous thicket. A good example i s the Guinea Coastal Savannah Semi-deciduous Thicket to the south of the high forest i n West Africa with annual r a i n f a l l of 30 to 45 inches. The regrowth vegetation which develops on abandoned farms in the savannah areas consists of short grasses. These may be grazed by cattle or burned annually, so that regeneration of the s o i l i s relatively slow even i f the fallow periods are long. The Role of Natural Fallow The function of natural fallows i s twofold. The f i r s t function l i e s in the expulsion of weeds resulting from cultivation. As seen from Table 3.1 the troublesome weeds are totally expelled by the time the climatic climax i s formed. This i s very important bearing in mind that the prohlem of weed control i s one of the fundamental reasons for abandoning farms. The second function i s to build up nutrient capital i n soils for the benefit of TABLE 3.2 NUTRIENTS STORED IN TYPICAL TROPICAL FALLOWS Place Rain Length of Part of Oven-dry Wt. Composition % Nutrients Stored lb./acr« (in. p.a.) Fallow Vegetation 1 ,000 lb./acre P K Ca Mg N P K Ca Mg Moist Evergreen Forest Kade, 65 40 year mature Trash 22.7 1.88 0.126 0.76 1.90 0.26 428 29 173 433 59 Ghana secondary forest Lianes 12.9 1.18 0.051 0.43 1.94 0.15 152 7 56 250 19 Wood with bark 154.5 0.42 0.026 0.24 0.58 0.09 652 40 378 897 149 Dead wood 64.1 0.32 0.026 0.05 0.73 0.07 205 17 32 468 46 Stumps 43.7 0.38 0.040 0.19 0.38 0.07 166 18 83 166 31 Litter 2.0 1.54 0.057 0.45 1.98 0.24 31 1 9 40 5 Roots 22.1 0.86 0.045 0.35 0.59 0.18 191 10 78 130 39 i o • «x Total (excluding roots) 300 1634 : 112 731 : 2254 309 1 Moist Semi -Deciduous Forest Kumasi, 60 20 year(approx.) Leaves 5* 2.52 0.136 0.85 1.54 0.48 126* 7* 43* 77* 24* Ghana secondary forest Stem 100* 0.32 0.025 0.30 0.31 0.15 320* 25*300* 310*150* mean values for 14 Litter 5* 1.29 0.054 0.44 1.59 0.31 65* 3* 22* 80* 16* semi-decid. spp. 110* 511* 35*365* 467*190* •Figures estimated or measured very approximately. Source: Nye, P.H. and Greenland, D.J., 1960 The Soil Under Shifting Cultivation, Tech. Comm. No. 51 Commonwealth Bureau of Soils, Harpenden, pp. 24 and 25. - 51 -succeeding crops. Typical amounts of nutrients stored, i.e. the nutrient capital, i s shown in Table 3.2. The restoration of productivity of soils under natural fallows i s also associated with the build-up of organic matter during the fallow period. It is estimated that in typical forest regrowth, about six to eight tons per acre of organic matter are added annually. In the savannah areas the amount of organic matter added i s about one ton per acre. The rate of mineralization of humus appears to vary with the organic matter present: the higher the amount of humus the higher the rate of mineralization. Consequently the rate of mineralization i s relatively slower in the savannah regions. A colloidal matrix is formed by the humus i n which nutrients are absorbed to be drawn upon as need be. The extensive root system of intensely competitive plants ensures maximum absorption of nutrients. Thus, despite the heavy rains, loss of minerals due to run-off i s so minimal that i t lean be compen-sated for through fixation of nitrogen in leguminous plants and absorption of minerals released by weathering of rocks (Geertz, 1969). Humus also improves the physical qualities of the so i l particularly the structure and aeration. The bulk of humus concentrates at the s o i l surface thus contri-buting to the sta b i l i t y of crumb structure and hence the pore spaces favourable to plant growth. Humus also increases the moisture holding capacity of s o i l s . It stores sufficient amounts of water in i t s colloidal matrix while allowing gentle run-off with minimum erosional hazards. Problem of Comparison It may appear senseless to compare two systems of agriculture developed in different ecosystems. However, this i s necessary in order to explore means to improve shifting cultivation. - 52 -The disadvantages of shifting cultivation are more obvious than the advantages* It i s labour intensive. This may be an advantage in unindus-t r i a l i z e d agricultural societies. It becomes a problem only when a pre-dominantly agricultural economy tends to concentrate on other economic activity needing urgent supply of labour in event such as discovery of petroleum. Shifting cultivation i s often c r i t i c i s e d for unproductive use of land since the long time assigned to natural fallows may lead to pressures on land. Viewed in this respect, i t may be argued that[shifting cultivation does not lend i t s e l f to economic use of land. It follows from the fact that the system i s only suitable as long as fallow periods can be maintained for adequate periods, that yields of crops can be expected to decline when the fallow period i s reduced; so that the system works only when the ratio of land in fallow to land in use i s appreciably high (Ann, 1970). The system i s susceptible to breakdown through irreversible ecological deterioration. In South-East Asia as a result of insufficient fallow and burning period the forest was replaced by the notorious savannah grass called imperata which has turned much of Asia into a "green" desert (Gourou, 1953). There i s a considerable loss from the nutrient capital following burning. Between 600 and 900 pounds of nitrogen bums out of a single acre of forest and further-more, much of the nutrients i n the ash i s washed away before there i s time for i t s u t i l i z a t i o n by plants. Cultivars are less hardy than the original species in forest communities and hence the technique of accelerating and channelling nutrient transfer through deliberate production of ash hardly works, hence the erosion of nutrients (Gourou, 1953). - 53 -To sum up the disadvantages, the F.A.O. (1957) writes: Shifting cultivation in the humid tropical countries i s the greatest obstacle not only to the immediate increase of agricul-tural production, but also to the conservation of the production potential of the future, i n the form of soils and forests. In reacting to the F.A.O. Nye and Greenland (1960) write: Yet, though primitive and apparently wasteful, when not pushed to excess, shifting cultivation has for centuries given man his livelihood in the humid tropics, and i t i s significant that even now, after a quarter of a centrury of experiment i n the African tropics, we have failed to Introduce to the forest regions any method of staple food production superior to the system of natural fallowing used i n shifting cultivation. On the contrary, failure to appreciate its nice adjustment to the tropical environment has led to many disappointments ... the disasters brought on by agricultural methods which have taken no account of the treasures of wisdom and experience accumulated in the old tropical system are a sufficient'/proof of the latter* s value. It can be improved, but only i f the reasons for i t s processes are f u l l y understood (Greenland and Nye, 1960, p. v i ) . The view that shifting cultivation i s incapable of coping with population and economic pressures can only be received with skepticism. Contrary to popular opinion the author of this study shares the view of two respondents of the questionnaire r (1972),that no genuine attempts have been made to improve upon the system. The prevailing attitude un t i l the Second World War was to condemn the system and seek to replace i t by a more European type of agriculture. It was only recently that the basic principles of so i l science on which true understanding of tropical soils can be based was formulated. As Nye and Greenland (1960) have suggested i t i s premature for F.A.O., for instance, to write that "shifting cultivation in the humid tropical countries i s the greatest obstacle not only to immediate increase of agricultural production, but also to the conservation of the production potential of the future i n the form of soils and forests".(Nye and Greenland, - Sh -1960, p. v l ) . The F.A.O.'s assistance in tropical agricultural development is oriented to the cultivation of export crops, i . e . the crops which are more important internationally. Even to date agronomic needs of the important staples such as plaintain, cocoyam (Colocasia antiquorum), millet (Eleusine coracana), Guinea corn or sorghum and others have not been attended to. F e r t i l i z e r s are prepared specially for specific crops such as maize and r i c e . Even in temperate agricultural zones where s o i l f e r t i l i t y i s supposedly high, f e r t i l i z e r s are applied l i b e r a l l y to a l l useful agricultural crops. t There are essentially two main reasons why tropical farmers practise shifting cultivation. The f i r s t reason i s due to declining f e r t i l i t y which they have no means to preserve other than to leave the farms fallow (Ann, 1970; Rappaport, 1971). Virgin lands are cropped longer than second-ary forest lands because the former are more productive. By f a i l i n g to f e r t i l i z e the crops on local farms, by destruction of the shade, by dis-couraging mixed planting, among other techniques, the agricultural e l i t e have discouraged the traditional system of farming without f i r s t checking i t s efficacy. The other reason for practising shifting cultivation i s due to the problem of weeds. In the tropics the application of available herbicides may destroy the s o i l microbiota. An improvement upon simple traditional tools might prove to be a better and more conservative means of checking weed growth and also of protecting the s o i l structure and erosion hazard and of course laterization. So far in the tropics i t i s only with rice that monoculture as an approach to crop development has been successful (Geertz, 1968). - 55 -A sympathetic assessment of the value of shifting cultivation i s desirable. Besides offering an ecologically suitable technique for u t i l i z i n g energy from a delicate system i t i s also economically and socially adapted to the resources of the farmers. Schlippe aptly states: Originally every human group has built i t s culture "from the ground up". Food production, which in a l l except the most primitive societies takes the form of agriculture, i s i t s foundation. Agriculture i s one of the main links between a human group and the "landscape" in which i t lives and which i t exploits. Through agri-culture every environment has taught i t s inhabitants a certain way of l i f e . The teacher of a culture i s i t s environment, and agri-culture i s i t s classroom. The more refined functions of a culture, laws and customs, social and p l i t i c a l organizations, morals and beliefs, are in a sense the superstructure on the foundation of agriculture (Schlippe, 1955; p. v i i ) . Shifting cultivation in the forest regions i s adapted to the annual cycle of farming a c t i v i t i e s . The dry season provides the opportunity of drying and burning the cleared material before the rains. The newly planted crops benefit from the ash; despite loss of nitrogenous compounds i t i s interesting to note that nitrate i s at i t s highest level at the beginning of the rains, which favour a vigorous vegetative growth. The shade l e f t over after clearing gives some protection to the s o i l , as do the existing roots which are le f t undisturbed; only a relatively superficial cultivation is practised by means of machete and hoe to plant seeds or suckers. Mixed cropping also presents a protective coverage for the s o i l . Though a weed problem exists insofar as i t may reduce yields, inadequate weeding, parti-cularly towards the end of the cropping season, protects the s o i l against heating up and erosion, and when farms are abandoned to fallow, weeds f a c i l i t a t e vegetation growth. Establishment and maintenance of farms i s - 56 -inexpensive as very l i t t l e capital expenditure i s involved for purchasing hand tools and hiring labour. Provided that fallow periods are long enough s o i l regeneration i s usually e f f i c i e n t . However, many of the advantages of shifting cultivation mentioned above apply only to the forest region and not the savannah areas, because of the absence of vegetative cover and shade. A very striking difference between shifting cultivation and permanent agriculture as practised i n the temperate agricultural zone i s that net primary productivity i s lower in the tropics than i t is in the temperate zone, where a much more efficient system of agriculture seems to have developed in the present century. This phenomenal success is associated with the parallel use of auxiliary energy flow. In Table 3.3 are shown the annual yields of edible food and estimated net primary production of major food crops at three levels: (1) fuel subsidized agriculture (U.S., Netherlands, Canada or Japan); (2) l i t t l e or no fuel subsidy (India, Braz i l , Indonesia or Cuba) and (3) world average. The sad irony of the situation i s that while only thirty per cent of the world's population live in these developed countries with per capita G.N .P. of usually more than $1,000 per annum and a low population growth rate of about one per cent, 65 per cent of the world's population lives i n developing countries mostly in the tropics with a per capita G.N.P. of less than $100 per annum but having a high rate of population growth of more than two per cent (Odum, 1971). It i s also ironic that in order to force up production the super-efficient Western countries put into growing every pound of grain etc. more energy in the form of fuel than can be extracted in the form of biomass. In other words, the developed countries are l i v i n g - 57 -TABLE 3.3 : ANNUAL YIELDS OF EDIBLE FOOD AND ESTIMATED NET PRIMARY  PRODUCTION OF MAJOR FOOD CROPS AT THREE LEVELS (1) Fuel Subsidized Agriculture (U.S., Netherlands, Canada or Japan) (2) L i t t l e or No Fuel Subsidy (India, Bra z i l , Indonesia or Cuba) (3) World Average EDIBLE PORTIONS ESTIMATED NET PRIMARY PRODUCTION Harvest Weight* (Kg/ha) Caloric Content 1 (Kcal/m2) Dry Matter Pro-duction* (Kcal/m2) Rate, Growing Season^ (Kcal/m2/day) Wheat - Netherlands 4,400 1,450 4,400 24.4 India 900 300 900 5.0 World average 1,300 430 1,400 7.2 Corn - U.S. 4,300 1,510 4,500 25.0 India 11,000 350 1,100 6.1 World average 2,300 810 2,400 13.3 Rice - Japan 5,100 1,840 5,500 30.6 Brazil 1,600 580 1,700 9.4 World average 2,100 760 2,300 12.8 White Potatoes - U.S. 22,700 2,040 4,100 22.8 India 7,700 700 1,400 7.8 World average 12,100 1,090 2,200 12.2 Sweet Potatoes and Yams - Japan 20,000 1,800 3,600 20.0 Indonesia 6,300 570 1,100 6.1 World average 8,300 750 1,500 8.3 Soybeans - Canada 2,000 800 2,400 13.3 Indonesia 640 260 780 4.3 World average 1,200 480 1,400 7.8 Sugar -Hawaii (from cane) 11,000 4,070 12,200 67.8 Netherlands (from beet) 6,600 2,440 7,300 40.6 Cuba (from cane) 3,300 1,220 3,700 20.6 World average(all sugar: beets and cane) 3,300 1,220 - -*Mean value 1962-1966 compiled from "Production Yearbook", Vol. 21 (1966), Food and Agricultural Organization, United Nations. ^Conversion, Kcal/gm harvested weight as follows: Wheat, 3.3; Corn, 3.5; Rice, 3.6; Soybeans, 4.0; Potatoes, 0.9; Crude Sugar, 3.7 (see USDA Agriculture Handbook No. 8, 1963). "Estimated on basis of 3X edible portion for grains, soybeans and sugar, 2X for potatoes (see text for explanation). ^Estimated to be six months (180 days) except sugar cane where sugar yields are calculated on 12 months growing season (265 days). Source: Odum E.P., 1971. Fundamentals of Ecology, p. 54. - 58 -on the world's capital of f o s s i l fuels'. A consequence of low food production and low per capita income, and aggravated by the upsurge i n population, i s low food consumption in the tropics. In Table 3.4 the estimated protein, calorie and fat contents of some West African and North American national diets are compared. The picture presented by this table shows the repre-sentative tropical countries to be consumers of food low i n quality and quantity, which tends to reduce resistance to disease. Against this back-ground has arisen the need to improve upon the traditional system of agri-cultural production or to develop alternate ways of food production* The f i r s t approach as has been suggested by Odum (1967) involves "the process of applying auxiliary work circuits into plant and animal systems from such energy r i c h sources as f o s s i l and atomic energy" (p. 71); the second approach i s complementary rather than alternative to the f i r s t approach and includes u t i l i z i n g game. These topics w i l l be discussed i n turn as part of the concept of "the green revolution". TABLE 3.4 ESTIMATED PROTEIN. CALORIE AND FAT CONTENTS OF SOME WEST AFRICAN AND NORTH AMERICAN NATIONAL PER CAPITA DAILY DIETS COUNTRY YEAR PROTEIN CALORIE FAT Total Protein Animal Protein Canada 1960-2 91.2 60.4 3,020 136.6 U.S.A. 1960-2 91.4 64.3 3,120 145.9 Gambia 1961-3 60.4 12.2 2,100 43.3 Ghana 1961-3 48.6 10.5 2,160 34.7 Ivory Coast 1961-3 52.3 10.3 2,290 80.6 Nigeria 1961-3 59.2 5.3 2,180 38.6 Mali 1961-3 64.2 10.9 2,120 41.0 Source: F.A.O., 1968, The State of Food and Agriculture, p. 178. - 59 -Green Revolution In the Tropics The green revolution has as i t s basis a revolutionary drive deriving i t s impetus from auxiliary energy flows. The dictionary definition of revolution i s complete change, turning upside down, a great reversal of conditions (Oxford, 5th Ed., p. 1069). What this means in the tropics i s the supercession of the traditional system of farming by temperate agri-cultural techniques. The auxiliary work ci r c u i t or energy subsidy must include selective breeding, f e r t i l i z a t i o n , i r r i g a t i o n , mechanization and chemical control of pests including weeds. "Those who attempt to improve foreign agriculture without supplying the auxiliary work from the industrial system do not understand the facts of l i f e . Recommendations to under-developed countries based on experience of advanced countries cannot succeed i f they are not accompanied by a tap-in to major auxiliary energy sources" (Odum, 1967; p. 71). The question to which we must address ourselves i s whether energy subsidies could enhance the development of tropical agriculture. There seems to be no simple answer: a "yes" or "no" answer may be an irrational response without a thoughtful appraisal of the receptivity of the tropical ecosystems to such technologies. As E. P. Odum (1971) points out, a factor which under one set of environmental conditions acts as a subsidy in the sense that i t enhances productivity may under a different set of environ-mental factors act as an energy drain which reduces productivity; hence, for example, the failure of the Br i t i s h Government Groundnut Scheme in Tanganyika in East Africa which was largely due to misconception of the intricate nature of topical ecosystems. Assuming that the abiotic com-ponents of the ecosystems were similar to those i n temperate zones, the British Agricultural experts removed by means of robust machinery the - 60 -protective cover to prepare the land for agriculture. The