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Turner, Stephen D. (1978) Lesotho farming: The condition and prospects of agriculture in the lowlands and foothills of Lesotho. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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It is postulated that agricultural development in third world countries cannot properly be appraised without an understanding of the farming knowledge, and economic and cultural attitudes, of those citizens whom it is supposed to benefit; the factors which have moulded the contemporary- individual 's approach to farming must also be appreciated. Physical factors affecting agriculture in the lowlands and foothills of Lesotho are therefore outlined; the economic history of the Basotho nation is then discussed, and the present contribution of agriculture to national subsistence noted. It is argued that the farming sector is in decline but that it retains a vital role in the sustenance of most households. Two aspects of cultural context are examined; vernacular relationships with the landscape, and the perceived role of cattle. Contemporary Sesotho agricultural methods and farming knowledge are then outlined, and the important social networks which sustain agricultural production are - discussed. In a broad analysis of Sesotho world-view, the individual's attitude to farming is located. It is argued that the extent of farming knowledge, the degree of interest in this activity and the needs, problems and desired changes reported reflect an accurate appraisal of the role and actual potential of agriculture in Sesotho economy today. The significance of this appraisal for rural development is then shown in a discussion of soil erosion and conservation in Lesotho. The analysis is expanded to consider the policies of government and aid projects in other areas of agriculture. It is concluded that these are more likely to meet with success where they reinforce the supplementary subsistence role farming is still expected to fulfil; more ambitious initiatives may not correspond with realistic Sesotho expectations in this sector.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:07

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