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World Development Vol. 38, No. 9, pp.

1251–1262, 2010
Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
0305-750X/$ - see front matter
www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev
doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2010.02.007

“Ancient and Backward or Long-Lived and Sustainable?” The Role
of the Past in Debates Concerning Rural Livelihoods and
Resource Conservation in Eastern Africa
DARYL STUMP *
University of York, UK
Summary. — Attempts by external agencies to intervene in the operation of local resource exploitation strategies frequently include ref-
erence to historical arguments. These vary in accuracy and sophistication but are nevertheless rhetorically useful since discussions of
economic or environmental sustainability or degradation are substantially strengthened by historical comparisons and precedents.
Focussing on examples of indigenous intensive agriculture in eastern Africa, this paper agues that relevant evidence of this sort is often
unavailable or far from unambiguous. It is therefore necessary to be critical of the ways in which perceptions of the past are invoked
within these discourses, and to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of historical arguments in this regard.
Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Key words — historical ecology, archeology, intensive agriculture, indigenous knowledge, east Africa

1. INTRODUCTION systems in the past. The histories of specific economies or envi-
ronments may therefore be employed as potential sources of
Many debates concerning rural development and conserva- positive or negative precedents on the grounds that if sustain-
tion in Africa and elsewhere have focussed not on the present ability can be demonstrated in the past, then this at least sug-
or future—as one might expect—but on the past. Conserva- gests the possibility of future sustainability. Conversely, if a
tionists may present landscapes as virgin territory unaffected mode of resource use can be shown to have caused environ-
by local populations (for reviews and critiques of which see, mental depletion in the past, or can be likened to a past com-
for example, Anderson & Grove, 1987; Fairhead & Leach, munity that collapsed or suffered as a result of similar
1996); proponents of the extension or reapplication of indige- practices, then this would seem to indicate that the system in
nous knowledge tend to emphasize the longevity and environ- question is unsustainable. This is putting the argument
mental sustainability of local cultivation techniques (e.g., crudely, perhaps, but examples of these positions persist,
Alteiri & Koohafkan, 2008; Harrop, 2007); supporters of and will be illustrated here through the general case-study of
modernization may highlight examples of local environmental indigenous irrigation- and terrace-using agronomies in eastern
degradation or stress the inadequacies of indigenous tech- Africa.
niques in the face of perceived social, economic, or environ- Given that few if any environments can be conclusively de-
mental crises (see, e.g., Rocheleau, Steinberg, & Benjamin, scribed as unmodified by previous periods of human exploita-
1995; Lambin et al., 2001); and proposed interventions may tion, other economic and land-use practices from Africa or
rely on models of ecological or social change that are implic- elsewhere could be employed to examine this relationship be-
itly historical or which are themselves extrapolated from his- tween sustainability debates and historical knowledge (e.g.,
torical case-studies (see, e.g., Boserup, 1981; Siedenburg, Fairhead & Leach, 1996; Shetler, 2007). Nevertheless, this pa-
2006). As much of this research attests there is nothing new per concentrates on east African indigenous irrigation and ter-
about the invocation of the past in such debates, but historical race systems for several reasons. First, a number of these
arguments remain of pivotal importance and indeed are now agronomies have themselves been cited as potential paradigms
discussed from a range of disciplinary standpoints including of sustainable development, but have also been denigrated as
ethnobiology/ethnobotany (e.g., Sillitoe, 2006), historical ecol- examples of economies on the brink of collapse through re-
ogy (e.g., Balée, 2006), indigenous 1knowledge (e.g., Briggs, source degradation. They thus serve to illustrate the ways in
2005), resilience theory (e.g., Constanza et al., 2007), applied which historical arguments are marshalled to justify interven-
archeology (e.g., Erickson, 2006), and through the consider- tion in the name of economic or environmental stewardship.
ation of the role to be played by property rights legislation; Second, related models of increasing agricultural intensifica-
the latter encompassing historical perspectives owing to the tion proposed by Malthus (1985 (1798)) and Boserup (1965)
need to identify where and by whom particular technologies, have proved extremely influential to developmental thinking
lands or genetic resources were first employed (e.g., Brush,
2007; Sillar, 2005).
This referencing of the past within such discussions is argu- * This paper builds on work undertaken as part of a studentship funded by
ably inevitable, since any appeal to the twin concepts of sus- the AHRB, though the issues discussed have been explored further as an
tainability and conservation invites comparisons between the aspect the EU-funded Historical Ecologies of East African Landscapes
contemporary and historical situations on the grounds that project (HEEAL). The discussion has benefited from comments and cri-
both refer to the need to balance short-term gains with long- tiques by numerous people, for which particular thanks are due to Bill
term resource maintenance. Since the future is unknown, the Adams, Maureen Bennell, Paul Lane and Federica Sulas. The insightful
sustainability of a system must be predicted either through comments made by four anonymous reviewers are also gratefully ackno-
experimentation or by reference to the behavior of similar wledged. Final revision accepted: January 25, 2010.
