Peasants, Farmers and Scientists: A Chronicle of Tropical Agricultural Science in the Twentieth Century by H.J.W. MutsaersPeasants, Farmers and Scientists: A Chronicle of Tropical Agricultural Science in the Twentieth Century by H.J.W. Mutsaers

Peasants, Farmers and Scientists: A Chronicle of Tropical Agricultural Science in the Twentieth…

byH.J.W. Mutsaers

Paperback | October 19, 2010

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This is the story of tropical agricultural science and agricultural development in the 20th century, focusing on the African farmer and African farming methods. It describes successes as well as fads and failures, many based on the author's first-hand observations during more than 40 years in tropical agronomy-related fields. Moving into the 21st century, the book explores the rise of computer modeling of crops and crop production.
The author, who graduated from Wageningen University in the Netherlands in June 1967 and obtained a PhD degree there in April 1982, has spent a lifetime working in a wide range of tropical agronomy-related fields. He started his career in a cotton development project in Indonesia, lectured and carried out research at the Universities o...
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Title:Peasants, Farmers and Scientists: A Chronicle of Tropical Agricultural Science in the Twentieth…Format:PaperbackDimensions:640 pages, 9.25 × 6.1 × 0.03 inPublished:October 19, 2010Publisher:Springer NetherlandsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9048175550

ISBN - 13:9789048175550

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Table of Contents

1. What is tropical agronomy?2. A tropical agronomist's education; 2.1 Wageningen and tropical agronomy around 1960; 2.2 The story of sugarcane; 2.3.1 Tropical crop husbandry; 2.3.2 Genetics; 2.3.3 Statistics; 2.3.4 Soil fertility; 2.4 Summing up.3. Old and new: the 1960s and '70s; 3.1 New times, old reflexes: a cotton project on the island of Lombok; 3.2 Old and new in crop science: growth analysis and modelling; 3.3 Academic exercises in Africa ; 3.4 Is station research in Africa useful? 3.5 And what about teaching tropical agronomy in the Netherlands? 4. Farmers are smarter than you think; 4.1 In search of a new development vision; 4.2 Three visionaries; 4.3 IITA joins the FSR movement; 4.4 Some amazing things about West African farming; 4.5 FSR catches on at national research institutes ; 4.6 IITA's tenuous relationship with FSR.5. Forests, fallows and fields; 5.1 Fallow-based cropping; 5.2 Where are fallow-based systems heading?6. Farmer skills, an elusive property7. Mainly technology; 7.1 What is technology? 7.2 Agronomists' technology: alley cropping, zero tillage, live mulch and more; 7.3 Plant breeders' technology: crop varieties; 7.4 Pest and disease control; 7.5 Has agronomic research been useful for the African farmer?8. Follies and sanity of Farming Systems Research; 8.1 The pathology of diagnosis; 8.2 On-farm experiments; 8.3 Francophone approaches; 8.4 What about technology adoption? 8.5 Client orientation; 8.6 Development expertology; 8.7 Does FSR have a future?9. The modelling sorcerers and their apprentices; 9.1 The promise; 9.2 What is a model? 9.3 Elegance and simplicity; 9.4 Enter computing power; 9.4.1 A static model for canopy assimilation; 9.5 The fabulous cotton plant; 9.6 How the plant disappeared from the models; 9.7 Has crop modelling been useful for non-modellers? 9.8 New trends are emerging; 9.9 Does tropical agronomy need modelling?10. Donors, Experts and Consultants;10.1 Development aid; a short and mainly African history ; 10.2 Agricultural development; 10.3 Three donor-assisted programmes11. Can African farming be improved? 11.1 The African farmer and his potential for change; 11.2 Extension: organisation, methods and education; 11.3 Can agronomic research help agriculture? 11.4 Are we missing essential elements? APPENDICES: A1. C.T. de Wit's analysis of plant competition; A1.1 Two species competing for the same space; A1.2 Crowding for space in monoculture, a yield-density function; A1.3 Crowding for partly the same space; A1.4 Competition in natural plant populations;A2. Shifting cultivation and recurrent cropping; A2.1 A cautionary note; A2.2 Shifting cultivation; A2.3 Recurrent cropping A3. Factor analysisA4. Nutrient dynamics of alley cropping; A4.1 Another cautionary note; A4.2 Nutrient flows and nutrient stocks; A4.3 The nutrient budget for a 'poor soil'; A4.4 A long term alley cropping trial; A4.5 Some tinkering involved; A4.6 Maize and cassava; A4.7 Summing upA5. More farmer technologies; A5.1 Land use systems (or how to exploit a difficult environment); A5.2 Manipulating a crop; A5.3 Crop processingA6. Papers presented at the 2005 Symposium of the International Farming systems AssociationA7. Quantification of cotton growth and development; A7.1 Establishment of plant structure; A7.2 Growth of stem girth and weight; A7.3 Numbers of squares and bollsA8. Organ growth and assimilate partitioning; Introduction A8.1 Models of the Wageningen School; A8.2 The CROPGRO and CERES models ; A8.3 The ARS Cotton Production Model; A8.4 Summing upA9. Calculation of potential assimilation, dry matter production and yield; A9.1 Potential assimilation; A9.2 Potential biomass production; A9.3 Potential crop yield; Literature cited

Editorial Reviews

From the reviews:"Peasants, Farmers and Scientists is a narration of tropical agricultural case studies from the East Indies and West and Central Africa during the latter half of the 20th century. It is also a memoir and an introductory monograph for agronomy curricula . . The book balances the potential of the African farmer and the demise of agriculture with descriptions of development, donors, station research, scientists (both foreign and local), farmers' responses, and applications of extension work. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and up." (W. K. Bauchspies, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (11), 2008)"This book is a highly readable, engaging and thorough introduction to agriculture in the tropics and to the evolution of tropical agriculture as a science in the twentieth century. It reviews agriculture's ''successes as well as its fads and failures" and discusses how agricultural sciences contributed or not to the advancement of the small-holders producers, particularly in Africa. It focuses primarily on the second, post-colonial half of the century, and builds on the author's first-hand observations as a researcher in a plantation in the Dutch West Indies, Wageningen University lecturer and long-time researcher at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria. . The book is a welcome addition to the body of reading materials for introductory, comprehensive courses in international development or international agriculture. The author systematically introduces concepts like shifting cultivation (''the mother of all farming"), semi-intensive farming, nutrient budgets and crop modeling, and provides field examples to explain how these concepts work in reality. . The book also serves as a strong introduction to the history of Farming Systems Research (FSR), the author being one of the founding proponents of the approach. . a book that clearly, and often humorously, takes stock of tropical agriculture in a balanced yet candid manner." (Carlos Perez, Earth Institute, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA)