By Michael Mortimore
This ebook embodies the result of 13 years of study in drought-prone rural parts within the semi-arid sector of northern Nigeria. It describes the styles of adaptive behaviour saw between Hausa, Ful'be and Manga groups in accordance with recurrent drought within the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. The query of desertification is explored in a space the place the seen facts of relocating sand dunes is dramatic blame are tested with regards to the sphere proof. A critique is out there of deterministic theories and authoritarian strategies. Professor Mortimore demonstrates a parallel among the observable resilience of semi-arid ecosystems and the adaptive innovations of the human groups that inhabit them and indicates coverage instructions for strengthening that resilience.
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Additional resources for Adapting to Drought: Farmers, Famines and Desertification in West Africa
Plant and animal production, for multiple use purposes at a time when increased productivity is needed to support growing populations in quest of development. Important factors in contemporary society — the struggle for development and the effort to increase food production, and to adapt and apply modern technologies, set against a background of population growth and demographic change - interlock in a network of cause and effect. Progress in development, planned population growth and improvements in all types of biological production and relevant technologies must therefore be integrated.
G. Mortimore and Wilson 1965: 79—89). In addition to farmers' earnings, the groundnut generated profits for the middlemen (licensed buying agents), the marketing boards (which provided 6° 10° 12° / ) / • i COCOA j 30-250 * • ^ 400 SOYA 500 B 3000 ^ PALM KERNELS TV BENNISEED 500 A 1000 A 2000 A 300 A - ''I' 13000 0000A 4 GROUNDNUTS 1000 O 2 000 0 COTTON 50 • 100 • 400 # v.. A»^A • 4000 10000 ^ p 20 0 0 0 ^ ^ ' 9 6 000 <|0 l50km. 3 Average crop purchases (tons) by the Northern Nigeria Marketing Board, 1963-65 y The fat years 27 government with revenue for investment in the urban sector: Olatunbosun, 1975: 74-97), the Nigerian Railway Corporation and road transport firms, the crushing mills (about 40 per cent of the crop was crushed locally), and the retail and service sectors in Kano and the smaller buying centres.
In exceptionally fragile ecosystems, such as those on the desert margins, the loss of biological productivity through the degradation of plant, animal, soil and water resources can easily become irreversible, and permanently reduce their capacity to support human life. Desertification is a self-accelerating process, feeding on itself, and as it advances, rehabilitation costs rise exponentially. Action to combat desertification is required urgently before the costs of rehabilitation rise beyond practical possibility or before the opportunity to act is lost forever.