Notes on Amerindian agriculture

TitleNotes on Amerindian agriculture
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1968
AuthorsDummett, MJ
EditorSalisbury, RF, Dummett, J, Hills, TL, Cook, D
Book TitleEthnographic notes on Amerindian agriculture
Secondary TitleSavanna Research Series no. 9
Date PublishedFebruary 1968
PublisherMcGill University, Department of Geography
Keywordsagroforestry; American Indians; Native Americans; nutrition

The purposes of this paper are to examine the techniques of subsistence agriculture as carried out by the Amerindians living in the Rupununi district of southern Guyana, and to suggest possible considerations to be taken into account when attempts are made to impose methods of food production. The pressure of population on available resources is increasing to a serious extent, and it is desirable that some sedentary form of agriculture be developed, together with improved methods of transportation and the opening up of markets for the produce. It is obvious, however, that it is not possible to find one solution only to the problem of improving agriculture in this area. Different solutions must be found to the different situations that exits.

At present, the products of the bitter cassava are the staple of the Amerindian and, as a crop, it is remarkable in many respects. Some of its attributes are: high caloric yield per acre (approximately 4 million calories), drought tolerance, can remain in the ground and be reaped over a period of a year when mature, and will grow in relatively poor soil. Until the Amerindian attempts to produce a variety of crops or tries to develop some more permanent form of agriculture where soil, and possibly, water for irrigation become important, differences in the physical conditions have little effect on the success of cassava as a crop and may possibly have led to an impression that one solution can be found. (author)

Research Notes

CIKARD collection contains only page 21 of this report

ISU Parks Library #F2380.1 .W3 E84