incidence of ecological boomerangs including erosion, loss of s o i l f e r t i l i t y and depri-vation of s o i l structure etc. resulted in abysmal failure of the gigantic project (Phillips, 1959; Thomas, 1962). Similarly in lota the Brazilian Government cleared large tracts of land with machinery and crops were planted. The result was very disappointing. McNeil sums up her observations as follows: What had appeared to be a rich s o i l , with a promising cover of humus, disintegrated after the f i r s t or second planting. Under the equatorial sun the iron rich s o i l began to bake into brick. In less than five years the cleared fields became vir t u a l l y pave-ments of rock. Today Iota i s a drab, despairing colony that t e s t i f i e s eloquently to the formidable problem laterite presents throughout the tropics. (McNeil, 1964; p. 100) Dahomey alsohas had similar experience on a wholesale scale of agri-cultural a c t i v i t y . Establishment of plantations resulted i n deep leaching of the s o i l which in about 60 years converted large areas into l a t e r i t i c bricks (McNeil, 1964). The impact of an advanced farming system on an indigenous socio-economic system i s also a subject of much concern on which social and natural scientists are speculating and making inferential judgements. Auxiliary energy flows have served as the secret miracle behind the phenomenal success of temperate agriculture, but whether they succeed or not in the tropics, w i l l depend on our a b i l i t y to deploy them wisely in the face of ecological and social constraints. Selective Breeding Selective breeding i s economically significant in agriculture. The hybrids of two corn inbreds, technically called the f i r s t f i l i a l generation yield many times as much as those of the parents (Brewbaker, 1964). - 6.1 -Many crops including poultry, livestock, corn, tomatoes, and sorghum are bred for commercial use. There are however attendant problems. The genetic expression of the beneficial effects of hybridization (technically known as heterosis) i s due to the dominance of one of the interacting homozygous genes in the f i r s t f i l i a l generation. The f i r s t problem encountered is that heterosis may change in subsequent f i l i a l generations due to segregation and recombination of genes. The only means of fixing heterosis i s by asexual reproduction. The commercial bananas from Gros Michel and Cavendish varieties of bananas are produced asexually by apomixls which is the development of seeds in the absence of f e r t i l i z a t i o n . However asexual reproduction has relatively limited application (Brewbaker, 1964). Selective breeding therefore must be a continuous process. It is not something that i s done once and forgotten. The second problem of selective breeding i s that the cultivars are poor in withstanding environmental stress; they tend to be susceptible to drought, disease and other limiting factors which can be offset only by providing irrigation and control of pests and weeds. While studying how best to derive maximum benefits from selective breeding i t is essential to select naturally evolved high yielding crops from indigenous varieties. These can be inter-cropped which i s a more desirable cultural practice i n the tropics. Some of the virtues of inter-cropping are the negation of incidence of disease and pest and the protective cover which they provide (Wrigley, 1961). Fe r t i l i z a t i o n F e r t i l i z e r can be beneficial but the a b i l i t y to employ i t usefully depends on a range of interacting factors including the level of training of government o f f i c i a l s , and f i e l d workers as well as the chemistry and means - 6.2 -of application of the f e r t i l i z e r s . The type and quantity of application wi l l depend on the s o i l type, s o i l pH, existing level of f e r t i l i t y , presence of sufficient quantities of humus and others. Most of the problems attendant to application come about when f e r t i l i z e r i s applied to so i l s poor in organic matter. On such soils run-off of f e r t i l i z e r s into streams i s excessive. This i n turn causes chemical pollution of water and eutrophication. Eutrophication i s the result of inorganic nitrates and phosphates being dis-charged or leached into water bodies such as lakes. The f e r t i l i z e r compounds provide a rich medium for the growth of algae. The death and decay of the algae deprives the water of oxygen so that f i s h and other l i v i n g things suffocate to death. Unwise use of f e r t i l i z e r s can also exhaust the s o i l , which follows from depletion of the organic matter content of s o i l s . It has been estimated that i n the U.S. for example as a result of unprecedentedly heavy application of inorganic f e r t i l i z e r s some one hundred million acres have been exhausted within a century (Dangon, 1970). Excessive consumption of nitrate contaminated drinking water may cause a physiological disorder known as methemoglobenia, which i s the result of reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. It i s particularly dangerous to children under the age of five years. In West Africa sufficient studies have not been made into nutrient requirements and f e t t i l i z a t i o n . This i s not to deny the fact that in some of the old research stations such as the W.A.C.R.I, or W.A.l.F.O.R. f e r t i l i z e r t r i a l s have been made. But even then, they are aimed at finding the agro-nomic needs of one crop or another. Widespread f e r t i l i z e r demonstration started only in 1962 in Nigeria, Togoland, Ghana, Gambia and Senegal by F.A.O.. within the Freedom from Hunger F e r t i l i z e r Campaign with the broad aim of - S3 -demonstrating the economic gain to farmers from f e r t i l i z e r use. The results show that f e r t i l i z e r application i s profitable. However the demonstrations were not carefully conducted. Results have also tended to shelve wide and important differences in response; the results are therefore average of the existing situation (Ahn, 1970). In order to obtain the maximum benefit from f e r t i l i z e r s i t i s necessary to undertake intensive research into a l l local factors, including s i c i o -economic considerations, because f e r t i l i z e r recommendations must be based on empirical facts rather than experience from elsewhere. Research to determine the agronomic needs of crops should not be limited to export crops only as has been the practice (Questionnaire response, 1972). The F.A.O. and the other responsible agencies associated with agricultural development in the tropics must realise that the problem of chronic food shortages facing tropical countries can be redressed only by focussing attention in the f i r s t instance on production of basic staples. Pesticides These include a l l the chemical compounds which are used to control pests and diseases and noxious weeds, trees and herbs. Agricultural insecticides have long been in use in West Africa. Research on herbicides however, has only recently started and they are not likely to be used extensively in the near future (M. A. Adansi, questionnaire respondent, 1972). Caution in the use of pesticides i s necessary for three reasons at least, namely, their non-specificity, their longevity or persistence, and their threat to s o i l 1 microbiota, wild-life and humanity. No commercially available pesticide i s specific to the pest against which i t i s directed. Pesticides usually have an effect on the whole - 6A -ecosystem in which the crop and pest are li v i n g , i . e . the various animals, insects and plants which provide food for one another so that they continue to co-exist in the same place inan intricate population equilibrium. Even the simplest ecosystems contain many species of plants and animals. Ecosystems in the wet tropics are the most complex of a l l . Insecticides thus k i l l harmful and beneficial insects alike. There i s also to be con-sidered insect resistance to pesticides such as the resistance of cocoa mirids to Gamma B.H.C. in Ghana (Questionnaire response, 1972). Due to the large number of generations that occur in the course of a few years mutant strains develop which are able to resist the insecticides in use. These must then be superseded by new biocides or the dosage of current control agents i n -creased. Chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides are very soluble in fatty substances but much less soluble i n water. Thus they tend to increase i n concentration from one trophic level to another through the food chain. The concentration in birds at the end of a food chain may be hundreds of times as high as that in animals further down the chain. In f i s h eating predatory birds the con-centration of DDT can cause genetic defects, s t e r i l i t y and death. Since man's position i n the food chain i s also at the top, he i s exposed to serious hazards (Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1970). Table 3.5 shows the mean concentration of DDT in human fat measured in parts per million. In many tropical countries DDT has been and i s s t i l l extensively used for the control of malaria and for specific crop pests. This explains why India has such a high mean value. In U.S. among the developed nations the mean concentration reflects intensity of use i n - 65 -agriculture (Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1970). Figures for Ghana may be very high, for the use of DDT has not been limited to agricultural and health needs. There have been reported cases where the insecticide has been used in fishing in the Volta (Lawson, 1970a)and in other rivers. TABLE 3.5 MEAN CONCENTRATION OF DDT IN HUMAN FAT (ppm) India U.S. U.K. Canada Germany 26 7 3.3 3.8 2.2 Source: Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1970. Resources and Population, p. 133. The effect of pesticides on soils i s a subject on which not much is known. However, i t i s suspected that some pesticides k i l l bacteria and other micro-organisms i n the s o i l , thereby disturbing the s o i l ecosystem. The complex processes by which these organisms return the dead organic matter to plants in the form of nutrients, may thereby be threatened. In the tropics this could badly affect the s t a b i l i t y of farming. There i s considerable evidence to suggest that insecticides may reduce s o i l f e r t i l i t y in this manner (Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1970). In summary broad spectrum biocides, while providing short term economic and public health gains, are an ecologically naive means of pest control. Irrigation A reliable supply of water in dry lands i s essential both for agri-culture and domestic purposes. In the Northern and Upper Regions of Ghana there i s a substantial water surplus during the rainy season. However, during the dry spell most of the streams and wells dry up and in many cases some people have to travel several miles each morning to draw water from - 66 -perennial rivers. What an exacting experience! Some farmers have in the circumstances reverted to being nomadic (Yirenkyi, 1970). In response to the need to raise agricultural productivity and to settle nomadic herdsmen permanently the Government of Ghana has undertaken many ir r i g a t i o n projects particularly in Northern Ghana* Unfortunately the special report prepared for the Ghana Government on irrigation in Ghana was not available at the time of writing. In West Africa small dams are successful (Ann, 1970). They are parti-cularly important in dry season vegetable gardening* A big dam, such as the Volta River dam, has obvious economic advantages. It could serve as a pivot for industrial development of Ghana and neighbouring counties. It i s also now providing water transportation between Ghana, Mali and Upper Volta (Anakwah, 1972). The water in the man-made lake could also provide water for ir r i g a t i o n . Nevertheless, big dams may easily upset the hydrologic cycle and cause other ecological hazards whose impact in the long-term consider-ation may be quite substantial* One of the negative effects of diversion of river water on to land by means of canal system i s the raising of the water table. An example may be cited from West Pakistan where, as a result of canal i r r i g a t i o n , the water table has risen as much as 79 feet in f i f t y years. The root zone in such areas becomes waterlogged. This, i n the f i r s t place, leads to inhibition of plant root8 and i n the second place as water evaporates through the surface soils i t leaves a concentrated deposit of salts in the upper few inches. In the early I960'8 West Pakistan was losing 60,000 acres of f e r t i l e cropland per year from waterlogging and salination (Naylor, 1963). - 67 -Dams have a further negative effect. They prevent downstream replenishment of nutrients as occurs annually during the flood. The effect of the Volta Dam on agriculture upstream through the vast tract of lands i n the savannah regions has not yet been studied, but the known effect of the dam on the riparian community below the dam is quite serious. The people have traditionally depended onthe seasonal regime of the water flow for their agricultural and fishing a c t i v i t y . The annual Volta floods have been associated with f i l l i n g adjacent creeks that l i e adjacent to the river. "The combined irrigating and s i l t i n g effect on the flooded land made i t a specially favoured area for agriculture, and the creeks, f e r t i l i z e d each year by new water containing nutrients, were also highly prized for the f i s h they supported. A further feature of the economic l i f e of the area was the clam industry in the river i t s e l f . The clams (Egeria radiata) grew in quantities in the bottom of the river and were collected by women for sale" (Lawson, 1970a). The elimination of the clam has led to irreversible socio-economic consequences which w i l l affect the riparian communities both upstream and downstream. The annual f e r t i l i z a t i o n of the agricultural lands i s no more and the f e r t i l i t y of such lands cannot be maintained even under the most sophisticated management. The seasonal flow has been super-seded by a steady flow greater than previous seasonal low flow rates in the downstream area, which means decreased salinity as the steady flow pushes out the sea water. This also ends the clam industry, for although the Volta clam grows well i n fresh water i t needs a periodic inundation of sea water to complete i t s l i f e cycle. The creation of big dams also brings attendant health problems. In the construction of the Kariba dam an extensive clearing was carried out - 68 -before inundation. This was necessary in order to prevent fishing nets from getting fouled by the submerged stumps and also to ease lake transport. In the case of the Volta extensive clearing could not be done except on a limited scale around important settlements, for the expense involved would have been formidable. Unfortunately, bilharzia, a debilitating disease caused by a parasitic flatworm and transmitted through an inter-mediate snail host, has been reported i n the cleared areas. The incidence of bilharzia i s apparently associated with the fact that aquatic weeds quickly establish themselves in the cleared areas favouring the build-up of the bilharzia snail (Bulinus rector) (Lawson, 1970ai. Perhaps i t would have been advisable to have l e f t the trees uncleared. The incidence of river blindness or onchocerciasis, i s also increasing. The effect of the dam on the fishing industry in the main body of the Volta i s too l i t t l e documented to permit any rational assessment. A study of possible effects of the dam on the climate has perhaps not yet been undertaken. Dams have definite l i f e spans which tend to shorten due to s i l t i n g . A long range h o l i s t i c or p l u r a l i s t i c socio-economic, agro-ecological and engineering plan i s essential i f Ghana i s to benefit from the Volta Dam and from the dams in the North. Agricultural Mechanization Agricultural mechanization i s "the application of a l l forms of power to agricultural operations of a l l types, so that the farmer is less and less dependent on his own physical labour and that of those helping him" (Ahn, 1970, p. 251). Agricultural mechanization includes (1) the processing of food products such as rice and coffee hulling, (2) mechanical and chemical control of weeds - 69 -of cultivation, (3) mechanical planting, harvesting, handling and f e r t i l i z e r application to crops, and (4) the mechanization of land preparation including clearing, ploughing, harrowing and other operations. Of the four aspects of mechanization listed above the fourth item is the most contentious. The advantages of mechanization are usually seen as labour saving devices. Mechanization makes i t possible to cultivate more land but unless regeneration i s possible by a quicker means than natural fallows, more cultivation only increases the pressure on land and reduces the resting periods. What often escapes the attention of experts is that mechanization does not necessarily increase yield per acre, although i t may increase the dally output of work per man. Even in temperate agricultural zones large scale mechanization i s sometimes associated with lower yields than are obtained by more labour intensive methods (Ann, 1970). Considerations for mechanization of land preparation must include r e l i e f : where there are steep slopes as in the forest zones of southern West Africa heavy mechanization i s a hazardous venture. In the case of the savannah region, however, the r e l i e f i s more nearly ideal for mechani-zation. Moreover, savannah crops such as guinea corn, millet, groundnut and cotton are more amenable to mechanised cultivation than forest crops such as cocoyam, plantain and tree crops. The s o i l types and associated climates are also issues for serious consideration. Mechanization involves high capitalization. It Is not enough just to import tractors, ploughs, harrows and the rest, there must be servicing and repair f a c i l i t i e s . Neglected or abused machines deteriorate fast and in the long run mechani-zation may become more expensive than hand methods. - 70 -There are also agro-ecological factors to consider. Mechanization encourages quick farming of too large areas at the expense of careful farming and also places undesirable emphasis on certain crops which are more amenable to mechanization than others. Since i t is well suited to large farms, mechanization tends to favour the consolidation of present day small farms. A very serious limiting factor of mechanization i s i t s unsuitability to the needs of tropical agriculture. The smaller types of tractors which are suitable i n temperate regions are often too light and deficient in power for heavy work and rough conditions i n the tropics. "No continuous system of arable mechanized cultivation has yet proved workable and economic i n the conditions which prevail i n the forest zone of West Africa" (Ann, 1970, pp. 252-3). It becomes doubtful whether those who advise large scale mechanization i n Ghana are f u l l y appreciative of the p o l i t i c a l , social and agro-ecological implications. Animal Husbandry Active livestock husbandry is synonymous withthe advent of the white man on the African continent. This i s not to underestimate the importance of livestock husbandry but where, as i n Ghana, i t s efficiency i s limited i t becomes advisable to consider alternative means of producing meat. Domestication of livestock and poultry started some 4,000 years ago (Pirie, 1969). It stands to reason that the possibility of including some African fauna might have been overlooked. It i s also possible today to develop in Ghana game husbandry as i t i s now practised in the Transvaal in South Africa, Rhodesia and parts of East Africa. Conventional livestock production i s more convenient by far than game. The popularity of a livestock industry i s associated with the docile nature - 71 -of domestic animals and the ease with which these animals can be herded, doctored and slaughtered compared to native game (Ledger et al., 1967). Consequently, in the wake of the colonization of Africa the biotypes of several animals were transformed or destroyed. In Tanganyika the destruc-tion of game, especially the Zebra, was encouraged by distribution of premiums (Nasimovich, 1970). Game compete with livestock for pasture and watering places while certain ones are be lived to be carriers of various diseases, including typanosomiasis causing sleeping sickness in man and nagana in livestock. This lent psychological support for the deliberate destruction of game. John P h i l l i p s writes: Justifiably many veterinarians believe that the wild fauna of Africa, unless controlled in numbers, migration and contact with area6 in which livestock interests are paramount, i s a serious threat to the well-being of domesticated animals. It is thus essential that the problems be studied, so that suitable action be taken wherever the threats are imminent and serious (Philips, 1957, p. 71). The p r o f i t a b i l i t y of domestic animals in Africa i s now seriously questioned. It i s realised today that with some degree of domestication, game animals are far more profitable on large range than livestock. The relatively higher productivity of game i s explained by the fact that they are better adapted to the tropical environment than livestock. Ecological considerations impose limits on animal husbandry. Climate affects animal production both directly and indirectly; direct effects result from such factors as temperature, radiation, humidity and length of daylight, while indirect effects operate through such factors as feed supply, parasites and diseases. A l l domestic livestocks are homeothermic. In other words they need to maintain their body temperature within the narrow range most suitable for - 72 -optimal metabolism while maintaining thermal balance between their heat production and loss or gain from the environment. This thermal balance can be expressed by the equation: M - E - F . C d - C v . R : 0 where, M : metabolic heat production E : heat loss from skin and respiratory passages by evaporation F 8 heat loss or gain by bringing ingesta to body temperature Cd = heat lost or gained by direct contact between skin and surrounding surfaces Cv : heat lost or gained by convections due to contact between a i r and contact R = heat lost or gained by radiation. Brody (1956) described the comfort zone of cattle as the temperature zone within which no excess demands are made on the temperature regulating mechanisms. This comfort zone i s between 30° and 60°F. for temperate type cattle and 50° and 80°F. for tropical type cattle. In tropical regions where cattle have to contend with high temperatures, various reactions occur which tend to maintain the animals i n a condition of thermostability. Above the upper limit of the comfort zone (80°F.) the thermoregulative mechanisms begin to f a i l . This causes an abrupt rise in rectal temperature, a decline in feed intake,, an increase i n water intake and a decrease i n productive growth processes. Observations on beef cattle in Tropical Queensland by Larkin (1954) have shown that high temperatures reduce daytime grazing. Davis and Merilen (1960) have also shown that at environmental temperature of 90°F. feed consumption of lactating holstein cows was depressed twenty per cent, while above 105°F. feed intake virtu a l l y stopped. - 73 -There i s l i t t l e experimental evidence on the effects of high temperature on growth rates of tropical type cattle. Most of the individual breeds are small at birth and grow slowly. Literature reviewed by Fihdlay (1954) and Hancock (1954) has shown that milk yiel d , butter fat content and solids are depressed by high a i r temperature. Hancock and Payne (1955) in their experiment with eight sets of identical twin cattle (half of which were reared in the F i j i Islands - tropical; and the other half in New Zealand -sub-tropical or temperate) found that the average milk production of the twins i n the temperate climate was 56 per cent higher than that of cows raised in the tropic zone. Cobble and Herman (1951) indicated a rise in the chloride content and a f a l l in the lactose and total nitrogen content of the milk when temperature rises above 90°F. It would be seen from Figures 2 and 3 of Chapter 2 that the comfort zone i s outside both the coastal and Guinea savannah areas where cattle and other domestic animals are reared. Besides high temperatures the short day lengths do not favour the growth of domestic livestock. The low productivity of cattle and other livestock i s also i n part due to their relatively higher susceptibility to tropical diseases including rinderpest, foot and mouth disease, anthrax, trypanosomiasis, deficiency diseases, and those caused by poisonous plants (Abeywickrama, 1964; Thomas, 1962). P h i l l i p s (1957) alluded to the fact that the uniformly high temperatures and high r a i n f a l l s and humidities do not favour growth; the animals become sparse, small, slow i n maturing and have low productivity. This i s more often seen in imported animals, and of course is a problem not encountered in native and therefore well adapted game animals. The same point has been made by Shaw and Corville (1950). - 74 -The need to provide feed at uneconomic rates also militates against livestock in the tropics. Typical grassland climates do not exist in the tropics. In fact the vast savannah regions as we know them today are f i r e climaxes which have originated from man's influence (Nye and Greenland, i960; Abeywickrama, 1964). Successful livestock production involves the provision of a sward dominated by a single or very few plant species, supplemented with grains, hay and/or silage which could only be maintained at great human cost. At a time when Ghana i s faced with low food production we must question the wisdom of sp l i t t i n g the resources for food production with goats, cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry since the rate of food energy con-version in livestock i s so low. Of the starch equivalent consumed by grazing animals only about ten per cent i s converted into edible animal products (Abeywickrama, 1962). Indeed continued overemphasis on livestock husbandry could seriously contribute to low food production. Livestock husbandry almost always results in over-grazing, because ideal husbandry measures are d i f f i c u l t to practise in the tropics. The feeding habits of cattle, sheep and goats also contribute to the problem. For instance grazing cattle tend to group together and move to and fro along the same paths, destroying the foot mats and disrupting the s t a b i l i t y of the s o i l structure.: Savannah soils are easily eroded. Sheep and goats on over-grazed land tear to ground level a l l available grass exposing the s o i l to the elements. As the result of overgrazing, the Masai people of Kenya for example have lost much of their agricultural land and are now restricted to comparatively small areas in the valleys and low plateaus. Estimates show that ten years ago the Kenya Masai had 973,000 head of cattle, 660,000 sheep and goat8 and a large number of donkeys, which was about double the carrying capacity of the land (Glover and Gwyne, 1961). Worthington (1962) reported that in the same year there was a severe drought which k i l l e d in Masailand in both Kenya and Tanganyika about three-fifths of the cattle. It i s known that game are more specialized than domestic livestock in their feeding habits. Some ungulates are capable of u t i l i z i n g producer species on marginal land unsuitable for domestic animals. Game are browsers or browser-grazers capable of u t i l i z i n g the shrubs and trees which hold the bulk of producer biomass. Further a wide spectrum of game can u t i l i z e this resource at different levels with no competition for food and space, and without doing any serious damage (Thomas 1962). Warthogs and pigs grub roots from underground, snails eat decomposing vegetation and f r u i t s , antelopes browse the shrub, grasscutters (Thryonomys swinderianus Temminik) cut grass and the elephants and monkeys feed from the top of trees* "The vegetation i s complex, the fauna i s complex, yet a l l blend together to feed in a we11-coordinated pattern in harmony with the physical factors of the land" (Adu, 1964, p. 13). Where there i s an adapted herbivorous fauna present in large numbers there is usually a migratory movement or periodic population shift among them, thus easing pressure on the land. Talbot e_t a_l. (1962) have shown that game animals have a rapid weight gain, reaching economically marketable size at an earlier age than domestic animals. Daily average gain of 0.06 kg for Thomson's gazelle to 0.24 kg for eland has been noted which compares with daily average gain of 0.14 kg for poorly managed cattle on unimproved rangeland in Rhodesia. Talbot et a l . (1962) have also shown that game have relatively high reproductive potential. - 76 -The live weights and weights of some mature animals are shown in Table 3.6. Columns 1 to 4 show the liveweights, carcass weight, carcass as percentage of liveweight and carcass lean as percentage of liveweight. In Column 3 the figures show that with the exception of the hippopotamuses a l l game species gave higher yields of usable meat than the thin zebu cows. The yields of eland, waterbuck, oryx, Grant's gazelle and Thompson's gazelle are comparable with those of the we 11-conditioned zebu bulls and steers reared i n a more favourable environment while the lesser kudu, Grant's gazelle and gerenuk yield much better than fat zebu cows. It i s interesting to note that kudu and gerenuk are the least dependent on water of a l l browsing animals but have the highest meat yields of a l l the species. It i s important to note that the carcasses of cattle contain substantially more fat than those of game. Thin, store, prime and fat cattle could be expected to yield carcasses with 45 per cent, 50 per cent, 58 per cent and 63 per cent usable meat containing percentages of fat i n the order of 12 per cent, 18 per cent, 28 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. The percentage of fat in game is relatively low, and the amount of muscular tissue therefore greater. It has been shown that game are superior to cattle i n their a b i l i t y to produce a greater weight of animal protein per unit of liveweight. Game husbandry is t i l l a novelty in many African countries but game harvesting on an organized commercial basis is an old industry practised among Ghanaians at least who "have a largely untapped fund of knowledge regarding wild l i f e and conservation that could perhaps be usefully incor-porated into management techniques and might produce ideas for further research" (Thomson, 1962, p. 173). In particular the hunters and farmers are well knowledgeable about l i f e cycles, feeding habits and habitats of game. Table 3.6 : LIVEWEIGHTS AND CARCASS WEIGHTS OF SOME MATURE EAST AFRICAN MAMMALS Species Sex Column 1 Co 1 limn 2 Column 3 Column 4 N. Liveweights Dressed Carcass Weights Carcass as % Liveweight Carcass lean as % of Liveweight X Kilos S.D. X LB. X Kilos S.D. X LB. X S.D. X S.D. Hippopotamus M A 1A89.8 22A.9 (3284) 6 AO. A 98.9 (1412) 43.0 2.4 32.3 1.8 n F A 1277.2 101.5 (2816) 535.3 56.8 (1180) 41.9 2.3 29.6 1.8 Buffalo M 8 753.0 69.6 (1660) 380.5 A5.7 ( 839) 50.5 2.3 40.6 2.A Eland M 5 508.1 63.2 (1120) 301.2 53.9 ( 664) 59.1 3.6 46.7 3.7 Zebu bulls M 10 A83.9 65.1 (1067) 280.A AO.2 ( 618) 58.0 3.0 39.8 2.1 Zebu steers M 70 A69.8 66.8 (1036) 270.6 A1.0 ( 596) 57.6 2.4 31.6 2.A Zebu fat cows F A 39A.8 41.1 ( 871) 23A.7 27.2 ( 5.8) 59.4 1.0 31.9 1.9 Zebu thin cows F 9 298.A 48.6 ( 658) 139.9 25.5 ( 308) 46.8 1.4 30.3 1.5 Zebra M 5 256.7 - ( 566) 1A1.2 - ( 311) 55.0 - 43.2 -II F 5 21A.1 - ( 472) 11A.9 - ( 253) 53.6 - 42.5 -Wildebeest (K) M 10 2A3.3 14.6 ( 536) 135.5 7.0 ( 299) 55.7 1.4 43.8 l.A " (K) F 10 192.0 .: 9 . 2 ( A23) 102.2 5.2 ( 225) 53.2 1.6 AO.9 1.1 Waterbuck M 10 237.7 18.3 ( 52A) 139.6 13.5 ( 308) 58.6 1.4 48.5 1.8 II F 10 181.0 11.2 ( 399) 106.6 7.3 ( 235) 58.9 1.8 A6.5 2.2 Wildebeest (S) M 10 203.0 11.4 ( AA8) 101.5 2.9 ( 224) 50.0 3.2 39.2 3.2 (S) F 10 160.3 12.6 ( 353) 82.A 8.0 ( 182) 51.4 2.2 38.6 3.5 Oryx M 10 176.A 12.1 ( 389) 100.6 8.1 ( 222) 57.0 1.7 A5.9 2.5 •i F 10 161.5 20.3 ( 356) 95.3 1A.2 ( 210) 58.9 2.5 A5.5 1.6 Kongoni(Hartebeeste) M 5 1A2.5 11.1 ( 31A) 81.5 7.5 ( 180) 57.2 1.4 A6.1 1.5 II II F 5 126.2 7.7 ( 278) 73.2 3.2 ( 161) 1 581 2.0 A5.9 1.6 Table 3.6 - Continued Species Sex N. Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4 Liveweights Dressed Carcass Weights Carcass as % Liveweight Carcass lean as % of Liveweight X Kilos S.D. X LB. X Kilos S.D. X LB. X S.D. X S.D. Topi M 10 130.8 9.1 ( 288) 70.8 4.9 ( 156) 54.2 1.9 43.6 1.4 II F 10 103.9 8.0 ( 229) 56.2 5.4 ( 124) 54.0 2«1 44.0 1.5 Kob M 10 96.7 5.8 ( 213) 55.8 4.3 ( 123) 57.7 1.9 47.8 1.7 II F 10 62.1 4.2 ( 137) 36.2 2.9 ( 80) 58.3 2.9 47.1 2.3 Lesser kudu M 10 92.1 14.4 ( 203) 57.1 8.6 ( 126) 62.1 1.5 50.0 2.2 Warthog M 10 87.8 7.5 ( 194) 48.2 5.8 ( 106) 54.7 2.5 45.4 3.1 II F 10 60.2 7.9 ( 133) 33.5 4.8 ( 74) 55.7 1.9 46.7 2.1 Grant'8 gazelle M 6 60.1 6.2 ( 133) 36.4 3.7 ( 80) 60.5 2.2 48.2 1.7 II II F 5 41.3 1.5 ( 91) 24.4 1.9 ( 54) 59.0 3.3 45.7 2.4 Irapala M 10 56.7 2.6 ( 125) 33.0 1.6 ( 73) 58.1 0.9 47.3 1.7 II F 10 42.0 2.6 ( 93) 24.5 2.0 ( 54) 58.3 3.0 37.1 2.2 Gerenuk M 5 31.2 2.1 ( 69) 20.3 1.0 ( 45) 65.0 2.1 52.4 2.4 Thomson'8 gazelle M 10 25.3 1.6 ( 56) 14.8 1.0 ( 33) 58.6 2.1 48.1 2.6 II II F" 10 18.4 1.2 C 41) 10.5 0.8 ( 23) 57.1 2.1 45.5 1.8 Thomson's gazelle (S) M 10 20.3 1.7 ( 45) 11.0 1.1 ( 24) 54.2 1.7 43.3 1.9 " " (S) F 10 16.9 1.3 ( 37) 9.1 1.0 ( 20) 53.6 3.7 40.8 3.2 X - average weights (kilograms and pounds) S.D. - standard deviation K - Kajiado, Kenya S - Serengeti, Tanzania Source: Ledger, H.P., Sachs, R. and Smith N.S. 1967. Wildlife and Food Production - World Review of Animal Production # II, pp. 18-19. - 79 -They are less well informed about the diseases of game. The Research Institutions, including the Division of Animal Health in the Ministry of Agriculture, the Universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (C.S.I.R.) can f u l f i l l their role in this respect*. It i s believed that there are s t i l l substantial quantities of various animals in the game reserve and elsewhere. The Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture, the universities and the-CjQttflGtV must co-operate in a joint effort to develop the Mole Game Reserve and the others into viable economic units. As previously stated game reserves per se have very l i t t l e economic significance; i t is proper conservation reserves that make the difference. This must ensure not only the preservation of a quality environment but must also ensure a continuous yield of useful plants, animals and materials by establishing a balanced cycle of harvest and renewal. The Mole Game Reserve could also be developed as a recreational resort. Well planned and implemented i t could serve as a model for other reserves i n various parts of the country. CHAPTER 4 ECONOMICS OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION Ghana as an Agricultural Country That Ghana is an agricultural country is indicated by the iaportance of agriculture to the general economy. Agriculture i s the largest and the most important single industry absorbing the bulk of the labour force and contri-buting immensely to the Gross National Produce (G.N.P.). As seen in Table 4.1 the percent of population in agriculture and the percent of the jpopulation that i s economically active i n agriculture i s very high i n Ghana and the other West African countries relative to those of more developed countries ; such as Canada and the U.S.. Percent of population in agriculture includes a l l persons depending on agriculture, forestry and hunting and fishing for their livelihood and percent of population economically active i n agriculture includes a l l persons engaged in economic activity whether as employees own-account workers, salaried employees or unpaid workers assisting i n the operation of a family farm or business (F.A.O. 1970, p. 301). - 80 -- 81 -TABLE 4.1 AGRICULTURAL POPULATION AND POPULATION ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE IN AGRICULTURE  AS PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL POPULATION AS ESTIMATED FOR 1965 PRESENTED FOR WEST AFRICA AS AGAINST AMERICAN COUNTRIES Country % in Agric. % Economically Active Nigeria 79 80 Dahomey 84 84 Togoland 79 79 Ghana 60 56 Ivory Coast 86 86 Liberia 80 80 Gambia 88 86 Sierra Leone 89 75 Mali 90 90 Guinea 85 85 Upper Volta 88 87 Cameroon 84 84 Canada 9 11 U.S.A. 6 6 Source: F.A.O., 1970. Production Year Book Vol. 24, pp. 21-22. In Table 4.2 percentages of agricultural produce in overall export commodities for the period 1966 to 1969 inclusive are shown. While in Sierra - B2 -Leone agricultural export as percentage of total national export i s relatively small, agriculture i s the economic base and the most important economic activity i n a l l West African countries. TABLE 4.2 : PERCENTAGE CONTRIBUTION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE iIN OVERALL EXPORT AND  PERCENTAGES OF MAJOR EXPORT CROPS IN SELECTED WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES Country Commodity Percentage 1966 1967 1968 1969 Ghana Agric. in total export 68.6 71.1 70 61.6 Cocoa in total agric. crops exported 96.8 97.7 97.7 98.1 Other crops in total agric. exported 3.2 2.3 2.3 1.9 Nigeria Agric. in total export 50.8 55.6 66.7 44.4 Cocoa in total agric. export 20 41.3 37.6 37.1 Groundnut i n total agric. export 35. 