1251

since several of these advantage that several of these areas employ “zero” tillage agronomies have their origins in the precolonial period but agriculture as endorsed by contemporary conservationist pol- persist in modified forms up to the present. Studies that question whether local environ- having developed in a range of ecological and social environ. Rocheleau et al. attempts to employ Ethiopia. 2002) and now as part of ongoing initiatives focus of this paper is not on the deliberate misrepresentation by the local agencies TIP 5 and PADEP 6. In addition. first as a joint project by the absence of good historical data. RESILIENCE. 529–530.g. in Tanzania. & environmental determinism or population-push intensification Gichuki. 1993. the areas of Ethiopia. agronomies to support large rural populations and the use tion features (e. Mortimore. 1983. that the GTZ 4 (Sheridan. for example. eco- nomic or environmental consequences of previous attempts at modernization can certainly be seen in this light (e. since in all such practices employ perceptions of environmental and economic arguments the relationship between historical data and pre. chambo. they offer oppor. in degradation narratives would also fall into this category . e. archeological. Tiffen. 1994) and. 2002). practices by contrasting these with the detrimental social.. these systems include extensive economies has been questioned by what are in effect historical areas of agricultural terraces in the Harar and Burji-Konso critiques (e. but are primarily small-scale. or alongside the agricultural landscapes in both Pare and tions that aspects of local resource-use should be encouraged Usambara has been cited as evidence of the existence and effi- or exported. Stocking & Perkin. sustainable resource use as referenced here to highlight to a non-archeological audience promoted by the concept of “development from below” (Stöhr how these historical interpretations are constructed. There is also the perceived added in assessments of sustainability. The irrigation system at Marakwet. secure funds (see. 2003. or between the history these economies. 1981) and by the United Nation’s Agenda 21 (UN. p. see Figure 1. although no similar pro. and highlight the degree to which archeological interpre. at Sonjo. emphasis here is on the precolonial past this issue applies Whether implicitly or explicitly. indeed. the ability of these archeological visibility such as agricultural terraces and irriga. cently referred to as “islands” of intensive agriculture the appropriateness of these models to specific African rural (Widgren & Sutton. icies.g. Erickson. Kenya (for gazetteers see Anderson & Adams. 1993). 1994). Lein. the Eastern Afromontane “biodiversity hotspot” (Brooks ronmental. however. while this These take the form of direct and sometimes simplistic com- paper makes no pretence to being a comprehensive review of parisons between the history of indigenous cultivation and either the historical or developmental literature pertaining to the history of previous interventions. of irrigation and drainage features include those at Konso in jects have been undertaken in Africa. histories of these areas remain fragmentary at best. Re.g. and the & Taylor. As was fore never unproblematic. 96. 132). DEGRADATION. However. 2007. enous resource strategies elsewhere in the world have under. Sheridan. As noted. the brief overview offered here is presented of African agriculture and the agricultural history of the devel- to stress the need to be critical of the ways in which percep.. the precolonial irrigation structures in African agronomies remain poorly understood. sources of evidence. 2004). The of apparently low-cost soil and water conservation techniques experiences of these projects thus aid in an appraisal of the fea. 1988.. and dis- 2. and exist within—and thus may have helped maintain— tunities to explore the strengths and weaknesses of paleo-envi. Kilimanjaro and Usambara archeological data to define and rehabilitate abandoned indig. in the Pare schema presented by Boserup is itself partly defended by re. 2 Similarly. SUSTAINABILITY. historical and observation-based et al. ments are as pristine or as historically stable as imagined with- ments at various times over at least the last 600 years. tional sources.. Studies employing very different touched upon above. Third. In short. as can research which demon- strates that the Malthusian crises predicted by earlier assess- The precolonial irrigation. 2005) and Kilimanjaro (Grove. in the Kigezi district of Uganda. one of a select few “lessons from the past” by a UN scheme tations rely on analogies drawn from historical and observa. Kendall. have led to the suggestion that they might act as paradigms for sibility of this approach in eastern Africa. while the use of stone terraces techniques may inform reconstructions of the relatively recent and water harvesting structures at Konso were described as past. Meru. they also serve North Pare have been the focus of a series of rehabilitation to emphasize how historical arguments are employed even in programmes from the early 1990s. 2007. 1988. Börjeson. while extended networks 1981. the chief con.1983. Usambara (Kaswamila & Masuruli. means they also act as useful examples of how archeological see also Moore. Although the kington. low external input. Chambers. Pare. 1973). 1992).. Conelly. eastern Africa defy simple models of their origins based on Carswell. to conclusions that particular practices have cacy of “indigenous conservation” (Gillson. 1989). 2004. and Mafangano in Victoria Nyanza. 2005). given that the histories of these 1990). history despite the fact that in the vast majority of cases the dicted future response is an act of interpretation and is there. 1998 (1992). 1985). lack of historical detail regarding has been described as potentially paradigmatic on the basis of the operation of these systems well into the 20th century its “non-bureaucratic management” (Ssennyonga. 1995. Finally. the existence of forested areas within these agronomies. Sokoni & She- cern is the use of implicit or explicit historical arguments with. & Broc- had detrimental consequences in the past. Rushinga course to historical and archeological case-studies (Boserup. reaffirmed 2002). oped world.. implications of this as regards the use of historical narratives 1992. this apparent paradox results from a ser- sources or evidence from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds ies of interrelated arguments that require or could be substan- may therefore reach very similar conclusions when attempting tially strengthened by the inclusion of an historical dimension.g. for land conservation and rehabilitation in African (FAO. these endorsements of local equally to studies of late-20th century change.g. Arguing for the potential sustainability of local tions of the past are applied within broader debates.. 1984.1252 WORLD DEVELOPMENT and have been applied to these agricultural systems. Similar projects have of local history by those seeking to justify intervention or to been attempted or advocated for South Pare (Yoshida. 1998) in in conservationist and developmental narratives pertaining to Tanzania. mountains of Tanzania and on the islands of Ukara. Rather. p. Ferguson 1990). and at Marakwet and Pokot in the Kerio Valley. Indeed. Grove & standably focussed on structures with very high Sutton. cussions see Adams & Anderson. the Dutch and German development agencies SNV 3 and It should perhaps be stated at the outset. to translate this data into policy objectives. see also Netting. Fourth. Adams & AND THE RHETORICAL USE OF THE PAST Grove. with such arguments ranging from asser. pp.and terrace-using agronomies of ments of local agriculture have yet to take place (e.

