Soils are critical to agriculture and, in turn, to food supply and livelihoods. Sustainable management of soils is crucial for a large proportion of the population of Africa. Contrary to many claims, soil fertility is improved and managed successfully by small-scale farmers there. Careful studies from widely different areas reveal how closely bound up soil management is with complex social, cultural and ecological factors - requiring a far more subtly tuned approach to development policy and practice. This work is a study of how the context of livelihood systems has to inform development policy and practice.
Table of Contents
Transforming Soils: The Dynamics of Soil-fertility Management in Africa * Creating Gardens: The Dynamics of Soil-fertility Management in Molayta, Southern Ethiopia * Seizing New Opportunities: Soil-fertility Management and Diverse Livelihoods in Mali * Soils, Livelihoods and Agricultural Change: The Management of Soil-fertility in the Communal Lands of Zimbabwe * Participatory Approaches to Integrated Soil-fertility Management * Ways Forward? Technical Choices, Intervention Strategies and Policy Options. * Notes * References * Index
Ian Scoones is a fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. He is co-editor (with Chris Reij and Camilla Toulmin) of 'Sustaining the Soil'.