By Michael Mortimore

This publication embodies the result of 13 years of analysis in drought-prone rural components within the semi-arid sector of northern Nigeria. It describes the styles of adaptive behaviour saw between Hausa, Ful'be and Manga groups in line with recurrent drought within the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties. The query of desertification is explored in a space the place the seen proof of relocating sand dunes is dramatic blame are tested relating to the sector proof. A critique is available of deterministic theories and authoritarian strategies. Professor Mortimore demonstrates a parallel among the observable resilience of semi-arid ecosystems and the adaptive thoughts of the human groups that inhabit them and indicates coverage instructions for strengthening that resilience.

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Sample text

They do not correspond well with the visible evidences of ecological status in northern Nigeria. It is expected that further work will improve their usefulness. A third step, not yet attempted, needs to differentiate amongst production systems, and take into account the relations between farming and pastoral systems. Notwithstanding some similarities in soils, topography and drainage, and in some economic characteristics, across the semi-arid zone, there are differences at this level that have analytical importance.

Its main conclusion (p. 8) was that 'there is no obviously apparent danger of desiccation' (a natural increase of arid conditions), but there is unquestionably an impoverishment of the sylvan conditions of the country. This impoverishment is due almost entirely to uncontrolled expansion of shifting cultivation as a result of the security afforded by European administration... Consequently a large part of the natural woodland which covered the country has been so seriously degraded in quality that it is of very little use and it has not been replaced, except in very few localities, by farmland of real value.

They do not correspond well with the visible evidences of ecological status in northern Nigeria. It is expected that further work will improve their usefulness. A third step, not yet attempted, needs to differentiate amongst production systems, and take into account the relations between farming and pastoral systems. Notwithstanding some similarities in soils, topography and drainage, and in some economic characteristics, across the semi-arid zone, there are differences at this level that have analytical importance.

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