32 34.4 32.9 Togoland Agric. in total export 96.2 92.5 Coffee i n total agric. export 22.9 11.5 Cocoa in total agric. export 19.8 32.2 Palm products in total agric. export 15.6 6.0 Groundnuts in total agric. export 1.5 2.0 Cotton i n total agric. export 3.6 5.7 Mali Agric. i n total export 98.8 98.4 98.1 96.5 Livestock products in total agric. exp. 29 26.1 15.7 48.8 Oilseeds,oilnuts,oil kernels in total agric. export 11.0 14.1 18.1 8.9 Groundnut in total agric. export 9.8 11 10.8 2.8 Raw cotton in total agric. export 23.9 30.1 40.3 10.0 Sierra Agric. in total export 21 10.1 21.4 14.5 Leone Coffee i n total agric. export 18.1 6.7 19.3 23.9 Cocoa in total agric. export 6.6 31.6 14.4 22.6 Palm kernel and o i l i n total agric.exp. 45.6 40.2 54.8 42.6 Upper Agric. in total export 92.5 94.4 74.9 95.5 Volta Livestock in agric. exports 67.3 53.1 52.9 39.4 Palm products in total agric. exports 13.0 13.7 17.3 17.7 Groundnuts in total agric. exports 5.7 • 9.2 6.0 4.5 Source: Year Book of International Trade S t a t i s t i c s , U.N., 1969 .83 -Other features characterising Ghana's agricultural system include low productivity, labour oriented agriculture, low per capita incomes, low levels of consumption and investment, and a weak base oriented to the production of a few export crops, particularly cocoa* The Role of Agriculture in the General Economy Because of the key role of agriculture in the economics of tropical countries and the comparative advantage which tropical countries have i n agriculture over other industries at the present level of economic develop-ment, i t is imperative that the agricultural sector be well developed* Unfortunately the importance of agriculture in economic development tends to be overlooked or downgraded by misuse of the money allocated to agriculture, which ultimately places agriculture at a disadvantage. In the 1950*8 most development economists argued in favour of industrialization on the grounds that this i s the key to economic development. It was not unt i l Arthur W. Lewis (1954) put forward his classic exposition on the role of agriculture, which was confirmed through research by other economists, that the attidue changed. Lewis (1954) wrote: It is not profitable to produce a growing volume of manufactures unless agricultural production i s growing simulataneously. This i s why industrial and agrarian revolutions always go together, and why economies in which agriculture i s stagnant do not show industrial development,(Lewi8, 1954; p. ). Important as industrialization i s in economic development, i t i s essen-t i a l to develop a balanced relationship between industry and agriculture in order to avert serious economic d i f f i c u l t i e s such as those which Soviet Russia and Argentina, for example, have encountered (Baxter, 1964). Too rapid industrial capitalization tends to retard economic growth since there may be insufficient supply of agricultural raw materials to feed the industry. - 84 -Similarly, the agricultural sector may not have been sufficiently adjusted to release labour, and as is too often the case the people i n agriculture may be financially weak to support an industrial market. The role of agriculture in economic growth consists essentially of increasing food supplies while releasing labour to industry, increasing capital formation and contributing to the s t a b i l i t y of market economies* The extent to which these functions have been f u l f i l l e d could best be answered by a careful assessment of the role of agriculture i n the economy* On the one hand the contribution made by agriculture to sustain the growth of the Ghanaian economy is substantial. Agriculture absorbs between 56 and 60 per cent of the labour force (Table 4.1). It i s also the main source of national revenues. For example, in 1961 alone domestic food production accounted for £167 million which was roughly one-third of the Gross Domestic Product of Ghana. Agriculture alone provided more than 50 per cent of some £500 million worth of tax revenues from a l l economic a c t i v i t i e s . Since the 19th century International Trade has been a great stimulant to the growth of the economy of Ghana. Most of the commodities consisted of agricultural products, f i r s t rubber and then oilpalm until the advent of the cocoa industry during the early part of the present century. It i s out of agricultural exports that Ghana has financed those imports of capital and consumer goods which have contributed to the maintenance of a rapid rate of economic growth and a general standard of l i v i n g that i s accepted as amongst the highest in Africa (Seven-Year Development Plan, 1964; Ch. 4, p. 1). Since the Second World War income from the agricultural sector has almost single-handedly financed a l l advances in the way of modernization of Ghana including education of Ghanaians both locally and i n overseas s 85 ' institutions, the building of Ghana's universities, secondary schools, trade and technical institutions, and elementary schools, the development of a telecommunications network, hydro-electric power and other economic projects. Of a total income of £ 700 million earned from export of cocoa during the period 1951 to 1961, £420 million was paid directly to the cocoa fanners. The bulk of this money went into private investment, such as building modern houses, road8, and water supplies. In many villages "Town Development Committees" were formed which provided guidance for general development i n those villages. The rapid growth in urbanization i s largely associated with the prosperity of the cocoa industry. The remaining 280 million which the Government retained went to maintain public services, to finance development and to build up foreign exchange reserves. On the other hand, the impressive record of the agricultural sector i s somewhat marred by mismanagement of planning strategy governing the system of production. The most pervasive effect of this mismanagement i s found i n low domestic food production and i n s t a b i l i t y in the domestic market economy. The main causes for mismanagement of the system of agricultural production are two-fold, namely: (1) the p o l i t i c a l fact of colonial and semi-colonial dependency leading to the establishment of a weakly-based agricultural economy dominated by the cocoa industry, and (2) the mechanical transfer and implementation of mechanization and other techniques which are inappropriate to the tropical situation (Ward, 1966). These causes w i l l be discussed together with their impact on the economy. The P o l i t i c a l Fact of Colonial and SemjColonial Dependency The development of the cocoa industry in Ghana was in response to the industrial needs of Britain in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. - 86 -Although the modernization of the Gold Coast (as Ghana used to be called) was initiated by Britain i t was largely the industry and diligence of Ghanaians that made the programme of modernization possible ( H i l l , 1963). Yet Ghanaians were denied any say in the course of development, let alone being allowed to make decisions to change the pattern and quality of their economic l i f e . For example, following the outbreak of swollen shoot virus disease in cocoa trees i n 1947, the Ashanti Confederacy Council in their wisdom expressed deep concern over the economic advisability of continued adherence to a one-crop economy (Stamp, 1953). This was not heeded by the Colonial Administration for obvious reasons. The Colonial Administration foorid an excuse in the traditional belief in laissez-faire. The truth was that a successful cocoa industry in Ghana favoured the interests of B r i t i s h Colonial investment and the sustained growth of the Br i t i s h economy at large. A strong Nationalist Government was needed to change the course of history (Ward, 1966). Prior to the establishment of the cocoa industry agriculture was at subsistence level. Nevertheless, farmers produced food in sufficient quantities to feed the people at minimal cost. Rubber and oilpalm cultivation had been commercialized but had barely advanced beyond a mediocre level. The f i r s t major attempt towards commercial farming came with the establishment of the cocoa industry. Cultivation of cocoa was encouraged by providing better marketing f a c i l i t i e s . Indeed i n the 1930's the production of cocoa had become the most profitable agricultural a c t i v i t y . According to the F.A.O. scale of values cocoa was six times as profitable as maize. In an attempt to insulate the Ghanaian cocoa farmer from the uncertainties of the world cocoa market the Cocoa Marketing Board, C.M.B., was established as the sole buyer, - 87 -grader, seller and exporter of cocoa (Fitch and Oppenheimer, 1966). In Table 4.3, the producer and export prices of cocoa are presented which shows that, at least in part, the theory behind the formation of C.M.B. was consciously, executed. Throughout 1950 the price paid to producers fluctuated within narrow limits from £112 to a maximum of £149 per ton while the export price moved between £189 to£358 per ton. Although the producer price was lower than the export price, the operation of the C.M.B. provided the necessary assurances against the risks and uncertainties of marketing. TABLE 4.3 COCOA PRODUCER PRICES AND EXPORT PRICES 1947-48 TO 1960-61 1 Crop Year Pounds per Ton Producer Price as Percentage of Export Price Producer Price Average Export Price £ £ 1947-48 75 201 37.3 1948-49 121 137 88.3 1949-50 84 178 47.2 1950-51 131 269 48.7 1951-52 149 245 60.8 1952-53 131 231 56.7 1953-54 134 358 37.4 1954-55 134 353 38.0 1955-56 149 222 67.1 1956-57 149 189 78.8 1957-58 134 304 44.1 1958-59 134 280 48.0 1959-60 112 226 49.6 1960-61 112 175 64.0 Source: Bob Fitch and Mary Oppenheimer, 1966. Ghana, End of an Illusion, Monthly Review Press, New York, p. 41 - 88 -Thus cocoa farms sprang up like mushrooms. First i t was i n the Eastern Region from where i t spread to the Volta Region, the Central Region, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo. In the wake of the cocoa industry there followed a spon-taneous immigration of workers from Northern Ghana and Volta Region as well as some neighbouring countries including Mali, Guinea and the Upper Volta. To provide for agronomic needs and control measures against pest and disease, the W.A.C.R.I, was established. As i f by design the cultivation of food staples was le f t neglected throughout the country. The cocoa farmers of Ghana and Western Nigeria who made the cultivation of cocoa their main economic activity "became more deeply immersed in the market mechanism and learned to accept increasing depersonalized provision of consumption goods, even to the extent of obtaining a large part of their food supply by purchase" (Jones, 1965; p. 37). Effect of One-Crop Economy While i t may be argued that the cocoa-dominated economy has played a useful role, nevertheless the industry i s regionalised. Consequently, the cocoa growing areas especially Ashanti, the Eastern Region, the Central Region and to a less extent the Volta Region and the Western Region, are more developed than the Upper and Northern Regions, which have served as sources of cheap labour for the Government and business institutions. This was the beginning of the creation of regional disparities. From the national point of view such an economy i s unbalanced; i t is only by a properly planned agricultural development that the least developed regions w i l l be freed from the shackles of poverty and i l l i t e r a c y . Neglect of production of staple foods leads to an increase-in the cost of li v i n g and i t s impact i s f e l t throughout the country. As shown in Table 4.4 - 89 -TABLE 4.4 FOOD EXPENDITURE AS A PERCENTAGE OF INCOME AND WELFARE INDEX Countries Food Expenditure as a percentage of income Welfare Index Ivory Coast 80 1.25* Thailand 71 1.41* Iraq 70 1.43* Jamaica 69 1.45* India 66 1.57* Egypt 66 1.57* Ghana 66 1.57* Colombia 43 1.58* Japan 49 2.04* Netherlands 38 2.60* U.K. 33 3.03* U.S. 31 3.221 Source: F.A.0. 1959, The State of Food and Agriculture *Copied from: Encyclopaedia Britanica 1971 Consumption Vol. 6, p. 413 ^Copied from: W. Brand 1964 Economic Features of a Traditional Society, i n : Agricultural Planning Course, F.A.0. Rome in the developing societies including Ghana, Egypt, India and the Ivory Coast the relation between income and expenditure expressed as welfare index is lower than the welfare index for the more developed societies. This means that after paying for food they have very l i t t l e money left for other necessities of l i f e . The situation worsens when the world price of cocoa goes down, as the present trend has shown. -..90 -In a study on "The Ecology of Child Health and Nutrition in some West Nigerian Villages", W. R. F. Collins and others (1962) established a negative correlation between nutritional levels and the agricultural prosperity of the cocoa villages they studied. Therefore, Western Nigeria i s faced with the same economic hardship as Chanawhen world markets for cocoa are weak, cocoa being the economic base of the economy. Clarifying the cause of the social disorganization amongst the cocoa villagers they wrote: The reason for this i s that i t i s not enough to introduce a highly paying cash crop to an i l l i t e r a t e peasantry and expect them to profit by i t . What happens i s that i t tends to k i l l their traditional l i f e , merely putting money in their pockets for a short period in the year, during which time they enjoy themselves. When the money gets scarce, months before the next harvest, they find • themselves short of everything ... With money running out they can only buy the cheapest food, e.g. cassava and yams. Also the cocoa season is short and the cocoa farmer has very l i t t l e to do for the remaining part of the year but s i t around. Such idleness i s not refreshing rest that comes after labour, but sterile boredom in which man's mind and body degenerate, leaving him unhappy and d i -contented (Collins et a l . , 1962; pp. 223-24). The Eastern Region of Ghana i s in a similar position though the impact on the nation as a whole is more serious than Nigeria. Since cocoa i s not the mainstay of i t s economy, Nigeria is less affected than Ghana by the declining prosperity of the cocoa industry. Ghana i s in a dilemma. Year in and year out the country has to import substantial amounts of food which badly affects the staggering economy. According to the Se\en-Year Development Plan: ... Ghana's agriculture has not been able to keep up with the growing demand for food in recent years and local food prices have risen steadily while a part of the demand for food has been met by increased imports. By 1961 the burden of food imports had become a contributory factor in the worsening balance of payments situation. Ghana had to spend over £26 million that year on food imports along, which was almost exactly equal to the total d e f i c i t on visible trade for the year. Ten years before the food import b i l l had amounted to £9.8 million, and i t i s estimated that with the rate of economic growth anticipated under the present develop-ment plan food imports, i f unchecked, w i l l have grown to some £ 5 0 million by 1970. It i s obvious that the Government cannot subsidize imported food to the extent which the average Ghanaian could afford i n sufficient quantity and quality. As the result many people especially those within the low income bracket are under-fed. Nutritional diseases such as kwashiorkor and marasmus in Ghana are taken as a matter of course. Kwashiorkor is a post-weaning protein deficiency disease which in Africa affects about one million children in the one to four year age group. Marasmus i s caused in children who simply do not have enough food to eat. P o l i t i c a l Hazards Patterns are emerging which suggest that there are serious p o l i t i c a l changes attendant on the declining prosperity of the cocoa industry. Three recent successful changes of government, two of which were by military coup d'etat and the third through democratic process, are a l l underlain by good intentions to set the economy right. A Ghanaian proverb says that when you cut off the head of a snake the rest i s nothing but a string. The shake's head symbolises Ghana's cocoa industry. This being crushed, the very destiny of Ghana would be broken. There are. a number of Ghanaians who strongly believe that control of the world price of cocoa i s a p o l i t i c a l weapon which the western powers have used against Ghana.' The overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's government i n 1966 was partly associated with the declining prosperity of the cocoa industry. He had introduced s t i f f economic measures which infringed on the standard of living of Ghanaians. Ghanaians, having enjoyed one of the highest standards of li v i n g , are apt to resist any economic measures which infringe on their standard of l i v i n g . Therefore, even the least p o l i t i c a l l y minded citizens are likely to reject the leaders and pledge loyalty to any organised - 92 -opposition to the ruling e l i t e . Since 1957, the year of Ghana's National Independence, a l l efforts to reach a favourable international agreement on the world price for cocoa has f a i l e d . Meanwhile the foreign reserves have been rapidly depleted which made i t d i f f i c u l t to provide for household and industrial consumption. Many Ghanaians had f e l t that with the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah the economy would be set right forthwith. By the same token Dr. K. A. Busia, subsequent c i v i l i a n executive after Dr. Nkrumah became a victim of economic circumstances, when he devalued the cedi (Ghanaian currency) on December 29, 1971. In his statement devaluing the cedi, he said among other things: ...inflation and increased prices in turn led to increase in unemployment in countries like Britain and the United States. That has meant less industrial activity and less income for the people of these countries. Since they have less to spend and less activity, there has been less demand for raw materials and for primary products like cocoa. Today's price for cocoa has thus come down to less than half the level i t was when we came into office two years ago (Busia, 1971; p. 1). His Government was toppled in a military coup on January 13, 1972, barely two weeks later. Again some Ghanaians applauded the coup in the hope that s t a b i l i t y in the economy would return. It is too early to pass comment. The weak base agricultural economy is a colonial legacy bestowed on the Independent State of Ghana. The B r i t i s h Colonial Administration working in i t s own interest failed to diversify the agricultural base. Against this background i t can be argued that only an Independent Nationalist Government can rectify the imbalance in production strategy. But as Lady Barbara Ward (1966) has pointed out i t does not always follow that when power descends into the hands of the local people the right decisions w i l l always be made. It seems that some serious mistakes have been made by the independent regimes. - 93 -There is no doubt that the Government of Ghana appreciated the dynamic interrelationship of industry and agriculture. This appreciation seems to be reflected in the comprehensiveness of a l l the development plans, beginning from 1957. Dr. Nkrumah used to say quite often that what had taken the more developed nations many decades to accomplish needed to be accomplished within a decade or less in the developing countries, adding that the best i s always good for Africa. True to his words the Seven Year Development Plan set forth elaborate plans to produce sufficient food, including large scale mechanized farms to be managed by the "State Farms Corporation", the Workers Brigade and Farmers" Co-operatives as well as private individuals. This unprecedented venture into the realm of economic development is i n line with Adlai Stevenson's "Revolution of Rising Expectations". The Seven Year Development Plan recognises that labour i s a major limiting factor in agricultural production. Against this background i t was there-fore envisaged that large-scale mechanized farms would provide an answer to the chronic problem of low food production. A look at Table 4.5 shows this determination. TABLE 4.5 GHANA GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY £G.000 1957 1958 1959 1960 151 182 291 733 Source: Republic of Ghana 1957-8. Problems and Prospects of Rural Developmer F.A.0. of the U.N., p. 23. • 943 s While these figures are unimportant in absolute terms they reflect an increasing trend towards mechanization (Republic of Ghana. 