Tanzania. allusion to the past is used to demonstrate a vationist debates. 475) regarding the role of pastoralist produc- schemes appear to provide an unambiguous trajectory for tion in shaping the ecology of Mkomazi Game Reserve. of course. 2003.. be emphasized here is not simply that these competing narra. political .. but rather that they do so historical case-studies will form a pivotal role in testing resil- by reference to unsubstantiated perceptions of the past. East and Southern Africa in the 1920s and 1930s. when their more energetic and enterprising ancestors dug the yet this is rarely the impression received from the existing lit- furrows that are in use today” (cited by Adams. then. are thus viewed as evidenced of either good or bad land hus- cal progression. even advocates of resilience theory acknowledge differing levels of commitment and with various concessions that this is more an aspiration than an immediate goal. highlights the prevalence of neo- areas. but At their simplest. from the 1930s onwards included overt refer... 1995). the point to the modelling process (Dearing. erature. the position here is that current defi- Commissioner in 1933 who reported that “so far as I can judge ciencies in historical data make invocations of the past in sup- the Marakwet have not advanced one whit [. note that at present the problem of how to account for cultur- ests of white settlers (for discussion of which see Anderson. dress historical questions raised by developmental or conser- cal level. such as those by a Provisional In essence. itself “a period seldom perception of a direct relationship between longevity of occu. “landesque capital” (e. ences to a perceived history.] since the time port of particular policies or paradigms somewhat rhetorical. 62–63). Reij. benefits of aspects of indigenous soil conservation techniques Holling. of 160. Anderson & ing one’s broader case undermined by historical critiques. Deciding be- and rationalize the 250 km of main irrigation channels in Mar. Leach & Mearns. then. Rocheleau et al. as proof of sustainability. race building projects in Ethiopia from the 1980s onward. This dichotomy may that these tend to be equated with anomalies highlighted by thus be something of a straw man. ally specific and historically contingent human actions means 1984. p. an approach (ibid. would be to initiate targeted research that aims to ad- comments regarding Baringo. 2007. required (as has been suggested by Brockington and Home- mental narratives. & Toulmin. At this highly rhetori. 196). 272 in reference to similar course. the use of historical arguments by pro. requires detailed historical evidence. 2003. may in some cases be consciously employed to raise awareness tory of resource use to justify the colonial appropriation of and funds (e.g. While it may be superficially plausible to sumed to be well understood (a shortcut to historical interpre- present open grasslands and forested areas as “unoccupied. . Boerma. however. More. 2002. Beinart. for example. Kenya. 2007. the here—there is a danger that they will be used not just predica- prevalence of the use of historical arguments in discussions tively but as substitutes for historical data on the grounds that of their future can also be attributed to high levels of land. . Redman & Kinzig. The crude rhetorical device of denying a local his. since the sheer physical presence of highly modified Malthusian arguments in debates surrounding large-scale ter- landscapes appears to attest to a long history of cultivation. 1996. 2006. were seriously explored by British colonial authorities in West. natural resources Scoones. it is notewor. Richards. 1985). p. defined more precisely than “before the present century”” pation and the sustainability of local techniques. What. 2007). particular as regards the inter. intensive agriculture. Berkes. 1996) and thus as “investments” in and environment” (UN. Ho- Grove. see Morrison. Oldfield. something of a caricature to suggest that all among resilience theorists to produce long-term historical colonial period narratives saw these agronomies as ancient models which recognize the level of interaction between social and backward or that all proponents of indigenous knowledge and ecological systems and that can account for non-equlibrial view them as long-lived and sustainable. (2003. which this change will occur. p.” tation that has also proved tempting to historians and “virgin” or “natural”—that is as being without history—the archeologists.. 1992. Constanza et al. 1987. same clearly cannot be said for large areas of agricultural ter. 51. Note.1). agricultural change and a definition of the conditions under Tanzania).. 2007). Yet from the very specific to the extremely complex: an example in very general terms. see also Anderson. While these and other writers thus argue that well understood tives produce opposing conclusions. & Folke. p. anticipate that a community will only develop labor intensive thy that this line of argumentation is essentially the same as technologies when prompted by stress. Gillson et al. p.g. 1984. they accept too that in some instances this nec- over. 1996). The same kinds of agricultural features mies but which equated antiquity with a lack of recent techni. Demands for work of this kind range lack of modernity and hence a need for modernization. then. the potential dynamics and for social and environmental disjunctions (e. In consequence—and without 1996). there are clear echoes of this approach in the application essary historical detail may be indiscernible at the scale of neo-Malthusian and Boserupian models within develop. ditional scientific knowledge of their lands. While it is recognized that these models lend themselves to racing or for fields served by complex systems of irrigation the production of crisis narratives and that such narratives channels. p. tween these two extremes for specific instances therefore akwet.g Widgren. and both expect this to that employed in colonial period accounts and policies which happen only at a relatively late stage in the development of acknowledged the potential longevity of indigenous agrono. while the latter is best represented by the ambition It is. to do so is to risk hav- land or to validate external intervention (e. ience models. Kenya). that attempts to improve bandry: as either positive or negative precedents. examples of indigenous soil and water conservation (e. p.g.g.g. for example. and to local economics and politics. 2007) was thus never applied to these ben (1996).. wishing to include a lengthy outline or critique of these models In terms of the agronomies discussed here. Shetler. 26. also points out that these narratives are supported by reference ponents of indigenous knowledge might merely represent the to a vague and unsubstantiated past. and that subsequent changes to the social. “ANCIENT AND BACKWARD OR LONG-LIVED AND SUSTAINABLE?” 1253 (e. not least because both of these related wood (2001. the concept of indigenous knowledge of the former including the call by Gillson et al. albeit with However. 1998. pp. the mod- Leaving aside for the moment the problematic historical els proposed by Malthus (1985) and Boserup (1965) both assumptions contained within such statements. therefore. Indeed. is the way forward? One approach. the reactions of any given community to specific stimuli are as- scape modification. Nevertheless.. Note too that although advocates of indigenous that is apparently reflected in the UN’s stance that indigenous knowledge are apt to view terraces and irrigation features as groups “have developed over many generations a holistic tra. as a developmental trope may work at a similar level of 384) for archeological and paleo-environmental research to abstraction by viewing any evidence of prolonged occupation test hypotheses regarding local forest management in Pare..

