By Michael Mortimore

This booklet 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 accordance with recurrent drought within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. The query of desertification is explored in a space the place the noticeable proof of relocating sand dunes is dramatic blame are tested with regards to the sphere proof. A critique is out there of deterministic theories and authoritarian recommendations. Professor Mortimore demonstrates a parallel among the observable resilience of semi-arid ecosystems and the adaptive innovations of the human groups that inhabit them and indicates coverage instructions for strengthening that resilience.

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On all sides the bare skin of Africa appears as its thin green veil of savanna burns releasing a grey fog of dust into the atmosphere. Arable land is carried away by the yellow waters of rivers in flood. Slabs of sterile truncated soil, bearing tufts of grass around uprooted bushes, recall a kind of leprosy that is spreading over the face of Africa; elsewhere great slabs of ferruginous brown or blackish rock abound. Great banks of sand are deposited in the beds of streams and rivers around which small threads of water meander in the dry season.

A major programme of co-operative development took place, but instead of furthering The fat years 33 local participation and initiatives it tended to be hierarchical and uniform (King, 1975, 1977). Pump irrigation schemes were set up on the Hadejia-Yobe, Kaduna, Niger and several smaller rivers; and dams on the Rima. These were expected to be the forerunners of larger-scale developments in the future. In the livestock sector, there were a number of attempts to 'rationalise' or improve upon existing grazing systems, including rotational grazing schemes in some forest reserves, and cattle ranches.

DESERTIFICATION: DEFINITION AND MEASUREMENT If desertification is now accepted as the most appropriate term, agreement on its exact meaning remains elusive. In a review of more than a hundred definitions taken from the literature, Glantz and Orlovsky (1983) suggest that the concept, as it is used by researchers, may mean either a process of change, or the end state of a process (or both, as implied in the term itself). If a process, it may be conceived either as a negative change, from a productive to a less productive state, or as a transfer of the unproductive characteristics of one area (such as a 15 16 Introduction desert) to another, as implied in the word 'encroachment'.

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