1957-8). Ghana was the first,developing African country to embark on mechanization in an endeavour to modernize the traditional system of farming. She has been commended for that (Brokensha, 1961). It i s obviously desirable to be able to feed one's people. But unfor*. tunately, as was pointed out i n the the discussion on the impact of the "Green Revolution" on tropical agriculture i n the previous chapter, whole-sale import of certain technologies such as i s inherent in modern agricultural machinery is frequently inappropriate i n the tropical setting. By adopting the wrong approach the Government of'Ghana did more harm than good to the sick economy which they sought to resuscitate. The inappro-priateness of such blind application of technology i s what Lady Barbara Ward refers to as "technological disproportion". In an obvious reference to the use of tractors and ancillary machinery in Ghana she writes: One can see the consequence of the maladjustments very clearly in some parts of Africa today. Inexperienced governments, trying out their hand in economic decision-making, find i t terrib l y tempting to buy the most up-to-date machinery which persuasive gentlemen from the North Atlantic area come to s e l l them. These salesmen c a l l their efforts "investment'.1. In fact they only offer suppliers' credits at f a i r l y high rates of interest and at prices which tend to be far above the international level. They are, as i t were, plumbing down great gobbits of advanced industrial tech-nology into countries where there i s neither the market nor the sraills nor the managerial capacity nor indeed any of the pre-conditions for such a technology to work successfully. These policies constitute not only a big block in the way of development, but they" do l i t t l e to improve economic relations between the North and South. They are bound, as in Ghana today, to precipitate a c r i s i s in the balance of payments. For how can these suppliers' credits be repaid when they have been invested in industrial structures which have absolutely no hope of paying their way? They were not related organically to any accurate economic - 95 -analysis in the f i r s t place. They were fancy goods sold from the western shop window and they are inappropriate in tech-nology and inappropriate as a stimulus to growth inside the economy. The factory chimneys may smoke indeed, but they are factories operating at one-third of capacity and producing goods which nobody can afford to buy locally and which do not compete on the world market. Under such conditions, a country may nominally industrialize and "develop" but in fact i t s standard of living actually f a l l s (Ward, 1966, p. 17). She has been proved right. Barely six years after she had written, Colonel Achcampong who led the coup against Busia 1s government has declared his intention to repudiate Ghana's debt incurred through dubious suppliers' credit. Mechanization, which is a labour saving device designed to substitute machinery fo manpower on a large scale, is the least desirable method in a country like Ghana where labour i s s t i l l cheap (Ann, 1970). It is pathetic that the Government overlooked this economic consideration. The Development Flans: 1959-64, and the Seven Year Development Plan sought to employ the rural population more profitably and to reduce disguised employment. One of the expected roles stipulated by the Plan i s to organise agriculture so as to be able to release human resources to industry. In pursuit of this aim the "Ghana State Farms Corporation", the Workers Brigade and Farmers' Co-operatives were established (Republic of Ghana, 1957-8). • These ideas might apply to temperate agriculture but were obviously out of context in the Ghanaian situation. By creating these farming organi-zations^ the Government of Ghana made i t possible for farmers to quit their farms. For lack of necessary ecological consideration in concert with lack of proper organization and other factors, the Government sponsored farms were not very successful. The effect of the failure of the State Farms etc. (Questionnaire response, McNeil 1964) was two-fold. In the f i r s t place i t - 96 -affected domestic food production adversely since the food supply from the Government sponsored farms could hardly compensate for the reduction in the food supply resulting from the departure of peasant farmers from their farms. In the second place these)Government sponsored farms were run at a loss, to the detriment of the economy. Following the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's government, later decisions to reduce the operation resulted in the lay-off of many workers. Economic problems have been created which w i l l be hard to solve. Professor Evans-Pritchard said in his classic monograph The Nuer that "... p o l i t i c a l institutions cannot be understood without taking into account the environment and modes of livelihood" (Brokensha, 1965, p. 2). After attain-ment of independence the continuedviability of the p o l i t i c a l unit can be sustained only when the country seriously assesses i t s potential i n terms °f the things i t can produce at the least cost to financial, human and natural resources. Dr. Nkrumah's dictum: "Seek ye f i r s t the p o l i t i c a l kingdom and i t s righteousness" would have had more impact i f he had seriously considered these factors. Since these factors were not considered the country i s s t i l l tied to the apron-strings of foreign domination. The developed nations have been able to control and dictate the pace of economic development in the poor nations through the so-called "aid" programme. R. A. Rappaport (1971) has attempted to show that economic imperialism and ecological imperialism are fundamentally interrelated. Natural phenomena are characterised by exchanges among systems which diff e r in complexity - the flow of energy and material resources are from the less complex to the more complex system. This principle i s not limited to such ecological relation-ships as predator-prey dynamics but also to relations between developed and less developed nations. Using arguments f i r s t raised by Gunden Frank, he - 97 -notes that in the development of agrarian societies through "aid" from industrialized nations the flow of wealth is from the former to the latter. As i s now known, economic development under the impact of temperate agricultural techniques favours ecological simplification, encouraging a shift from diverse subsistence agriculture to the cultivation of a few crops for export. To conclude, Rappaport said: It may not be improper to characterize as ecological imperialism the elaboration of a world organization that is centred in industrial societies and degrades the ecosystems of the agrarian societies i t absorbs. Ecological imperialism is in some ways similar to economic imperialism. In both there i s a flow of energy and material from the less organized system to the more organized one, and both may simply be different aspects of the same relations. Both may also be masked by the same euphemisms, among which "progress" and "development" are prominent (Rappaport, 1971; p. 132). If such things as ecological imperialism and economic imperialism exist i t i s the view of this study that i t i s the former which manifests i t s e l f in the latter. This stance is based on the fact that ecological imperialism i s the tool by which material resources drain from developing to the developed societies. Economics of Research Tropical countries regard fundamental research as a luxury. Many African countries are desperately short of money. At the present stage of economic development they find i t advisable to invest in local projects capable of immediate returns. Unfortunately, this i s why i t has been the practice to transfer technologies in a mechanical fashion. There are very good reasons why fundamental research must be pursued. It must be borne in mind that temperate technologies have evolved under different ecosystemic, social and p o l i t i c a l conditions. By mechanical transfer of techniques from temperate into tropical countries we have simply - 98 -succeeded in adding another serious dimension to the problems already facing the latter. In spite of the high level of technological achievement in Canada and the U.S., for example, they continue to invest large sums of o - -money in research. They do so in the belief that their knowledge about their environment is imperfect and only fundamental research can provide answers to the range of problems which show up through time. Through fundamental research Ghana as well as other tropical countries can unearth and solve some of the problems that militate against progress. Ideally fundamental research should be a l l embracing but where resources do not so permit pr i o r i t i e s must be drawn. In agriculture i t must assess the interactions of the climate, s o i l s , vegetation and other biotic l i f e pro-cesses on crops - plants and animals - that can grow best, and the type of machinery that can be used. Maintenance of s o i l f e r t i l i t y and the avoidance o t erosion, laterization and other such "ecological boomerangs", must engage the serious consideration of fundamental research. Research must not be limited to the physical and natural sciences. Research should also be extended to determine social values and implications for satisfaction in the face of ecological, social and p o l i t i c a l constraints. The rate at which Ghana i s turning out scientists i s very encouraging because i t is my belief that science and technology are indispensable tools for material advancement and c i v i l i z a t i o n . It i s sometimes questionable, however, whether a cost benefit appraisal of their training would justify the investment. It is an open secret that in many offices trained personnel -engineers, agriculturalists, foresters etc. - spend time with nothing to do. These people are not lazy nor are they insensitive to the moral responsibility which their training puts on them. It i s because the machinery which makes - 99 -i t possible to employ them usefully has not yet been developed. Research is needed also into the economics of the optimum size of holdings. The tendency to replace farm people by machinery is great. It becomes dangerous when the farm workers so replaced cannot be gainfully employed in secondary and tertiary industries. Experience in North America has shown that large farms are more economically viable but there are s t i l l very good reasons why small holdings should be encouraged: 1. Farmers may have alternative objectives to profit maximization, maximizing satisfaction rather than p r o f i t . 2. Although returns on some resources are low, notably the farmers own labour, they may in fact be greater than the operator could earn elsewhere. 3 . Small farms provide greater employment opportunities for the farm family, which helps to reduce unemployment problems. Canada and the U.S. pay welfare grants to the unemployed which developing societies could hardly afford. 4 . The farmer may face a budget constraint. He may be wiser to operate on his mall resources with assured return however small, than to operate on credit with a high risk factor (Metcalf, 1 9 6 9 ) . CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS In the preceding sections a foundation for applying the ecological viewpoint c r i t i c a l l y to current practices in agricultural production was1 provided. It has been shown that mismanagement of the planning strategy has led to undernourishment, poverty and social unrest. In this concluding chapter a review of situations i s given with suggestions to redress the underlying causes of low agricultural production. In the present circumstances of economic d i f f i c u l t i e s the need for Ghana to be self-sufficient in food production cannot be overemphasized. To be able to provide for food in large quantities and at an economical rate demands a break from the traditional European approach to agriculture. In doing so i t is important that the traditional systems of food production be improved, but not necessarily replaced, by some of the temperate regions' techniques which can be profitably employed in the tropics. It must be remembered that the local staples are more economically produced i n the local setting. Agriculture must primarily meet the needs of domestic con-sumption. Similarly, since game are better adapted than the domestic animals in Vest Africa, game husbandry should be given special attention. Thomas (1962) has pointed out that the savannah areas are unsuitable for intensive cultivation. This deficiency i s associated with the low nutrient exchange capacity of the so i l s , the low content of humus, the susceptibility of the area to leaching and erosion, the problems of laterization and drought. He therefore recommended that large areas be developed for game husbandry. - 100 -- «a -Lawson (1962) also shares this viewpoint. Since "bush meat" i s a favourite meat among the indigenous population the need, to develop some of the large tracts of forest reserves and other idling lands i s great. There are, however, some problems associated with game husbandry; the most pervasive of a l l i s the lack of a national policy regarding game. As a respondent observed* the future prospects for research and production of game in West Africa w i l l depend on government policy. It i s to the credit of the West African countries that they have found i t advisable to* operate game reserves. Nevertheless, game reserves per se are non-productive economically. It must be reiterated that proper conservation measures make the difference between productivity and non-productivity. It would be advisable to train people in this f i e l d to study a l l aspects of game including their taxonomy and ecology. Game do not have to be f u l l y domesticated to be profitable as experience in East Africa has shown. East Africa and South Africa are far advanced in game production (For p o l i t i c a l reasons !. East Africa Is the place to train people in game husbandry). Concern has been expressed about the economical use of farm holdings. The F.A.O. and other authorities favour the consolidation of farms into economical units. This i s a f i e l d of much controversy. I suspect that the staff of the F.A.O. are again using practices of the temperate agricultural zones as a "blue print" for tropical agriculture. Large scale agriculture has larger economies of scale i n the temperates but in the tropical environment diseconomies of scale tend to be great 1 In view of the nature of tropical ecosystems as well as socio-economic considerations i t would be advisable to maintain the small peasantry farm units. Any tendency to replace the peasant farmers with trained agriculturalists must be discouraged. - 102-Obviously trained agriculturalists may f a i l at the present time of limited knowledge of tropical agriculture. A viable industry depending on large-scale mechanization which may sustain their standard of liv i n g cannot be developed presently. So far I can only think of the rice industry but even in this f i e l d there i s more need for research than the theoretical exposition which comes oat mainly from the literature of temperate agriculture. However, there is the need to encourage and train young elementary school graduates to take up farming. As has been observed by one respondent, education i s the greatest factor in furthering the use of science in food production. Young people can better understand s c i e n t i f i c techniques and w i l l be more innovative than the old people. It has been shown by Quao e_t: al (1961) through a farm survey i n the Kade area in Ghana that only old people are l e f t on the farms, hence the need to train young people who w i l l replace farmers when they have outlived their useful years. Farm settlement schemes have not been successful in West Africa due to a lack of ecological foresight. For example in Western Nigeria the si t i n g of farm settlements based on p o l i t i c a l rather than ecological factors has cost the Nigerian Government £12,000 per person to date but the results have been appalling. Institution of Farm Settlement is another f i e l d in which l i t t l e work has been done. This i s a f i e l d for inter-disciplinary study. It has been e x p l i c i t l y shown in this study that lack of proper ecological reasoning has been largely responsible for low agricultural production. Almost a l l the top ranking agriculturalists were trained in temperate agricultural institutions and so the tradition has been established which may be hard to break. I believe i t is only the tropical agriculturalists - 103 -who w i l l be able-to rectify the anomaly. That w i l l only be possible i f the academic curriculum i s adjusted to reflect a change from a temperate oriented curriculum for agricultural training to a tropical oriented academic c u r r i -culum. In-service training should also be organized for the benefit of ex-school students. Similarly, agricultural trainees from abroad should be made to undergo a period of internship to refamiliarise them with the cond-ditions of their countries before they are allowed to f i l l positions. It i s particularly important to note that tropical agriculture i s not free from external pressures arid influences. The most important are the Food and Agricultural Organizati on of the United Nations (F.A.O.