211–212. pp. Stahl. Yet. and the East and techniques has a far longer history in highland northern Tan- West Usambaras. 1939. swidden cultivation. 1893. extraction of fuel wood (Gillson et al. Koponen. pp. (Spear. it will be necessary to remain competition between African farmers in the highlands and wary of any claim that the history of a particular African European owned farms and industry in the foothills and agronomy can act as a source of positive or negative prece. detail that is at best uncertain and at worst inaccurate. 1988. p. Criticizing individual authors within the developmental lit- yet the result is to weaken their case through the inclusion of erature for a lack of historical precision is. 1886. Moreover. 1990. whether or not these area. or economic shifts while others are abandoned is time (Curry. evidence presently lacks the precision to allow simplistic corre- vation methods (including furrow irrigation. 6) initial stated aim of attempting to by the 1930s. p. tural sustainability. p. On the face ence to protests against the colonial imposition of bench ter- of it such summaries are benign. 1995. Un. citing Bau- and springs dried up and land productivity started to decrease mann. 124). on Mount Meru niques in the North Pare and West Usambara mountains.). p. Furthermore. Widgren’s (1999. 2006. At the and it is perhaps worth noting that an historian is unlikely risk of doing the same by countering this position with an to be censured for failing to provide recommendations overly simplistic summary. 1997. this summary ignores Kimambo’s (1991. 122). p. far from thus extremely ambitious. lations between apparent longevity of cultivation and agricul- grazing. 1891). moreover. therefore. 1893).g. the uncorroborated and isons between the historical and modern situation problematic unusually precise dates cited for several processes are cause (a view espoused by McCann (1990) in reference to a brief per. 16. mary of the history of an area as an introduction to a given 1949. Until such time as these histories are and water resources were generally expressed in reference to better understood. 301. Every one of these statements duction in the late precolonial period further suggests at is contentious. zania than the century or so implied by Mbaga-Semgalawe plex and highly varied history. Kimambo. Meru. North and South Pare. level the historical detail included in reports of this type . assert that “In alongside examples of indigenous forest conservation has been the beginning of the 18th century most of the northeastern challenged by studies which query the assumption that extant mountains of Tanzania were covered in natural forests” sacred groves represent relics of precolonial forests. 1995. minimum tillage. Swynn- dents. nevertheless risk being seen as providing precedents and are Sheridan. this historical use of what they describe as traditional soil and water conser. crisis driven and. of northeastern Tanzania. 370. pp. 11). p.. Taken together. p. 26. Johnston. 2003. 2004. pp. despite citing Kimambo (1991) in refer- case-study or environmental impact assessment. p. Indeed. It is a common if not ubiquitous practice to include a sum. adoption of “improved” traditional soil conservation tech. terracing. and indeed even the apparently innocuous practice of erton. Indeed. 19.. unable to cope with a worsening 1978 (1871). 2007. p. 22) references to precolonial terracing and irrigation in this as well-established facts. and backward nor long-lived and sustainable: they are recent. in several of the precolonial polities on the southern slopes of In what is ostensibly an examination of factors affecting that Kilimanjaro (Devenne. Swynnerton. for concern. various early European observers not only reported the existence and potential antiquity of the network 3. 232– 223) present a short history of agriculture in the highlands 233 citing Holst. citing Kersten. Swynnerton.). The intention in offer. Mbaga-Semgalawe and Folmer (2000.). and invites questions regarding the possi- situation without external intervention. 1974. surrounding plains (Kanthack. 1949. the a-Semgalawe and Folmer imply that all of these techniques suggestion that soil and water conservation techniques exist date to the early 20th century (2000. 1873. Nevertheless. 1949). der such a reading local practices are therefore neither ancient Håkansson. Håkansson. intercropping and mulching) Mbag. were all apparently practiced at this political. pp. 17). Masao. fallowing. 1969. 2006. To do so is inherently to generalize a com. as noted previously. and claim reference to early European observations of a largely treeless that as a result “most of the soil cover was removed. p. 25). anxieties about increasing pressures on land (Widgren. 373–376. 1964. 17. an area that encompasses Kilimanj. 83. 120. New. of course. 80.. 1998. background to the problems they seek to explore and redress. THE PAST AS BACKGROUND of water channels on Kilimanjaro. Parallel cases can be made for the technolog- therefore employed either implicitly or explicitly in support ically similar and possibly related irrigation systems employed of the report’s findings. they Håkansson. To take Kilimanjaro as an example. 2002. and within and around the Usambar- for example. technologies such as irrigation postdate the foundation of colonial rule. but also commented favourable on its extent and technical assurance (e. despite advocating the and Folmer (2000). 65. chiefly on (ibid. The area’s reputation as a centre for iron pro- due to soil degradation” (ibid. 222– a Mountains (Feierman. although iod of agricultural intensification in early 20th century Ethio. From an historical standpoint. 303–304. Sheridan. 322). not least because they deny the existence of a least the possibility that deforestation resulted from local complex precolonial history of cultivation in these areas. the latter practice undertaken from at least the 18th cen- sections are intended to be read as offering accurate socio-eco. Meyer. the use of soil and water conservation aro. p. and is certainly complicated by lack being seen as solely a problem stemming from the local Afri- of good historical data for many of the potential case-studies can population. in contrast to Mbaga-Semgal- including an historical background to provide pre-disturbance awe and Folmer’s suggestion that indigenous agricultural baselines needs to be treated with caution. 1969. it is instructive to outline briefly for the future of the area under study. 1938. but become problematic racing in Pare. p. citing von der Decken. tury and possibly for up to two centuries earlier (see also nomic or ecological baselines for the analyses that follow. Lein. Indeed. state that fallowing became impossible because “By the basis of records of colonial tree-planting schemes and by 1936 all arable land was under cultivation” (ibid. pp. in the case of North Pare. bility that this process was combined with the clearance of for- ing this summary is thus presumably to establish the historical ests for agriculture. 223. zero. unfair. p. Similarly. the use of soil define a “common explanatory framework” for why some conservation techniques and the clearance of formerly unculti- African intensive agronomies appear resilient to ecological. pp. 2002). then.1254 WORLD DEVELOPMENT or ecological environment may be sufficient to make compar. 495). rivers landscape (Gillson et al. p. at some the extent of some of these errors. Arusha. p. where poorly understood or ambiguous histories are presented 20. land shortages and soil erosion were both sources of unease pia). Tagseth. II. 2003. vated land for agriculture.

