Increasing rice consumption in West Africa has spurred efforts to augment rice production. To improve rice yields and expand the area under cultivation, international and national agricultural institutes have emphasized the agroecological characterization of rice-growing environments. We suggest that traditional approaches to the classification of staple-crop-producing environments focus narrowly on the biophysical components of agriculture and ignore the historical origin and cultural aspects of cropping systems. Our study of Côte d'Ivoire traces the diffusion of rice into Ivorian territory and explains the differences among formal rice-growing practices today. Based on field observations and interviews with farmers and extension workers, we identify nine rice-growing systems
Keywords: Côte d'Ivoire, diffusion, farming systems, rice.
DR. BECKER is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, Nebraska 68849-1120. MR. DIALLO, now retired, was the coordinator of key sites for on-farm research at the West Africa Rice Development Association, 01 B.P. 2551, Bouaké, Cote d'Ivoire.
To contact the lead author:
Professor Laurence Becker
Department of Geography
University of Nebraska-Kearney
Kearney, NE 68849-1120
Phone: (308) 865-8682, 8355, (308) 865-8355 fax