ISBN 9789987083565
Pages 294
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2018
Publisher Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania
Format Paperback

Increasing Production from the Land

A Source Book on Agriculture for Teachers and Students in East Africa

by Andrew Coulson, Antony Ellman, Emmanuel Reuben Mbiha

African agriculture faces major challenges with growing population pressure and the impact of climate change. Until now food production overall has broadly kept pace with demand. To maintain this impressive achievement, production from the land needs to be intensified, soil fertility must be enhanced, forests and water resources must be conserved, and land use practices must be sustainable over the long term. This book shows what needs to be done, and points to how best to achieve this.

The book starts with a brief guide to what plants and animals need to grow well, how farmers currently use the land, and the research that is being conducted on new agricultural technologies. A comparison is made of productivity on small and large farms, which demonstrates that, contrary to some suggestions, small farmers, properly serviced, can be as productive or even more productive than larger farms. Subsequent chapters discuss issues of land tenure, pastoralism, training, the importance of women farmers, access to finance, markets, value chains, and contract farming as a partnership between small-scale producers, processors and traders in agricultural products.

The final section of the book discusses whether a new “green revolution” is feasible or desirable for Africa. The potential risks and benefits of dependence on purchased agrochemicals, genetically modified varieties, and multinational seed and chemical companies are examined. A series of twelve broad policy proposals for achieving a sustainable agriculture sector is presented for consideration. Fifteen case studies illustrate the issues discussed in the book. Most of the examples are from East Africa, particularly Tanzania, but the principles addressed are relevant across the African continent. Each chapter of the book includes references and suggestions for further reading, most of them freely available to anyone with internet access. A set of essay questions exploring the issues covered in each chapter is included, to provide practical help for students of agriculture and their teachers.

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"This is a very important contribution to any discussion of agriculture, food and rural policy in Tanzania… the authors, all with deep experience, have created a highly readable book which deserves to have a real impact at the ‘farmer level’ – always their objective."

Laurence Cockcroft, Tanzanian Affairs

About the Authors

Andrew Coulson

Andrew Coulson worked as an economist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives in Dar es Salaam from 1967 to 1971 and taught economics and agricultural economics at the University of Dar es Salaam from 1972 to 1976. He taught at the University of Bradford, England from 1976 to 1982, and at Birmingham University from 1984, where he specialised in matters relating to local government in the UK. Since 2009 he has made regular visits to Tanzania, and published a range of articles relating to agriculture in Tanzania. A second edition of his book Tanzania: A Political Economy was published in 2013. He is current Chair of the UK branch of the Britain Tanzania Society. 

Antony Ellman

Antony Ellman is an agronomist and socio-economist.  He first worked in Tanzania from 1962-1970, as manager of the co-operative farm at Upper Kitete near Arusha, then as planner and adviser on smallholder development in the Ministry of Lands, Settlement and Rural Development, based in Dar es Salaam but working in every region of the country.  Since then he has done similar work with small farmers in many other countries of Africa and Asia, including frequent return visits to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

Emmanuel Reuben Mbiha

Emmanuel Reuben Mbiha was born in Kasulu, Tanzania. He is Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania and was Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness from 2000 to 2005.