. 24. would appear to be at best careless and a worst a Although it should be stressed that this interpretation is not deliberate misrepresentation. the de- untenable and is made with reference to the archeological sur. by both Conte and Koponen remove Sutton’s numerous cave- ats regarding uncertainty and the need to test various possible hypotheses. intervention in the latter having been justified during the colo- mature. then. a more nuanced understanding of the (Westerberg et al. 11. these authors cannot be criticized for not refer- the past is considerably more complex. pp. of severe soil erosion alongside descriptions of overexploita- able and their failure forced its inhabitants to migrate. or by stripping the landscape for fuelwood. 2006). 4) question the their environments. this being the largest irri. repeated external degradation led to forced desertion must be regarded as pre. . or by processes through which these pasts are constructed. 459) citing correspondence between In terms of east African agriculture such assertions inevita. 1996). pect of the River Umba drying up because the trees around the bon dates indicating that the area was farmed between the river have been finished off and pushed over by cows. In fact. but as wasteful of water. how- and furrows became [. in this instance Engaruka’s past was not being cited as part of 1998). and has echoes of Koponen’s (1988. the niques at Konso have also been cited as a positive precedent implication within the wider context of Koponen’s analysis by the FAO (1990). it is necessary to be crit- assumption that “people sowed the seeds of their own destruc.” Clearly 14th and 18th centuries AD (Laulumaa. esting to note that the poor record of these colonial interven- Stump. Tan- 1998. though in this instance the use of images situation. the Engaruka works proved unsustain. Regardless of the historical accuracy of this corre- concluding that: lation between abandonment and mismanagement. the debate has been charac. and thus does not al.. Tanzania. 2003. We will shortly face the pros- abandoned prior to colonial contact. tives to support the case being made. pp. p. the Mkomazi Game Reserve. Indeed.). Conte’s conclusion nevertheless serves as an example leaders as having been eroded at the time this linage was estab- of an historical case-study simplified to the point of inaccu. Ethiopia. comm.” and Indeed. p. Given that local soil and water conservation tech- that the agronomy “ended in a complete cul-de-sac”. current discussion it is noteworthy that the summaries offered problem and solution. . extraction of available resources. Once again. unchecked. then the the veracity of Kjekshus’s (1977) thesis that precolonial com- opposite—equating abandonment with systemic failure— munities in what is now Tanzania were capable of production should also be avoided. THE PAST AS NEGATIVE PRECEDENT clusions that appear to add both temporal depth and balance to their respective positions. a point that is particularly relevant If caution therefore needs to be exercised in the formation of to Koponen’s discussion given that his stated aim is to explore simple formulae regarding systemic sustainability. 221). whilst anthropogenic resource depletion remains a possibil. tion in an NGO’s promotional literature regarding Konso. history of these areas indicates—perhaps inevitably—that Obviously. and veys and discussions of the site conducted by Sutton (1984. Kenya. Doing so allows the presentation of definitive con- 4. a game warden and a local Member of Parliament dated 1966 bly focus on the site of Engaruka. this example illustrates how organizations being that Engaruka offers a rare example of the local mis. most obviously in this case by the suggestion of an ongo. cites a similar example of an alleged negative precedent exhaustion. and as having undergone a period of decline illustrated by the presence of irrigation features fed from what since its precolonial heyday (Adams. with similar objectives might select opposing historical narra- management of resources in the precolonial period. are employed within broader discussions and to be aware of the tion. far above subsistence level and were generally well adapted to spective Barker and Gilbertson (2000. 220–222). omy developed gradually over a period of perhaps four centu- ing process of extreme environmental degradation over a very ries (Stump. 383) assessment 85. . As Watson points out. 2006) and that it persisted during a comparatively wide area and dating back some 70 years. 1998.” Watson (2007. with technically impressive. is mentioned within the oral tradition of one linage of ritual 1989). encing this more recent work. p. Sutton. with Brockington ment” (ibid. with calibrated radiocar. it is now clear that the agron- ers. ical of the ways in which invocations or perceptions of the past tion [. . In contrast to the view that the visible remains tions and that of the Kerio Valley Development Authority of this irrigated landscape resulted from the short-sighted (from 1979 onwards) were subsequently viewed as negative . and Homewood (2001. 25) thus briefly refers to this site. pers. Over the course of the 20th century this tacking between ity—specifically as regards a hypothesis of diminishing river admiration and denegation of local cultivation is perhaps most levels resulting from river catchment deforestation (Sutton. the relict field system at Engaruka remains an unusually visible appar- The more sophisticated and specialized the system of terraces ent “lesson from the past. . In the introductory section to an environmental history a case-specific background history. Writing from an archeological per. a contributor the most likely explanation being declines in river flows as is to soil erosion. 2006). obvious in reference to the agronomies on Kilimanjaro.]. it is interesting to note that Engaruka is even men- go on to observe that “In general.. 34)—the assertion that locally induced resource zania. “ANCIENT AND BACKWARD OR LONG-LIVED AND SUSTAINABLE?” 1255 influences the conclusions drawn by either the authors or read. Ultimately. Soil exhaustion or the accumulation of salts or alkalis nial period by the apparently sincere beliefs of a series of Agri- as the result of prolonged periods of irrigation now seem cultural Officers who saw the indigenous irrigation system as doubtful as causes of abandonment (Stump. p. but from the perspective of the low the formation of simplistic equations of cause and effect. racy. graded landscape lies outside the area currently farmed. Conte (2004. tioned in reference to overstocking degradation narratives at terized more by confident assertions than well-founded argu. lished at some as yet undefined time in the distant past (ibid. . allowing their livestock to over-graze the vegetation.] by developing irrigation systems that caused saliniza. but it was nevertheless in- that explores changing attitudes to intensive cultivation and voked as a precedent of what may occur if processes perceived forest management in the Usambara Mountains during the as damaging to the Mkomazi area were allowed to continue 20th century. 2007). and within the Kerio valley. p.] the greater the potential for soil ever. Although still far dry period that spanned the early 16th to mid-17th centuries from fully understood. and the more precarious its owner’s subsistence at a landscape scale. in which it is stated that “In a short time this area will become gated and terraced agronomy to have been comprehensively like the desert of Engaruka [. it is inter- are now permanently dry river beds (Sutton. p.

