The Cultural Diffusion of Rice Cropping in Cote D'Ivoire

By Becker, Laurence; Diallo, Roger | The Geographical Review, October 1996 | Go to article overview

The Cultural Diffusion of Rice Cropping in Cote D'Ivoire


Becker, Laurence, Diallo, Roger, The Geographical Review


Rice consumption and production have an ever-increasing impact on West African national economies and the changing local ecologies of the region. Cote d'Ivoire illustrates this point, with rising rice consumption, primarily in urban areas. Between 1984 and 1989 this rise cost an annual average of U.S.$93.7 million in rice imports, which increased to U.S.$107 million in 1993, making Cote d'Ivoire the largest rice importer in West Africa (FAO 1995).

To meet this demand, large areas of moist lowlands and rain-fed uplands are being cleared for rice production. Rice is not a new crop to West Africa, and its cultivation has long been associated with a circumscribed "rice zone." Today, as rice cultivation expands into new areas, farmers from various cultural backgrounds working in diverse ecologies adopt the crop to fit their particular needs and experiences. Its cultivation affects domestic and local economies and results in ecological change in ways that reflect the collective historical experience of the peoples who grow the rice. Many recent attempts to classify crop environments based on physical characteristics for the purpose of extending cultivation, such as Wim Andriesse and Louise Fresco's characterization of rice-growing environments in West Africa (1991), fail to consider the cultural and economic history of the crop and its diffusion. To do so examines a crop's potential only in a theoretical, laboratory-type physical setting devoid of cultural influence. Yet the human element in agriculture is anything but neutral: Crop distribution is not restricted to biogeographical patterns.

In this article we combine the cultural history of rice cultivation in Cote d'Ivoire with the results of a field study of contemporary rice-cropping systems (Becker and Diallo 1992). based on data collected in interviews with rice farmers, local extension workers, and field observations in each of the fifty secondary administrative units, or departements, the country's rice cropping is divided into nine networks, or systems (Table I). Like Martin Lewis's regional agricultural geography in the Philippines (1992), these groupings are not territorially exclusive, although they mostly have a strong regional bond. Each takes into consideration the heterogeneous population of the country, where distinct systems of rice cropping are found side by side, often exploiting separate ecological niches and made up of sets of cropping technologies with their own histories. The approach is useful to development planners, especially when compared with the restricted biophysical focus so commonly used. An emphasis on networks addresses the production realities of farmers. No matter how many irrigation projects are built, farmers will only produce rice when it is in their best interest to do so. Beginning to recognize these self-interests is an essential step in efforts to improve agriculture.

IVORIAN PHYSICAL AND HUMAN ENVIRONMENTS

Cote d'Ivoire's physical landscape is underlain by Precambrian formations, dominated in the west by the granitic Mountains of Man, including 1,752-meter-high Mount Nimba at the point where Guinea, Liberia, and Cote d'Ivoire meet. Much of the landscape is undulating valley and upland, traversed by three major north - south-trending rivers - the Sassandra, the Bandama-Nzi, and the Comoe [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED]. The climate is regulated by the relative positions of the tropical maritime air mass over the South Atlantic and the dry air associated with the North African anticyclone over the Sahara (Hayward and Oguntoyinbo 1987). The moist southwesterlies bring monsoon rains, with high rainfall totals (2,300 millimeters a year in Tabou). The longest rainy seasons are in the southwest, near the ocean, and in the mountains, along the border with Liberia and Guinea. But the dry Harmattan winds blow from the northeast, giving the Bouna Departement, bordering Burkina Faso (Upper Volta until 1984) and Ghana, low rainfall figures (less than 900 millimeters a year) (Atlas de Cote d'Ivoire 1979). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Cultural Diffusion of Rice Cropping in Cote D'Ivoire
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.