^ the United Nations Education, Scientific andlCultural Organization (U.N.E.S.C.O.), the World Bank and agencies of foreign governments notably the United States Aid for International Development (U.S.A.I.D.), the Canadian International Development Agency (C.I.D.A.) and similar agencies of Britain, France, West Germany, Soviet Union etc.. These foreign institutions have been responsible for selling foreign techniques and expertise, farm equipment and other technical farm inputs to tropical farmers regardless of their appropriateness to the tropical setting. The foreign institutions have also been responsible for encouraging cultivation of export crops and rearing of domestic animals at the expense of production of local food staples for domestic consumption. They have also been guilty of dis-couraging development of game which i s , i r o n i c a l l y , the traditional protein source of the indigenous population. It i s also ironic that the ruling e l i t e of the independent countries have not r i d themselves of "the temperate technical training mentality" which supports meddling by temperate - 104 -agriculturalists in tropical agriculture. The danger with the employment of temperate trained agriculturalists i s that this prevents development of a sound ecological framework within which tropical agriculture can be best developed. Without a proper understanding of the nature of tropical ecosystems, such agriculturalists have helped only to downgrade tropical agriculture. It is suggested that the substantial sums of money be spent by the United Nations t the World Bank and foreign governments involved in tropical agriculture should be used, in conjunction with the financial resources of developing countries, to develop a better approach to agri-culture in the tropics. A scheme for the development of tropical agriculture i s advanced below. SCHEMATIC PLANNING STRATEGY FOR TROPICAL AGRICULTURE NATIONAL RESEARCH <e COUNCIL I AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION FOREIGN INSTITUTIONS NATIONAL EXECUTIVE TROPICAL FARMERS Five institutions are presented. They include a National Executive, a National Research Council, Agricultural Extension, the farmers and foreign institutions. The arrows indicate where the direction of communication among the institutions represented should be. It is proposed that negotiations for physical, technical and financial aid must be limited to the National Executive, the National Research Council - 105-and the agencies of foreign institutions which are associated with agri-cultural development in the respective developing country. The F.A.O., U.S.A.l.D. and other agencies of foreign institutions should be discouraged from direct involvement i n agricultural extension. On the one hand, the danger of some farmers practising newly introduced techniques without questioning their s u i t a b i l i t y i s great. On the other hand, i t often turns out that results from government sponsored farms such as those of the Seed Multiplication Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, established without previous knowledge of agro-ecological factors in specific geographical areas, are very disappointing. This goes a long way to discredit the Ministry of Agriculture. Instances of such abysmal failure emerging from government farms, established with the assistance of foreign institutions, were many in the Northern Region of Ghana where I once worked as an Agricultural Extension Officer and later as an Assistant Regional Planning Officer. The composition of the National Reserarch Council must include enthu-sias t i c and knowledgeable representatives of the University Faculties of Agriculture, Forestry, Engineering, Geography, and the Biological sciences; the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries; Economic Planning, Forestry and representatives of the existing Research Councils. Where there i s an already established Research Council such as the (C.S.I.R. i n Ghana), the membership must be reconstituted to include representatives of the above where they are not hitherto represented. The National Research Council must be charged with the responsibility for: 1. Reviewing c r i t i c a l l y a l l current cultural practices in relation to their s u i t a b i l i t y to tropical conditions. - 106 2. Advising both the National Executive and the agencies of the foreign institutions on the agro-ecological and socio-economic implications of those foreign agricultural techniques being recommended. 3. Developing a better appreciation of the problems of tropical agrarian reforms* 4. Resolving problems emerging from farms and transmitting results to the farming society through the intermediary of the extension service. The functions of the National Research Council are extremely important. The success of their programme w i l l demand a great service and dedication of the rank and f i l e of the staff. Success of their programme w i l l also depend upon the av a i l a b i l i t y of research grants. Obviously, inadequate financial resources are a mitigating factor i n agricultural development. But i f i t i s understood that research i s the key to knowledge, developing countries should endeavour to provide the money; otherwise, there i s hardly any chance of progress towards material c i v i l i z a t i o n . There are three p o s s i b i l i t i e s which could be explored. Ghana could try to s o l i c i t assistance from the F.A.O., U.N.E.S.C.O., the World Bank, the D.S.A.I.D. or any other friendly foreign government in financing her reserarch programmes. It i s realised that aid cannot often be granted by the foreign governments without "strings'* being attached. This i s within the realm of p o l i t i c a l science. The second possi b i l i t y i s for West African countries to pool their resources i n order to establish joint research programmes. This has also some p o l i t i c a l implica-tions which can be handled best by p o l i t i c a l scientists. The third possi-b i l i t y i s for Ghana to finance the research programmes single-handedly. There i s much talk about the insolvency of Ghana. Any suggestion of making grants available for research i s likely to be rebuffed. But the - 107 -p o l i t i c a l e l i t e must realise that Ghana cannot advance any further - indeed she w i l l retrogress - unless she i s able to diagnose her problems, unearth her potential and find the cheapest way to develop. This can be done only through research. Research is expensive, admittedly, but i t can be rendered inexpen-sive through proper planning. Planning for research is a speciality in i t s e l f . The Faculty of Engineering in Kumasi i s one of the few engineering faculties i n West Africa which can be used to advance research into the need for mechanical implements which could be used in furtherance of agricultural must be recognised that there i s local expertise in the manufacture of simple tools like hoes, axes and machet (cutlass). I am convinced that, given the necessary financial and moral support, the Engineering Faculty, i n co-operation with the Faculty of Agriculture of the same University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, w i l l be able to improve and even design more ingenious tools that can be used in the tropics. Reports have shown that, during the recent Nigerian C i v i l War, "the seceding Biafrans" manufactured some advanced military equipment which made i t possible during certain periods of the war to withstand the might of the Nigerian Army. This is an example par excellence i n the f i e l d of innovation which shows that, given proper direction and encouragement, the African human resources could be used to advance knowledge. APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES This chapter presents the results of a questionnaire mailed to indi-viduals and institutions associated with tropical agriculture. A l l but one copy of the questionnaire were sent to West Africa. The responses of fourteen respondents are summarised under ten main subjects raised in the questionnaire. 1. Teaching of Ecology Questions on the teaching of ecology were specifically addressed to those respondents employed at teaching institutions and to those who had once taught but are not currently employed at institutions. There were eleven respondents in the f i r s t group and only three in the second group. At present ecology i s generally taught as a distinct subject in the degree level in the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; University of Ghana, Legon; University of Ibadan, Nigeria and University of Ife, Nigeria although i t may be offered to Promotion and Diploma students as i s practised in the Universities of Ghana and Ife. Among the t i t l e s of courses offered are Introductory and General Principles, Production Ecology, St a t i s t i c a l Ecology, Principles of Conservation, Structure of the Ecosystem, Plant Geography, Vegetation Description, Quantitative Ecology, Animal Ecology, Animal Ecology and General Ecology* It i s noted that emphasis i s on tropical rather than Temperate Ecology. Various aspects of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, Livestock, Factors, Ecosystem, Aquatic Ecology, Plant Ecology, Range Ecology, Weed Ecology, S t a t i s t i c a l Methods, Insect Ecology and General Ecology are covered. Except at the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, many basic textbooks are used. They include Lawson: - 108 -- 109 -Plant Life in West Africa; Greig-Smith: Quantitative Plant Ecology; E. P. Odum: Fundamentals of Ecology (W. B. Saunders); Kormondy: Concepts  of Ecology (Prentice-Hall); Hopkins: Forest and Savannah (Heinmann); Kershaw: Quantitative and Dynamic Ecology (Arnold); B i l l i n g s : Plants and  the Ecosystems; J. B. Wills (Ed.): Agriculture and Land-Use in Ghana; and such classical authors as Andrewartha, Cloudsley-Thompson and Elton. In certain cases ecology i s taught as part of other courses such as agriculture, biology and physical geography. In Gambia agricultural institutes have not been developed as i s the case i n other Western African countries. Only one respondent not currently employed at a teaching institute answered the second portion of Question 1. He intimated that temperate ecology was taught as a distinct discipline during his formal education i n the second and third years of a Degree programme. An Agriculture/Botany course was offered. 2. Large-Scale Commercial Farming It has been suggested that the failure of the B r i t i s h Government Scheme in Tanganyika was the result of ecological short-sightedness (Phillips, 1959; Thompson, 1964). Respondents were asked to state whether the failure of the "Ghana State Farms Corporation" large scale farms and other similar ventures in West Africa can be attributed to similar factors. The general concensus expressed by nine of the respondents was that the statement is true although managerial factors also contributed to the f a i l u r e . One respondent remarked that this failure may have occurred in the Tanzanian case because politicians were made managers in preference to competent technical men. This type of problem also applies to the siting of farm settlements in Western Nigeria, - 110 -where the choice of site was often based on p o l i t i c a l considerations and not on sound ecological information. Some of the contributory factors of the failure included lack of experience with tropical s o i l s , climate and vegetation; hasty mechanization, poor organization and lack of proper training for personnel. It was noted that erosion and s o i l compaction are consequences of poor techniques, not causes of failure i n themselves. A l l ten respondents agreed with the statement that pilot schemes should be undertaken prior to any large scale agricultural developments. 3. Research In developing societies there i s often a tendency to adopt "applied" research in preference to "basic" research. Five out of six respondents agreed with this statement. It was noted that "urgency to produce results often makes fundamental research a luxury" (S. Sey, Questionnaire respondent, 1972). There is always very limited money for research and therefore, any research done should have immediate applicability. It was noted that in **hana i t is only the Universities which could afford to undertake basic research whereas research officers at the Research Stations are required to solve problems without delay. In Kumasi 90 per cent of the total budget of the Faculty of Agriculture goes into agricultural research. It was intimated that the percentage of the total budget which goes into agricultural research is very small. For example at the Oilpalm Research Station, Kade, Ghana, only one percent of the budget allocation goes into research which i s divided evenly between basic and applied research. At the University of Ibadan less than one percent of the total budget goes into agricultural research. This i s the general situation throughout West Africa. - I l l -Examples of research projects are herbicide! control of weeds in oilpalm plantations; fungicidal control of Cercospora and Anthracnose; investigations into the best method of raising oilpalm seedlings (in Ghana); agronomic research on farm equipment (in Gambia); nutrient requirements of tropical pasture crops; biology and control of seed-borne fungi of economic plants; studies on the chemical and biological changes in savannah ecosystems following annual burning (at Ibadan, Nigeria); the biology of the Guinea fowl; aspects of swine nutrition; aspects of poultry and ruminant nutrition; effect of f e r t i l i z a t i o n on grassland; the use of urea for dry season feeding; the use of silage for pigs (Ghana). The numerical strength of academic staff varies from less than ten in a Department within the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Ghana to 35 in the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Ibadan. Generally the proportion of the academic staff devoted to f u l l time research as opposed to part time research is very small. The percentage of nationals within the total number of research personnel varies among various institutions. In Ibadan 47 out of the 62 research officers are Nigerians. In Kumasi 30 out of 35 are Ghanaians. At the University of Ghana the number of Ghanaians on the academic staff is also relatively low. Five out of the nine academic staff of the Department of Animal Science are Ghanaians. Recurrent problems were noted as being associated with conducting empirical research on tropical ecosystems. Mention may be made of budgetary constraints, lack of properly trained professionals, inadequacy of equipment and servicing of available equipment, shortage of well-trained technicians, - 112 -poor national planning policy for research, taxonomic d i f f i c u l t i e s and continuity of research by personnel. 4. Ecological Boomerangs or Biogeoclimatic Hazards Answers received from 12 respondents are presented. A number of "ecological boomerangs" result from the use of temperate agricultural techniques in the tropical setting. These were ranked as very serious, moderately serious, serious, not serious and negligible. Very serious ecological boomerangs are: sheet erosion, possible changes in such climatic factors as r a i n f a l l and evaporation, change of vegetation, health hazards (e.g. bilharzia) and the threat to and loss of w i l d l i f e . Gully erosion, decline in s o i l f e r t i l i t y and threat to watersheds from removal of plant cover are considered moderately serious; changes in s o i l structure, pest resurgence after crop treatment with pesticides and nutritional problems such as low protein content of cereals are serious, and pesticldal pollution of rivers, threat to humans by pesticides, threat to planting materials by pesticides, and nutritional problems such as the palatability of cereals being incompatible with local demands are considered not serious. The currently most serious ecological boomerangs were ranked in the following order of importance: (i) sheet erosion, health hazards and threat to w i l d l i f e , ( i i ) change of vegetation, ( i i i ) threat to watersheds and possible changes inclimatic factors, (iv) health hazards, and (v) pest resurgence after crop treatment with pesticides. Examples of pests showing resurgence following continued spraying of DDT and BHC are aphids and white, f l i e s . The ecological boomerangs that may become serious in the future could be ranked in the following order of importance; (i) change of - 113 -vegetation, threat to wildlife and resistance to pesticides, for example, the resistance of cocoa mirids to Gamma BHC in Ghana and Western Nigeria, and health hazards, ( i i ) changes in s o i l structure, nutritional problems and erosion, ( i i i ) decline in s o i l f e r t i l i t y , pesticidal pollution of rivers, and pest resurgence and (iv) s o i l erosion, laterization, threat to planting materials and decline in s o i l f e r t i l i t y . 5. Mechanization The following statement was presented: "There is a lot of talk about mechanizing tropical agriculture. The B r i t i s h tried i t in Sudan and Tanganyika. Dr. Nkrumah dreamt about i t when he established the Ghana State Farms Corporation and the Americans are currently involved in i t i n the Amazon". Respondents were asked to l i s t the social costs and benefits of mechanization. Answers were received from 12 respondents. On social costs of mechanization i t was noted that mechanization drains foreign exchange, creates unemployment following displacement of labour from farms, decreases unit yield as a result of thorough cultivation and causes social unrest as a result of land acquisition on a permanent basis. There are, however, social benefits which include removal of- drudgery, in certain cases increased production leading to increased income, and relatively more leisure and more assurance of food production. A number of factors inhibit the mechanization of agriculture (ploughing, harrowing, combine harvesting and weeding) in West Afri c a . Respondents were in general agreement that the following are the most important: low purchasing power of farmers, unsuitable machinery, lack of trained farmers, inadequacy of machinery, tree density and stumps, rapid decomposition of humus, low purchasing power of governments, l a t e r i t i c s o i l s , topography, - lift -stony s o i l s , destruction of vegetation and w i l d l i f e , high i n i t i a l cost and often the absence of maintenance and repair f a c i l i t i e s . These factors are ranked in the following order of importance: (i) low purchasing power of farmers, unsuitable machinery, and tree density and stumps, ( i i ) lack of trained farmers, and l a t e r i t i c s o i l s , ( i i i ) destruction of vegetation, (iv) low purchasing power of governments and topography, (v) destruction of vegetation and wildlife and high i n i t i a l cost and often the absence of maintenance and repair f a c i l i t i e s . One of the big problems facing tropical agriculture involves the suitabi-l i t y of machinery since most of the machinery being imported to the tropics i s inappropriate to the tropical setting. Respondents agreed that mechanical devices which are necessary for improved farming in the forest zones must be capable of clearing the undergrowth without disturbing the s o i l . They stressed a need for equipment that can be used for clearing, processing, hauling and storing both in the forest and savannah regions. In the savannah areas the use of i r r i g a t i o n equipment was deemed important by a majority of the respondents. Regarding t i l l a g e , i t was suggested that animal drawn multi-purpose machinery for ploughing, ridging, weeding and harvesting would be ideal. 