g. these new data merely refute the time scales and carrying At present. 2002). therefore. for the major. archeologists and development special. as a means to supply domestic water and to irrigate finger mil. many small-scale rural societies to the erosion of customary tally different system to the one that preceded it. Kanthack. gests individuals will inevitably find workable solutions to cur- ceived need for tenure reforms to promote private ownership rent or future problems provided they have sufficient freedom (Tiffen. In short. and feedbacks” (Walker. cited by Carswell.1256 WORLD DEVELOPMENT precedents in their own right by the various historians. therefore. 132) even for the late 19th and early 20th centuries. and Ssennyonga suggests that the featured agronomies may act as positive (1983).g. options such as out-migration and non-farm incomes that ture. Grove. tives. tainability of local technologies as regards possible future tion. Thus. several of the intensive agricultural ready-reckoner of the degree of intensification (1965. 1981. p. though similar for any attempt to invoke historical data in support of con- research that questions the applicability of Boserup’s (1965. show that fallow lengths—Boserup’s As already discussed. but in so recognizing the political co-option of a particular narrative terms of the current discussion is most relevant to attempts cannot be viewed as proof that these conclusions are necessar- to intercede in the management of local economies. in the course of this argument it is further emphasized that his- let (Devenne. Indeed. 457). Moreover. catastrophic soil exhaustion due to “poor farming practices” ity of these agronomies the history of exploitation is uncertain (Uganda Government. 2009. struc. 138. 1999.. Uganda. Carswell is wary of equating this examples established during the 19th century at Arusha. 1996 citing Boserup. to continue to experiment with and refine a range of . .” This relationship of course applies equally to occur does not mean this situation will be avoided indefinitely. 1994) are also of relevance given the former influence complexity displayed within African agricultural history sug- of this model as regards technical modernization and the per. the more general conclusion that the level of dynamism and Conelly.g. precedents of locally developed resource maintenance regimes in the face of increasing population. Kodalo. empirically qualifies these earlier narratives or which high- lights the political motivation or methodological assumptions behind their conclusions may..] offer a model that has far outlasted any modern that earlier predictions of environmental collapse have yet to development. p. This is the conclusion drawn by Broc- in itself only indicates that the technology is long-lived. anthro. just as demonstrating sites [. overturn previous 6. 1938). 19)—have actually been increasing over the course ted as potential paradigms of sustainable indigenous knowl. 2007. THE PAST AS POSITIVE PRECEDENT and the recent re-examination of these same transects in Kige- zi District. a relationship succinctly summarized by Adams and threats. dates for inception only available for the comparatively late This having been said. By demonstrating that ear. this cause severe problems. 2002. 2002). NGO assessments dating to as recently as 1994 which forecast archeological or paleo-ecological data. 1997) and at Baringo. 1987). 2006. and kington and Homewood (2001. dynamics may require an essentially subjective decision as to 1994). p. One This point too has been touched upon above in relation to can criticize the political manipulation of degradation narra- the tendency to compare the apparent longevity of local adap. 2002). Soper. both of which mean that previously effective sustainability (see Figure 1). 1996. with reliable therefore seem equally questionable. Indeed. lier predictions of immanent systemic collapse dating back pologists. cf. Governmental and edge despite the absence of long-term historical. but they also do not automatically dation (e. a point illustrated for the Kigezi and Machakos ity to “absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing studies through the recognition of contemporary economic change so as to still retain essentially the same function. thus faces the problem that defining these (Carswell. 449. Kenya (Anderson. 2006). 2000. 1994). refutations of earlier negative assessments as demonstrating Sheridan. therefore. The study by Tiffen et al. Carpenter. & were less readily available at the time of the initial forecasts Kinzig. for levels in the Machakos area of Kenya. systems in eastern Africa with precolonial origins have been ci. and is certainly not avoided by drawing 1981) model of agricultural change (e. of the 20th century (Carswell. Holling’s notion of resilience as the capac. especially ily unsound (Brockington & Homewood. Adams. The east African ETHNOGRAPHIC PAST historical studies that come closest to demonstrating positive presidents could thus be characterized as critiques of the appli. large-scale damming. p.. 28. but this does not in itself demonstrate the sus- tations to the perceived failures of earlier attempts at interven. . 2007. Tagseth.g. then. hierarchies and to the falling credibility of supernatural reper- cern arises from those readings of local history that see cussions for unauthorized resource use (e. drainage or relocation projects. Burra & van torical analyses of this sort are rarely in a position to compare den Heuvel. techniques may prove difficult to replicate in the future. of which the most obvious are still population in- Anderson (1988. pp. Holling. 1970). historic record. these and other factors are contributing in what level of alteration constitutes the creation of a fundamen. Tan. Stump & Tagseth. where external involvement was partially justified by reference Positive precedents are not only harder to identify within the to perceived evidence of locally induced environmental degra.. p. 457) with reference to the does not necessarily demonstrate continuity of function. comparisons be- tween surveys carried out by colonial Agricultural Officers 5. see also Conelly. 2001. Börjeson. Research that follow from the rejection of former negative assessments. like with like. 1994. despite predictions of example. 2004). A similar con. although historical research has been able to capacities mentioned in earlier forecasts and do not necessarily date specific elements of these agronomies such as individual disprove the overall thesis that continued pressure will one day irrigation schemes (e. APPLIED ARCHEOLOGY AND THE assessments regarding systemic vulnerability. geographers. originally developed at least two centuries earlier irrevocable soil damage from the 1930s onwards. Tiffen et al. such studies ists who contributed to Kipkorir.. Murton. over half a century have as yet proven unfounded. temporary policies. since zania (Spear. 533) who note that “certain indigenous creases and climate change. 1993. identity. reappraisal with an assessment of future sustainability. (1994) which demonstrates a five-fold in- irrigation system that later supported the cultivation of coffee crease in population alongside evidence of decreasing erosion as a cash crop on the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro. 2002. The problem of how to translate past performance into pre- cation of neo-Malthusian degradation narratives to particular dictions of future success represents a serious stumbling block agronomies (Carswell. p.

pp. Indeed. p. Intensive agricultural systems with precolonial origins in eastern Africa. stability and simultaneously counters the accusation that . Pare Usambara KEY: Furrow irrigation . techniques. by suggesting that this research should focus not could be made in the absence of historical data in that it is just on the technologies and techniques employed today but effectively a statement that individuals in Africa generally cope on the processes by which these strategies were developed to some extent. and in doing cific landscapes. and shows further similarities with historical so critics attempts to restore an imagined precolonial ecology as regards the recognition that former or ongoing re. for example. “ANCIENT AND BACKWARD OR LONG-LIVED AND SUSTAINABLE?” 1257 Konso K E N Y A West Pokot U G A N D A Marakwet Kigezi Elgeyo Baringo Mfangano Rushinga Machakos Ukara ru Engaruka Me Kilimanjaro T A N Z A N I A Arusha Taita N. p. ing of the past. by leading to he describes as “a new development paradigm” built around increases as well as decreases in the nutrient levels of cultivated “a diachronic approach that is firmly based on an understand. 2006. and says tive or negative precedents. Pare Iraqw’ar Da’wa S. a contention that receives support still less about these issues in the past. The position thus says nothing about sustain. Balée. 1996. 84–86). soils (Niemeijer. Such an stance has clear affinities developmental audience that some of its number may have with the emphasis among historical ecologists on the history underestimated the degree of complexity and dynamism evi- of interaction between humans and environments within spe. cf. 102– source-use practices can have both positive and negative con- 103). although Niemeijer (1996. 104. Terracing . 87) advocates what sequences for modern communities. denced in the historical record of Africa’s past. pp. technologies and crops (Niemeijer. through time. and the maintenance of delayed reciprocal relationships with Niemeijer is therefore no doubt right to highlight to a neighboring communities. Terracing and irrigation . Drainage or flood farming . from the example of how an appreciation of the gradual devel- Despite this fact. health or life and adaptation as regards the identification of potential posi- expectancy in the developed and developing worlds. Niemeijer recognizes the significance of change ability or about relative standards of living. 1996.” such a conclusion is so wide-ranging that it Moreover. Drainage or flood farming with terracing Figure 1. Niemeijer also endorses a more targeted opment of the agronomy at Engaruka casts doubt on the approach that takes account of particularistic and culturally assumption that its abandonment resulted from the short- specific factors over the long-term such as long fallow regimes sighted over exploitation of resources.

