7. Field crop production in tropical Africa.
Publ. of the Centre Technique de Cooperation Agricole et Rurale (CTA), Postbus 380, 6700 A.J. Wageningen, Netherlands; ISBN 92-9081-086-6; 1991; available from CTA, Netherlands
A new CTA publication 'Field crop production in tropical Africa' by I.C.
Onwueme and T.D. Sinha brings progress in scientific research and practice in crop production within the easy reach of students of agriculture. It provides a comprehensive text for an introductory course in field crop production and combines detailed treatment of agronomic principles with a crop-by-crop treatment of the major field crops of tropical Africa.
The authors explain that the most important phase in the history of the dispersal of crops from their centres of origin to other parts of the world followed the enormous expansion of world trade during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During the sixteenth century New World crops (i.e. crops indigenous to the Americas) such as maize, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes and cassava were introduced to other parts of the tropics. The most recent developments in the dispersal of crops have been associated with the expansion of international agricultural research. Although there are relatively few indigenous plants of outstanding economic value in Africa, there are now many introduced crops which have been accepted and are grown on a large scale.
Part I of the book looks at agronomic practices generally and particularly at climatic factors, soil fertility and conservation, irrigation and drainage. Part II covers each crop in detail within categories such as cereals, roots and tubers, grain legumes, oilseed crops, and fibre crops. Sugarcane, tobacco, tea, coffee, cocoa and para rubber are also covered. Botanical descriptions of each crop are followed by details of cultivation and crop protection methods. The book is illustrated with line drawings and black-and-white photographs.
Although the book is written mainly for undergraduate students, it may also be useful to postgraduate students of agronomy, research workers, agricultural extension officers and progressive farmers.
1097 92 - 4/140
Review, book, tropics, subtropics, crops, plants, cultivation, economic value, utilization, IAT, CTA
REHM, S. and G. ESPIG
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