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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Intensive Cultivation and Environment Use among the Matengo in Tanzania
Author:Kato, Masahiko
Periodical:African Study Monographs
Geographic term:Tanzania
land use
agricultural land
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Abstract:This study focuses on the agro-ecological background of an intensive cultivation system called 'ngolo', which has been practised for over 100 years among the Matengo people in southern Tanzania. Literally translated, 'ngolo' means 'pit'. Since a 'ngolo' field has many pits, the system has also been referred to in the literature as 'Matengo pit cultivation'. The 'ngolo' system is highly sustainable, as it both conserves soil and water and matures the soil. Moreover, the high productivity of this system allows for a steady food supply to the Matengo. The other cropping systems in Matengo agriculture, which are closely related to 'ngolo', support farmers economically. Emigrants have succeeded in maintaining 'ngolo' cultivation, even in underpopulated villages, although the cultivation system was originally conceived and sustained under conditions of high population pressure. The system is able to conserve land in new villages that experience similar natural conditions, such as hilly landscapes and intense rainfall. However, social constraints and agricultural effects are not the only reasons why the Matengo have successively used 'ngolo'. They have trusted in 'ngolo' cultivation based on past experience, and it might therefore be a foundation of their culture. Bibliogr., notes, sum.