small-scale abandoned features were undertaken as an exercise in exper- communities as homogenous. danger. 144). in outlining the methodology and results of an at. the problem that these proxies may record very localized ef.] is much less of an issue for the recent past” (ibid.1258 WORLD DEVELOPMENT proponents of indigenous knowledge take an ahistorical and since the first attempts to reconstruct and cultivate these potentially romanticized view of non-western. Erickson’s (e. perceptions of the past play a sig- The very robust and detailed case-studies of past practices nificant role in debates concerning the sustainable manage- required by historical ecologists. promoted. archeologists about the potential benefits of incorporating more recent inno- and paleo-ecologists would certainly question the assertion vations. Lack of historical depth and precision thus local agricultural knowledge. 25). 2005. regardless of Thus. LONG LIVED AND SUSTAINABLE? cal or technical aspects of an agronomy and its develop- ment. with proponents of external intervention empha- p. the practice of all too often ignored. that reference local economic practices. CONCLUSION: ANCIENT AND BACKWARD OR sources may provide very limited data regarding the physi. take an optimistic view of the temporal resolution of paleo. pollen analysis. that in the absence of an explicit exposi. and is far too diverse both spatially and temporally 1998 (1992)) description of the early stages of his raised field to enable the formulation of simple “lessons from the past. spect of the value of indigenous knowledge. has led to contrasting conclusions regarding their future sus- graphic and developmental literature as evidence of the con.” Similarly. p. In these instances this missing historical data includes and so on” (Niemeijer.and By attempting to re-run elements of now abandoned agron- inter-societal relationships Niemeijer also highlights the dif. technologically static and imental archeology designed to provide precisely the sort of intellectually conservative (see also Briggs. but given the near ubiquity communities see and react to the environment in different of historical arguments. 2001. Historians. as in some way paradigmatic. political and economic factors. by emphasizing the degree and rate of change through the archeological data alone. The extant examples of east African indigenous tinuity of local practices (Stahl. historical and paleo-environmental evidence consequences of a particular strategy.) over- looks the problem that documentary or oral historical 7. Conceptions of Afri- combined with observational data drawn from research into can agriculture thus rely on an historical dimension that is current social and ecological systems. fal- environmental reconstructions (Butzer. as elsewhere. within African economies and the complexity of intra. p. therefore. In Africa. detail has not stopped the production of narratives which out deficiencies in historical and archeological data is an ex. models and allusions within attempts ways. to prolonged periods of permanent or recurrent cultivation. 1996) and notes that these risk rein. ignores lowing cycles. but they are also quite open quired under this new paradigm. observing that “the information gained in the critically. Kendall (2005. 1996. imprecisely understood. On the basis of current data. for example.).] also became a feedback to help in the interpre. tion. while he is broadly correct in acknowledg. and about the need to include techniques for which that “environmental change is relatively easy to document there may be little or no historical or archeological informa- through the study of sediments. whether the discussants are proponents or detractors in re- tempt to re-employ Inca terraces and irrigation structures.. It is clearly misleading. In fact. . p. ments whereas advocates of indigenous knowledge have seen cally static.” even where these areas have been employed for essential feature of all historical reconstructions. present African environments as “pristine. in those areas where the level of landscape tion of sources and inferences. and downplays the extent to which different and contemporary sources of data. p. to claim that local resource exploitation strategies strategies are long-lived and hence both environmentally are either unsustainable or environmentally appropriate in and economically sustainable. 22 following Chance. or presumed employing modern ethnographic observations or evidence to be somehow self-evident. although there has the absence of historical information concerning changes yet to be an attempt to revive elements of a wholly aban. the two projects that have at. ments whereby ethnographic analogies are used to produce the application of conflicting models of agricultural change historical case-studies which are then cited within the ethno. the conclusion that edge projects. to the environment.” “virgin” or tremely common interpretive device and is arguably an “natural. to define potential replicable modes of local resource exploita- ing the difficulty of using archeological techniques to discern tion. . how- will give the false impression that indigenous resource-use ever. sizing their antiquity in order to justify attempted improve- forcing the stereotype that African communities are histori.” rehabilitation project in Peru further illustrates this point. There is a either expansive pastoralism or recurrent arable cultivation. tainability. but also prosaic technical details such as crop rotations. 107–109). 1996. resilience theorists and by ment of resources since any assessment of sustainability Niemeijer’s “new paradigm” are thus likely to consist of requires authoritative statements regarding the long-term archeological. climate or techniques of cultivation doned African agronomy to act as a positive precedent of through time. 211) notes that the experience of operating Attempts to cite the history of African agriculture in defense aspects of this agronomy itself provided insights into histor. irrigation schedules and fertilization regimes. clusions. . Indeed. lake levels. principally on the grounds that this history is not present [. omies these applied archeology projects clearly treat the past ficulty in gaining access to the level of historical detail re. Yet ignorance of this historical from relatively well-defined historical case-studies to flesh. represents a substantial obstacle to contemporary debates tempted this in Andean Peru both emphasize this effect. Such projects thus clearly represent an amalgam of historical fects (ibid. Conversely. Similarly. this could be said to be true of many indigenous knowl- social. Stahl refers to intensive agriculture have thus been both denigrated and the histories thus produced as “ethnographic pasts” (2001. . the history of . 94) in that it would seem to not just social information such as how labor was organized. social and technical detail that could not be discerned However. sufficiently well understood at present to draw definitive con- tation of the archeological data. “this poses a clear problem in terms of prehistory [but.g. of developmental interventions should therefore be viewed ical value. historical interpretations of modification clearly indicates that they have been subject this kind will be employed in misleading and circular argu. Yet in the context of the current discussion their apparent longevity as evidence of their economic and there is an additional concern that these circular arguments environmental sustainability.