6. Wildlife Production Nasimovich writes: Modern animal husbandry in most areas in Africa i s mainly based on cattle (European and Zebu-like Indian), and also sheep, goats and to some extent pigs. The p r o f i t a b i l i t y of such animal husbandry is lately seriously questioned. The indigenous wild ungulates are far better adapted to natural African conditions than cattle exotic for the given area. They are easily manoeuvred into selecting the biotypes better provided with food and water supplies. Living in the same area, but in different habitats, and - IVS -u t i l i z i n g different food, the wild ungulates not only compete l i t t l e with each other, but complement each other, and on the whole u t i l i z e forage resources incomparably better than the cattle which i s represented by only three to four species (Nasimovich, 1970, p. 4). Five out pf nine respondents agreed with the statement: There are no programmes for game husbandry per se, although the Animal Research Institute of the C.S.I.R. i s currently investigating husbandry of the grass cutter. At present many West African countries including Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia operate game reserves. In Ghana, i t was intimated that there i s some co-operation between the University of Ghana and the Division of Game and Wildlife in the Ministry of Forestry. The general concensus i s that game are better adapted than livestock in West African biogeoclimatic zones, but i t i s believed that game and livestock are equally productive. Due to lack of records this statement stands open to question. Again almost a l l the respondents had had no experience in game husbandry. It was unanimously agreed among respondents that game is the preferred meat of the average West African given an assured supply. An agricultural ecologist in Ghana wrote: "Based on current supply and price game is a delicacy" (F. K. Fianu, questionnaire respondent, 1972). This statement agrees with the viewpoint expressed by some West African students at U.B.C. who were interviewed in this regard. Unfortunately, unlike East orl.South Africa, no research has yet been done to determine the relative merits of game cropping in West Africa. The name of Mr. Asibey, the Ghanaian Chief of Game and Wildlife Division was suggested by many respondents as a contact for up-to-date information on prospects of game husbandry in Ghana. Unfortunately Mr. Asibey did not complete his copy of the questionnaire. - 116 -There are a number of problems associated with game husbandry. There i s no national policy regarding game husbandry. This makes i t d i f f i c u l t for ecologists interested in this f i e l d to undertake any meaningful study of game. Not many people have been trained in this f i e l d and knowledge about the ecology, population dynamics, food requirements, etc. of the game animals i s lacking. A fear was expressed that game husbandry may increase competition for productive land in areas where there is scarce supply of land. It has been suggested that agriculturalists in the tropics are generally reluctant in researching the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of game production. Ideas were divided on:this. One school of thought disagreed pointing out that at present, the Animal Research Institute of the C.S.I.R. is investigating the grass cutter. The other school of thought, while agreeing with the statement, points out that agriculturalists are,few and need to tackle primary agri-cultural problems f i r s t . Whether the future prospects for research into, and production of, game in West Africa are bright or remote w i l l depend on Government policy. Respondents confirmed the fact that insufficient attention has been devoted to the agronomic needs of some of the staple food crops such as cocoyams, plantains, yams and cassava and vegetables such as pepper, okra and others. It was agreed that increasing consumption of bread and other food items imported from temperate regions i s largely due to an insufficient supply of local food staples. Low yields with poor storage and distribution f a c i l i t i e s are major contributory factors. But i t was also noted that the higher the educational level of the local people, the greater i s the tendency to adopt European diets. Urbanites in particular have cultivated a taste for wheat bread, potatoes etc. - 117 -It is intimated that the Faculties of Agriculture and the Research Institutions in Ghana have research programmes designed to develop high yielding and disease-resistant varieties from some of the native crops. Similarly in Nigeria work is going on with maize, cow peas, cocoa and oilpalm. The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan is mainly concerned with food crops. There are obvious drawbacks, the most important has always been lack of funds and the requisite professional and technical staff. 7. Shifting Cultivation Ten out of eleven respondents expressed the view that shifting c u l t i -vation i s incapable of coping with population and economic pressures although a more productive system of cultivation has not been developed anywhere in the tropics that could replace i t . It was pointed out though, that alternative productive systems have been developed such as tree cultivation in Ghana and Nigeria and other cash crop farming, including cotton in Sudan and r i c e . In East Pakistan the management of water and rotation of crops allows for three crop periods per year which creates expanded production. Other attempts which have been made to develop alternative methods including rotational systems involving various years of cropping in leys. Faculties of Agriculture in the Ghanaian Universities are currently investigating economic cropping sequences as an alternative to shifting cultivation. Two respondents argued that no attempts have been made to improve upon shifting cultivation. Researchers have mainly wanted to change to crop rotation without wishing to modify shifting cultivation. One of the two respondents explained that this situation may be associated with the lack of personnel to tackle the problem and perhaps the financial involvement. - 118 -It i s noted that not a l l farmers use f e r t i l i z e r s oh their traditional farms. Even where f e r t i l i z e r s are used they usually are applied to specific export or cash crops. There are two reasons why farmers do not apply f e r t i -l izers to a l l crops, and the F.A.0. and U.N.E.S.C.O. in conjunction with the Agricultural Extension are responsible for this anomaly. These institutions handle a l l f e r t i l i z e r supplies, which are prepared solely for cash crops. Research into the agronomic needs of the basic food staples, as noted e a r l i e r , has been neglected. Under such circumstances there is no means whereby a farmer can apply f e r t i l i z e r to enhance the yield of his entire crop. The second factor which was pointed out i s the relative poverty of farmers which makes i t d i f f i c u l t for them to purchase f e r t i l i z e r . Increase i n yields resulting from f e r t i l i z a t i o n varies from ten percent to one hundred percent. An important characteristic of shifting cultivation i s mixed cropping. This i s the practice whereby many crop:plants are interplanted and harvested at different times since they do not come to maturity together. Respondents were unanimous that monoculture, which i s fast replacing mixed cropping, i s prone to disease and pest hazards which often occur on a large scale. Six out of nine respondents dismissed the idea that shifting cultivation as practised in the topics i s the most ecologically sound system of agriculture. Three respondents agreed with the statement to the effect that shifting cultivation i s an ecologically sound practice, but with reservation, pointing out that i t i s an uneconomical method of production in the face of mounting population pressure. 8. Impact of Temperate Agricultural Techniques on Tropical Agriculture Eleven respondents observed that there can be serious trouble using temperate agricultural techniques under local conditions unless such techniques - 119 -have been tested and found desirable. Such ecological boomerangs as earlier mentioned are obvious consequences of the misuse of temperate agricultural techniques. However, there are some benefits to be derived by using temperate agricultural techniques as compared to traditional agricultural techniques. There is a possibility of larger business and increased production from increased acreages, with f e r t i l i z a t i o n and the use of pesticides. With good management i t is also possible to maintain sustained s o i l f e r t i l i t y . Respondents were divided on the advisability of adopting temperate agricultural techniques in tropical ecosystems. Arguing that temperate agricultural techniques are generally inappropriate to conditions in the tropics, the respondents against their use consider that there i s a need for what they c a l l "our own" suitable techniques to increase production. Exponents of the contrary view argue that the people i n the tropics are hungry generally and must adopt any techniques that w i l l increase production. The more conservative adherents of this view favour using such techniques only when they are found suitable for local conditions. It was further stated that tried systems are beneficial, new techniques have been and are being developed in temperate regions whichcould be used profitably in the tropics. Of the temperate techniques or technologies being adopted the following were mentioned: settled farming; mechanical and chemical control of pests, diseases and weeds; selective breeding; improved processing and storage. Respondents observe a tendency towards replacing the traditional techniques by temperate agricultural techniques. It was not possible to obtain the percentage of local agriculturalists trained in Agricultural Institutions in temperate countries. This number i s believed to be high because until the past decade or so almost a l l the native - 120 -agriculturalists were trained overseas. Some of the more familiar countries where students go to study agricultural science are the U.K., U.S.A., Germany, Canada and Russia. In Ghana and Nigeria, at least, such foreign trainees do not undergo a programme of orientation to refarailiarise them with their countries' conditions. Concern was expressed over such an anomaly. A respondent observed that such a programme is necessary otherwise the wrong things are applied and extension becomes ineffective. It was also noted that such a programme i s necessary since i t broadens one's experience and outlook. 9. Farmers' Attitudes Eight respondents observed that WestlAfrican farmers are conservative and that they do not d i f f e r from farmers elsewhere. Some farmers are very eager to learn though. Respondents differed in their beliefs as to any tendency to replace farmers by trained agriculturalists. At any rate i t i s doubtful whether trained agriculturalists are willing to work on farms. Four respondents think that agriculturalista are not willing to do so. As one respondent observed: "There is no incentive - hard work, low income". Other respondents believe that i f the general incentives such as credit and marketing f a c i l i t i e s and land tenure are improved, trained agriculturalists would readily take to farming. Nearly a l l the respondents f e l t i t i s advisable to train younger people to settle on the land for agriculture. Education is the greatest factor in furthering the use of science in food production. Young people can better and more easily understand and apply s c i e n t i f i c techniques and carry out innovations, than old people. A programme of farm settlement of young people w i l l cut down the d r i f t from rural areas and help to provide future - 121 -generations of modern farmers. But i t seems farm settlement schemes have not been successful in West Africa, especially in Western Nigeria. Farm settlement schemes which commenced in 1959 have cost the Nigerian Government £12,000 per person to date, but results have been appallingly insignificant. 10. Governmental Participation and Co-Ordination Nearly the same Ministries of the C i v i l Service are involved in agricultural development in a l l the West African countries. In Ghana government departments involved in agricultural development are the Ministry of Agriculture, Economic Planning and the Agricultural Development Bank. In Nigeria the departments are the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Economic Planning. In Gambia these ministies f a l l into the following departments: Department of Agriculture, Department of Veterinary, Department of Co-operation and Department of Fisheries. Co-ordination of the a c t i v i t i e s of the Division of Agriculture in Gambia is accomplished by the Ministry of Agriculture. In Ghana a respondent explained that there i s no co-ordinating agency but a c t i v i t i e s of the Divisions are geared to the" government objectives. However, other respondents believe that the Ministry of Agriculture is generally responsible for inter-divisional a c t i v i t i e s . In Ghana the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for co-ordinating the a c t i v i t i e s of government departments for the purpose of agricultural development. In Nigeria the responsibility for co-ordination at the national level f a l l s on the Nigerian Council for Scientific Research while the responsibility at the regional level f a l l s on the Ministry of Agriculture. Unfortunately, co-ordination has not been effective due to red-tape and unrealistic government policies as well as hardships resulting from govern-ment economic policies. - 122 -As regards the sort of inter-departmental a c t i v i t i e s needed for ensuring steady agricultural development in the various African countries the following suggestions were made: (i) Conferences and joint projects; ( i i ) A planning committee for consultations and exchange of ideas, inter-departmental seminars and in-training courses; ( i i i ) co-operation and consultation, and (iv) improved information. The following inter-West Africa Governmental a c t i v i t i e s were f e l t necessary for ensuring Regional Agricultural Development: International Conferences and Joint research schemes; already existing i s the West African Rice Development Association. Respondents suggested the following aid or assistance would be needed from the more developed countries for the purpose of agricultural develop-ment : (i) Technical in-supply of input factors such as f e r t i l i z e r s , equip-ment, interest-free loans to train technical personnel anywhere in the world, not only in the donor countries; ( i i ) Financial aid, supply of machinery, trained personnel i f unavailable locally; ( i i i ) Commodity agreements, for example, cocoa; investment in farming projects; removal of t a r i f f s on exports; (iv) Research and development assistance especially in the engineering f i e l d s . - 123-APPENDIX I I (See also Fig. 4) THE BIOCLIMATIC BELTS OF GHANA CLIMATIC BELTS SUB-DIVISIONS EXAMPLES OUTSIDE GHANA CHARACTERISTICS Forest-belt without dry season Forest-belt with one to three dry months Coastal Savannah belt Guinea Savannah Belt Tabou, Ivory Coast; Lagos. Nigeria; and outside West Africa. Yangambi, Congo (Leopoldville). Jakarta (Indonesia)» Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and outside West Africa: Eala, Congo (Leopoldville); Kuyper, Indonesia. Suakoko, Liberia; Ondo, Nigeria; and outside West Africa: Sho Tome, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Abengourou, Ivory Coast; and outside West Africa: Mombasa, Kenya, Dar es Salaam,Tanzania Porto Novo, Dahomey; north-west of Ikeja, Nigeria, and outside of West Africa: Willis Islands Honolulu, Hawaii; Maiguetia, Venezuela Lome, Togo; Niaouli,Dahomey; and outside West Africa: Grand Turc, Bahamas; Banana, Congo (Leopoldville) Bouake, Ivory Coast; Anre Mono, Togo; and outside West Africa: Sunginge, Angola; Barra do Corda, Brazil Seasonal surplus of rain-f a l l , i .e. surplus over evapotranspiration, i s below 78.7 i n . Humid season continuous. Surplus of r a i n f a l l i s below 78.7 i n . ; humid season interrupted in July and/or August. Seasonal surplus of rain-f a l l below 39.4 i n . , humid seasoncontinuous. Seven or more humid months and discontinuous humid season. Six or less humid months, humid season discontinuous. Dry coast with four to five dry months Rainfall low, but so humid that plantation crops, mor< especially o i l palm and coconut, which can absorb water from great depth, are grown with l i t t l e inundation or sub-irr i g a t i o n . Low r a i n f a l l , surplus is less than 20% of annual potential evapotrans-piration; five or more humid months continuous. - 124-CLIMATIC BELTS SUB-DIVISIONS EXAMPLES OUTSIDE GHANA CHARACTERISTICS Guinea Savannah Belt -continued Bondoukou, Ivory Coast; Athieme, Dahomey; and outside West Africa: Port-au-Prince, H a i t i . Dapango Tongo, Togo; and outside West Africa: Kitgun, Uganda; Ibepetuba, Brazil Palime, Togo; and outside West Africa: Semarang, Indonesia; Echagnue, Phillippines Seguela, Ivory Coast; Sokode, Togo; Tchaourou, Dahomey; I l o r i n , Nigeria; and outside West Africa: Guayaramerin, Bolivia; Nakorm Rajasima, Thailand Ferkessedougou, Ivory Coast; outside West Africa: Pavana, B r a z i l , Cocanada, India Saraaru, Nigeria; and outside West Africa: Bougouni, Mali; Port George IV, Australia; Patna, India Low r a i n f a l l , surplus less than 20% of annual poten-t i a l evapotranspiration; four or less dry months; humid season discontinuous, Low r a i n f a l l , seasonal surplus less than 20% of potential evapotrans-piration, and four or less humid months. Annual r a i n f a l l higher than potential evapo-transpiration; moderate seasonal surplus i f rain-f a l l below 39.4 i n . Three or less dry months* Seasonal surplus of rain-f a l l less than 39.4 i n . ; six humid months; humid season continuous. Five humid months; dry for plantation crops Four humid months; dry except for cereals and peanuts (groundnuts) Source: J. Papadakis, Crop Ecologic Survey i n West Africa, F.A.O., 1966. - £ 2 5 -APPENDIX III (See also Fig. 5) GHANA SOIL REGIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS SOIL REGION PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS 1. Coconut Sands 2. Forest Oxysols Forest Ochrosols Pure Sand Deeply weathered to depth of 20 feet or more; excessive concretionary gravel or iron pan near the surface; organic matter concentrated markedly in top few inches, associated with exchange capacity. Colour of mineral s o i l usually brown or orange brown. Some areas may be rich i n concretionary gravel; colour of s o i l i s reddish brown; rich i n organic matter. Savannah Ochrosols Soils shallower than soils of forest ochrosols; some areas rich in concretionary gravel; organic matter content is usually less than comparative organic matter in forest ochrosols. Poor in bases. Potash deficiency, Mineral f e r t i l i t y low; pH is 4.0-4.5 in top s o i l gradually increasing to 4.5-5.0 at depth. C/N ratio usually over 15. Profound changes take place when forest cut and burned. Terre de Barre Voltain Basin Almost free from concretions Poor drainage, unweatherable materials; groundwater laterit e s . Flooding regu-lation and/or irrigation often necessary Top s o i l neutral or slightly acidic, with increasing acidity at depth; mineral f e r t i l i t y of surface horizons usually high. C/N ratio of the humus is 10-12 and microbial population relatively stable.. pH of topsoil slightly acidic to acidic, and f a l l s with depth. Content of echangeable cations and of total and available phosphorus lower than in semi-deciduous forest. Mineral f e r t i l i t y i s appreciably high. Very good s o i l s , capable of supporting continuous cropping Mineral f e r t i l i t y i s low. Continued ... 