Farmlands, or agricultural landscapes, captures the interest of a number of researchers based at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University. On this blog we share information about research findings, activities, events and comments related to our work.

Our interest in farmlands has three roots: farming, landscape and society.
Farming as a practice, including farmers knowledge and labour investments
Landscape as society-nature relations, congealed history, and as space and place
Society as a short form for institutions, gender relations, political economy and scientific relevance

Most Welcome to FarmLandS!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A map of agricultural systems in Africa by 1800



This map is the first published result of the project Mapping Global Agricultural History which aims at mapping global agricultural systems at three points of time during the last millennium: 1000 CE, 1500 CE, 1800 CE.

It will be published in
Widgren Mats: Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa by 1800: a map and a gazetteer. In Mercuri, A.M., D'Andrea, A.C., Fornaciari, R., Höhn, A. (eds.): Plants and People in the African Past - Progress in African Archaeobotany (in press), SPRINGER

But the maps, the background references and the GIS-files can already now be downloaded from
doi.org/10.17045/sthlmuni.5173477

By publishing the map  and gis- files on figshare I hope that other researchers will compare with their own material and find the caveats. Needless to say such a work is always preliminary and the revision of this map, has already started. If you have questions, critiques and comments do not hesitate to contact me mats.widgren@humangeo.su.se

The categories used in a regionalization like this are - as always - a difficult compromise between a strict logical system and a pragmatic one based on the sources available. A basis for the classification of global agricultural systems is taken in the works of Whittlesey and Grigg. The following table shows the preliminary global categories and the further refinement that is possible for Africa.

Tab. 1. Classification of agricultural systems
Intensity rank
Global categories
Categories in sub-Saharan Africa
1

Pastoralism, ranching
1
Pastoralism
2
Husbandry of non-domesticated plants

NA
3
Extensive or undifferentiated farming
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
Grain
Grain and roots
Rice
Vegeculture
4
Permanent fields
4.1
4.2
Permanent fields
Flood retreat and other wetland cultivation
5
Mediterranean complex

NA
Mesoamerican complex

NA
Taro complex

NA
Mixed farming
5.1
5.2
5.3
Infield-outfield
Mixed farming, general
Mixed farming with terracing
6
Intensive farming
6.1
6.2
Banana gardens
Canal irrigation
7
Irrigated rice
7
Irrigated rice
Oases

NA





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