and only sion presented by Niemeijer (1996). 82n). 1988. 1983). p. 1989. for historians to resolve these historical questions.g. it might be tempting to conclude that 1920. and that success. (Kipkorir et al. This is not credited premises of earlier paradigms in defence of new ap- to say that they can do so indefinitely (Brockington & proaches. air or from satellites) to docu- conclusion drawn by McCann (1990. effect. of these questions may never be resolved. pian empire at the turn of the 20th century were subsequently cultural systems in Kigezi and Machakos have yet to occur employed for slash-and-burn agriculture whereas those in (Carswell. like ecosystems generally. archeological and paleo-environmental meth- stable (Behnke. 1995). 2001). Gillson et al. Mkomazi and Tsavo local agricultural adaptations could be simply that agrono. Stump. are less than two cen. and is really saying nothing more than opmental narratives. 532–535). this is largely the (whether from the ground. 1993). are only ever provisionally of historical. gences of resources and opportunities can occur at different turies old and appear to be showing signs of strain insofar as times for very different reasons. pp. solutions. though it is also notewor. Indeed. the long predicted Malthusian collapse of the agri. continuity of practice. tices could also be cited. 73) the possibility that the tech- At present. this combination the conjunction of labor and fertile soils in a depopulated of contemporary and historical approaches should produce area with access to markets that remained unregulated dur. Tanzania.. 1989. the level of spatial and tem. 1994. 53). for example. 1983. 2006). 1994). Scoones. & Kerven. quately qualify these debates. indicates that the techniques employed sal of the development of the Chamus irrigation system near have allowed intensive agricultural production for at least four Lake Baringo. 1988. Eritrea and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. of fossil pollen can conclusively document how and when Seen in this light the lesson to be taken from the history of the vegetation of North Pare. the state of historical knowledge niques formerly employed at Dime could be sustainably re- regarding indigenous African agriculture is ambiguous in established deserves to be explored. p.] rather than a set of synchronic factors which can be indigenous knowledge in development planning shows no replicated”. and in doing so may provide information essential to ade- Such a conclusion is mirrored by Anderson’s (2002) apprai. and include repeat photography ble historical contingencies. centuries (Amborn. ... p. the system requires increasing levels of labor-inputs to main. Tiffen et al. such arguments are an extreme optimist would wait for them to design future attractive in that they acknowledge the long history of dy.” Numerous similar enquiries demanding a range mies. nearby Konso continued to be cultivated intensively (Amborn. the contingent dynamics in this instance being sign of abating in the immediate future. 2006). ods alongside the direct observation of contemporary prac- ful strategies rely on the convergence of largely non-replica. dated in Ethiopia. changed. Eshetu & Högberg. pp. particularly Ssennyonga. Scoones and Thompson. a more complete understanding of the long-term history of ing the period in which colonial power was being consoli.g. the measure- the brief intensification of sorghum production that took ment of carbon13 isotopic levels in soils to reconstruct place in the Mazega lowlands of northwest Ethiopia in forest vegetation histories (e. Since the current interest in the use of [. Anderson. just as it is inevitable that historians African communities—in common with all societies world. Equally. Moreover. and development professionals will continue to cite the dis- wide—have largely muddled through to date. Boerma. Yet it is equally unrealistic to expect historians. 133) who regards ment landscape change (e. 1997. though the re-establishment of small-scale irrigation aspects of the agronomy could be replicated elsewhere at Baringo since the 1960s (Adams & Anderson. as such. the simplicity of the formula that sees abandoned systems as 225) as “extreme empowerment. theless. it needs to be acknowledged that some Homewood. . Given that oral historical and genealogical evi- torical arguments of this sort and the potential to predict dence indicate that the agronomy at Konso may have sup- future responses or to extrapolate to other areas have also ported a comparatively high rural population for over five been critiqued (Siedenburg. In where terraces abandoned following conflicts with the Ethio- contrast.” that is that local farmers failed systems. problem and solution (Rocheleau et al. As noted previously in relation to the discus. Of course. it is unrealistic to expect such organizations to wait and others). 2006). as may well be the case in the Dime area of Ethiopia portation of fodder and manure (Spear. p. . specific examples of African resource exploitation strategies. strategies. Yet just as “historical accidents” can create opportunities tain soil fertility: the 19th century practice of rotating fields be. but other hypoth- poral variation and the extent of recent and on-going eses can and should be tested. 1989. namic and adaptive behavior displayed by local farmers. Never- ing Chambers et al. Kenya. systems with equally complex histories to simple cause and sources and allowed to design their own solutions (ibid. 2007. Referring to several of the changes within these agronomies serve to illustrate that con. 384) note that “Only archeological investigation of that the failure of large-scale interventions can be countered the soil profiles of several sacred forests.. 2002) demonstrates that these conver- similar techniques in Arusha. and argues against the conclusion (2003..g. cit. therefore. they can also create restrictions which may lead to the tween crop production and cattle pasture having been replaced “premature” curtailment of potentially successful economic by the stallage of cattle with its attendant needs for the trans. p. radiocarbon dating by promoting the “tried and tested” techniques employed by of charcoal from precolonial iron-smelting sites and analysis local communities (Adams & Anderson. unresolved historical questions touched upon above in refer- tinuity of occupation cannot be equated simplistically with ence to indigenous conservation. between approximately 1840 and centuries and. Yet 530–531. 2000). “ANCIENT AND BACKWARD OR LONG-LIVED AND SUSTAINABLE?” 1259 Marakwet. p. the early 20th century as an “historical accident” and that or simply the examination of archeological stratigraphy to “the Mazega’s agricultural revolution is an anti-model since investigate the historical development of agricultural systems its success derived from a confluence of historical factors (e.. archeologists and paleo-ecologists not to comment on the but the position is so vague as to be hardly an historical false assumptions and conclusions cited within these devel- argument at all. the recognition terms of development planning unless one takes the level that the abandonment of extensive areas of agricultural fea- of dynamism evident within these agronomies as an tures at Dime may have had external causes demonstrates endorsement of the view referred to by Sillitoe (1998. Kenya. have long demonstrated an ability to experiment with and One can rightly criticize governments and development make informed decisions about the usefulness of available agencies for attempting to reduce complex societies and eco- technology and should therefore be given access to these re. thy in the context of the current discussion that the use of his.

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