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How Africans Traditionally Plant: All Crops In One Field November 9, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Culture, Development, Economics, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Oromia.
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‘That’s how we plant it, the African way. All crops in one field.’

African Maize Field(Mixed Planting).


‘The myth of the greater productivity of larger farms stems in part from the confusing use of the term “yield” to measure productivity. Yield is how much of a single crop you can get per unit area — for example, bushels of
soy beans per acre. That’s a measure that’s only relevant to monocultures. A monoculture is when a single crop is grown in a field, rather than the kind of mixtures of crops and animals that small farmers have. When you grow one crop all by itself, you may get a lot of that one crop, but you’re not using the ecological space — the land and water — very efficiently. In monocultures, you have rows of one crop with bare dirt between them. In
ecological terms, that bare dirt is empty niche space. It’s going to be invaded and taken advantage of by some species in the ecosystem, and generally we call those species weeds. So if that bare dirt is invaded, the farmer has to invest labor or spray herbicides or pull a tractor through to deal with those weeds. Large farmers generally have  onocultures
because they are easier to fully mechanize.Smaller farmers tend to have crop mixtures. Between the rows of one crop
there will be another crop, or several other crops, so that ecological niche space — that potential — is producing something of use to the farmer rather than requiring an investment of more labor, money or herbicides. What that means is that the smaller farm with the more complex farming system gets more total production per unit area, because they’re using more of the available niche  space.’


Related Articles:

‘Small individual farms in Moldova are more productive and more efficient than large corporate farms.’http://departments.agri.huji.ac.il/economics/en/publications/discussion_papers/2006/lerman-sutton.pdf

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