0 - 126 -SOIL REGIONS PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS Lower Volta Plains Fadama or Flood Plain Land Young soils 3 Black earth, grey earth, groundwater laterites may be present, saline alkaline pre-v a i l Present in a l l regions esp-ec i a l l y in the forest and savannah ochrosols. Require flood regulation, drainage and/or i r r i g a t i o n . Found in a l l regions, the so-called brown forest. Rich i n bases, but drainage pro-blem; black earths are d i f f i c u l t to t i l l with hoe. Rich in bases. Rich i n bases. Excellent so i l s for a l l crops especially legumes provided they are not very stony and sufficiently deep. APPENDIX iy QUESTIONNAIRE AND COVERING LETTER School of Community and Regional P l a n n i n g , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, B r i t i s h Columbia, Canada. S i r s : r e : T r o p i c a l Ecosystems - I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Regional  A g r i c u l t u r a l Development i n West A f r i c a I am a Ghanaian c u r r e n t l y studying Regional P l a n n i n g at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. I graduated from the F a c u l t y of A g r i c u l t u r e , U n i v e r s i t y of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana w i t h a B.Sc. i n 1967 and worked f o r two and a h a l f years f i r s t as an A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension O f f i c e r i n the Ghana C i v i l S e r v i c e and subsequently as an A s s i s t a n t Regional P l a n n i n g O f f i c e r . During t h i s p e r i o d I developed great i n t e r e s t i n the development of the t r o p i c a l a g r i c u l t u r e and became convinced that an e c o l o g i c a l framework provides the only r a t i o n a l approach to the development of t r o p i c a l a g r i c u l t u r e . I have t h e r e f o r e chosen f o r my M.Sc. Thesis the s u b j e c t : " T r o p i c a l Ecosystems - I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Regional A g r i c u l t u r e Development P l a n n i n g i n West A f r i c a " . The purpose of t h i s l e t t e r i s to s o l i c i t your a s s i s t a n c e i n the form of i d e a s , comments, e t c . towards the p r e p a r a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s . I have attached a q u e s t i o n n a i r e to t h i s l e t t e r . The q u e s t i o n n a i r e covers a wide range of subject matter; you may t h e r e f o r e wish to attend to those which w i l l r e l a t e to your p o s i t i o n and e x p e r t i s e . The o b j e c t of my study i s t w o - f o l d ; to assess the present s t a t e of modern a g r i c u l t u r e i n the West A f r i c a n c o u n t r i e s and the relevance of the e c o l o g i c a l viewpoint as a b a s i s f o r the development of t r o p i c a l a g r i c u l t u r e i n the context of Regional Development Pl a n n i n g i n West A f r i c a . As I expect to graduate i n A p r i l 1972, I would g r e a t l y a p p r e c i a t e an e a r l y response to the q u e s t i o n n a i r e component. I would hope to have these data f o r a n a l y s i s by January 20, 1972. Your a s s i s t a n c e w i l l be much appreciated and acknowledged i n the t h e s i s . Yours s i n c e r e l y , Emmanuel Ayeh Y i r e n k y i - 127 -- 128 -QUESTIONNAIRE FOR M.Sc. THESIS IN THE SCHOOL OF COMMUNITY AND  REGIONAL PLANNING, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA. VANCOUVER, CANADA. re: "TROPICAL ECOSYSTEMS - IMPLICATIONS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING IN WEST AFRICA" PLEASE CHECK (v ) OR CIRCLE ANSWERS AS REQUIRED * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 1. (i) TEACHING OF ECOLOGY For those respondents currently employed at teaching institutions. (a) Is ecology taught as a distinct subject? Yes No Give what kind of courses offered: (b) If yes, at what level? 1st year (i) Diploma? ( i i ) Promotion? ( i i i ) Degree? (c) What aspect of ecology is taught? (i) Temperate Tropical ( i i ) Agriculture, Forestry, Resource, Wildlife, Fishery, Livestock, Factors, Ecosystem, General, Other categories (please specify) 2nd year 3rd year 4th yea • i . . . . . . . ... ... ... •*• . . . . . . (d) What basic textbooks in ecology are used? Please name (i) ( i i ) ( i i i ) (e) (f) Did your institute run f i e l d courses? If yes, give course purpose and subject Yes matter. No - 129 -(g) If ecology is not presently taught, why not? (h) (i) Lack of funds ( i i ) Lack of staff ( i i i ) Lack of interest (iv) Lack of f a c i l i t i e s (v) Others (specify) Do you hope to introduce some time? „ „ Yes No ( i i ) For those respondents not currently employed at a teaching institution. (a) Was ecology taught as a distinct discipline during your formal education? Yes No Give kind of courses offered: (b) If yes, at what level? 1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year (i) Diploma? ... ... ... ... ( i i ) Promotion? ... ... ... ... ( i i i ) Degree? ... ... ... ... (c) What aspect of ecology was taught? (i) Temperate Tropical ( i i ) Agriculture, Forestry, Resource, Wildlife, Fishery, Livestock, Factors, Ecosystem, General, Other categories (please specify) (d) What basic text books i n Ecology were used? (i) . ( i i ) ( i i i ) (e) Did your institute conduct f i e l d courses? Yes No (f) If yes, give courses purposes and subject matter. (g) If ecology was not taught, why? (i) Lack of funds ( i i ) Lack of staff, ( i i i ) Lack of interest (iv) Lack of f a c i l i t i e s (v) Other (specify) - 130 -LARGE SCALE COMMERCIAL FARMING It has been suggested that the failure of the Br i t i s h Government Groundnut Scheme in Tanganyika was the result of ecological shortsightedness. (a) The failure of the "Ghana State Farms Corporation" large scale farms and other similar ventures i n West Africa can be attributed to similar factors. Agree Disagree Please explain your view (b) Do you consider any of the following factors as contributory to these d i f f i c u l t i e s ? If more than one factor i s involved, please mark by numbering. 1. Erosion 2. Soil compaction 3. Haste 4. Lack of experience with tropical s o i l s , climate and vegetation 5. Mechanization in the tropics 6. Laterization 7. Poor organization 8. Lack of proper training of personnel: c l e r i c a l , managerial, professionals, artisans, others (specify) (c) Pilot schemes should be undertaken prior to large scale agricultural developments: Agree Disagree RESEARCH "In developing societies there is often the tendency to adopt 'applied' research i n preference to 'basic' research". (a) Do you agree with this statement? Yes No (b) Explain your answer: (c) What percent of your total budget goes into agricultural research? (d) What percent of your or most recent agricultural research allocation did/do you assign to "basic" research? (e) Give examples of research projects run ( t i t l e only) (i) ; ( i i ) '  ( i i i ) (f) What is/was the numerical strength of your academic staff? (g) What percent of this number is/was devoted to: (i) full-time research? ( i i ) part-time research? ^ - 131 -(h) How many of them are citizens of the country? (i) How many of the researchers have had working experience (time period over three years) with the tropics? (j) What are some of the problems associated v/ith conducting empirical research on tropical ecosystems? Please l i s t them inorder of importance. (i) ( i i ) ( i i i ) (iv) The following factors may be considered among the serious biogeoclimatic hazards or developmental risks in West Africa. (a) How do you rate their present seriousness in West Africa? . v.serious m.serious serious not serious negligible (i) Erosion Sheet ... ... ... ... ... Gulley ... ... ... ... ... ( i i ) Laterization ... ... ... ... ... ( i i i ) Possible changes in climatic factors: Rainfall ... ... ... ... ... Evapotrans-piration ... ... ... ... ... (iv) Changes in s o i l structurs ••• ••• ••• (v) Change of vegetation ... ... ... ... ... (vi) Decline in s o i l f e r t i l i t y ... ... ... ... ... (vii) Threat to water stl6C.S ••• ••• ••• ••• ( v i i i ) Pest resistance to pesticides (genetic adaptation) ... ... ... ... ... (ix) Pest resurgence after crop treatment with pesticides ... ... ... ... ... (x) Pesticidal pollution of rivers ••• ••• ••• • • • «•• (xi) Health hazards (e.g. bilticirzifl) ••• ••• • • • ••• (xii) Threat to wildlife ... ... ... ... ... - 132 -v.serious m.serious serious not serious negligible ( x i i i ) Threat to humans by ps s t xc ides ••• ••• *•• (xiv) Threat to planting cost 6 iri 3.1 s ••• ••• • • • ••• (xv) Nutritional Problem: 1. Protein content o f C61T6&1.S ••• ••• «•• 2. Taste or palatability o f c c r G s l s «•• ••• • « • (xvi) Other (specify) (xvii) Give examples of (ix) (xv i i i ) Choose the five that you think are currently of most serious economic damage and rank them in order of importance. (i) ( i i ) ( i i i ) (iv) (v) (xix) Choose the five that you think could be serious in turn in the future and rank them. (i) ( i i ) ( i i i ) (iv) (v) MECHANIZATION There is a lot of talk about mechanizing tropical agriculture. The Br i t i s h tried i t in Sudan and Tanganyika. Dr. Nkrumah dreamt about i t when he established the Ghana State Farms Corporation and the Americans are currently involved in i t in the Amazon. (a) List the possible social costs and benefits of mechanization. - 133 -(b) Which of the following factors inhibit the use of mechanization of agriculture (ploughing, harrowing, combine harvesting and weeding) in West Africa? (i) Purchasing power of governments ( i i ) Purchasing power of farmers ( i i i ) Tree density (iv) Training of farmers (v) Inadequacy of machinery (vi) Clayey soils (vii) Loamy soils ( v i i i ) Stony soils (ix) L a t e r i t i c soils (x) Topography (xi) Unsuitable machinery (xii) Rapid decomposition of humus ( x i i i ) Destruction of vegetation (xiv) Destruction of wildlife (xv) Others (specify) (c) Choose the six you consider most serious and rank them in importance, (i) ( i i ) ( i i i ) (iv) (v) (vi) (d) What mechanical devices are necessary for improved farming i n : (i) the forest zone ( i i ) the savannah zones? WILDLIFE PRODUCTION Nasimovich writes: "Modern animal husbandry in most areas in Africa i s mainly based on cattle (European and Zebu-like Indian), and also sheep, goats and to some extent pigs. The p r o f i t a b i l i t y of such animal husbandry ... is lately seriously questioned ... The indigenous wild ungulates are far better adapted to natural African conditions than cattle exotic for the given area. They are easily manoeuvred into selecting the biotopes better provided with food and water supplies. Living in the same area, but in - 134 -d i f f e r e n t h a b i t a t s , and u t i l i z i n g d i f f e r e n t f o o d , the w i l d ungula tes not o n l y compete l i t t l e w i t h each o t h e r , but complement each o t h e r , and on the whole u t i l i z e forage resources incomparably b e t t e r than the c a t t l e which i s r e p r e s e n t e d by o n l y three to f o u r s p e c i e s . " ( A . A . N a s i m o v i c h , "Comparat ive E f f i c i e n c y of P a s t u r e U t i l i z a t i o n by  Domestic and W i l d l i f e U n g u l a t e s " i n E c o l o g y , T r a n s l a t e d from R u s s i a n , # 1 , 1970. C o n s u l t a n t s Bureau , N . Y . , p . 4 . ) (a) Do you agree w i t h the above statement? Yes No (b) Does your i n s t i t u t i o n have a s p e c i a l programme f o r game husbandry? Yes No (c) Which are adapted to West A f r i c a n b i o g e o c l i m a t i c r e g i o n s ? L i v e s t o c k W i l d l i f e (d) Which are more p r o d u c t i v e ( l b s . / a c r e ) ? L i v e s t o c k Game (e) Which are more p r o f i t a b l e ? L i v e s t o c k Game ( f ) Have you academic ( ) , f i e l d ( ) o r no ( ) exper ience i n game management? (g) Which i s the more p r e f e r r e d meat t o a West A f r i c a n g i v e n an assured s u p p l y ? L i v e s t o c k Game (h) Has any r e s e a r c h been done t o determine the r e l a t i v e economic m e r i t s of c r o p p i n g anywhere i n West A f r i c a ? V e g ^ q ( i ) I f y e s , g i v e d e t a i l s ( r e f e r e n c e s , e t c . ) ( j ) In your o p i n i o n , what are some of the problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h game husbandry? (k) I t has been suggested tha t a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s i n the t r o p i c s are g e n e r a l l y r e l u c t a n t i n r e s e a r c h i n g i n t o p r o d u c t i o n of game. I s t h i s t r u e ? Yes No E x p l a i n ( 1 ) What are the f u t u r e p r o s p e c t s f o r r e s e a r c h and p r o d u c t i o n of game i n West A f r i c a ? - 135 -(m) It has been suggested that insufficient attention has been devoted to the agronomic needs of some of the following basic staple food crops: (i) cocoyam Yes No ( i i ) plantains Yes No ( i i i ) Yams Yes No (iv) cassava Yes No (v) others (explain) (n) It has been suggested that insufficient supply of the native food staples is largely the result of the increasing consumption of bread and other food items from temperate regions? Agree Disagree Explain (o) To the best of your knowledge what research efforts are being made to develop high-yielding and disease-resistant varieties from some of the native crops? SHIFTING CULTIVATION Cl i f f o r d Geertz notes two approaches to effective human u t i l i z a t i o n of natural habitats namely: 1. Changing generalized communities into more specialized ones, and 2. U t i l i z i n g the habitats through altering their diversity indices, but through more or less maintaining i t s overall pattern of com-position while changing selected component species, i.e. by sub-stituting certain humanly preferred species for others in functional roles within the pre-existing biotic community. The f i r s t approach is the system adopted by temperate agriculture and the second, shifting cultivation, traditional to West Africa. (a) Is shifting cultivation incapable of coping with population and economic pressures? Yes No (b) Has a more productive system of cultivation been developed anywhere in the tropics that could replace shifting cultivation? Yes No - 136 -(c) i f yes, where and what i s i t s technological nature? (d) Have any attempts been made to improve upon shifting cultivation? Yes No (e) If no, why not? (f) If yes, specify (g) Do farmers use f e r t i l i z e r s on their traditional farms? Yes No (h) If yes, are the crops responsive to f e r t i l i z e r application? Yes No (i) Scale the increase inyield: 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, 10%, less (j) Are f e r t i l i z e r s applied indiscriminately to a l l crops? Yes No (k) If no, why not? (1) To your knowledge which is the more productive system (on an individual crop per acre basis) and rate of f e r t i l i z a t i o n of single stand of crops (monoculture) vis-a-vis mixed stand of crops? Monoculture Mixed cropping (m) Which of the two agricultural techniques is more prone to: (i) Disease hazards Monoculture Mixed cropping ( i i ) Pest hazards Monoculture Mixed cropping (n) It has been suggested that shifting cultivation as practised in the tropics is the most ecologically sound system of agriculture -given the factors of the country's available resources. Agree Disagree 8. IMPACT OF TEMPERATE AGRICULTURAL TECHNIQUES ON TROPICAL AGRICULTURE (a) Describe bri e f l y some of the adverse effects ( i f any) compared to native agriculture. - 137 -(b) Describe b r i e f l y some of the benefits ( i f any) compared to native agriculture. (c) Do you favour the adoption of temperate agricultureal techniques in tropical systems? „ „ r J Yes No Give reasons b r i e f l y . (d) What temperate techniques or technologies (e.g. pesticides) are being adopted? (e) Do you see any tendency towards replacing the traditional techniques by techniques developed for temperate crops? Yes No (f) What percent of the native agriculturalists of your country trained in Agricultural Institutions in temperate countries? (g) Name some of the institutions. (h) Do they undergo a programme of orientation to familiarize them with your country's conditions? Yes No (i) Do you feel such a programme is necessary? Yes No Give reasons. FARMERS' ATTITUDES (a) Are West African farmers conservative? Extreme Moderate Conservative Not (b) Are they eager to learn? Very eager Moderately Eager Not (c) Is there any tendency to replace farmers by trained agriculturalists? Yes No - 138 -(d) Are trained agriculturalists willing to work on farms? Yes No (e) If no, why not? (f) Is i t advisable to train younger people to settle on land for agriculture? Very adivsable Moderately Advisable Not Explain. (g) How successful have farm settlement schemes been in West Africa? Very successful Moderately. Successful Less successful Failure Cite examples (h) Which is the more desirable: settling younger people or older people on land? Younger Older (i) What type of incentives are there for prospective farmers? 10. GOVERNMENTAL PARTICIPATION AND CO-ORDINATION (a) What government departments are involved in agricultural develop-ment in your West African country? (b) What agency is responsible for co-ordinating the a c t i v i t i e s of the Divisions of Agriculture? (c) What sort of inter-departmental ac t i v i t i e s are needed for ensuring steady agricultural development in your West African country? (d) What sort of inter West African Governmental a c t i v i t i e s are needed for ensuring Regional Agricultural Development? 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