George Katoto Ambindwile
- University of Dar es Salaam
Market-Driven Rice Farming and Environmental Changes in the Usangu Plains-Tanzania, 1945 to 2000
This study examines the relationships between market-driven rice farming and environmental changes in the Usangu Plains from 1945 to 2000. Before the 1940s, the area under investigation practised traditional peasantry agriculture mainly maize farming for subsistence that had its own unique environmental orientat ion and working. Equally significant, that system is said to have preserved environment as tradional ways of agriculture (fallow sytem, application of Ngobongo) happened to be enviromentally friendly. However, from about 1945 the agricultural system changed to rice commercial farming (with cash economy dominating) as a result of change of the British colonial agricultural policy after the Second World War. Along with this transformation, there were new forms of political authority, agronomic practices, and new patterns of mobility all of which affected the use of the Sangu environment. Thus, this project argues the development of market driven rice farming produced significant environmental changes in the Usangu Plains that manifested themselves in different phases between 1945 and 2000. The project draws on a critical reading of oral sources, archival records, and other forms of document to articulate the development rice production and its environmental impact in the study area.
From Waste to Resource: Rice Husk and its Environmental Advantages in the Usangu Plains, Tanzania, Mid-1980s to the Present
This study examines the people`s roles on the development of husk use and its environmental advantages in the Usangu Plains, from the mid 1980s to the present. The people in question are mainly ordinary people mainly peasants who are the main actors of major grass-root innovations and transformations; however they wittingly go unnoticed or undocumented. Rather than focusing synchronically on the roles of government and conventional scientific theories, the international community, and Non-governmental organizations as has been done by many studies, this study concentrates on the ordinary people`s roles at the grass-root levels. Drawing on a wide range archival records, secondary sources and oral interviews of people at the grass-root level, this study not only brings to the fore the voices of the people`s agency, but it improves on the existing literature by clarifying and demonstrating that the peasants in the Usangu Plains have acted as agents who have made their own history by transforming their circumstances such as the use of husk, through their own material production.