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close this bookPrimary School Agriculture: Volume I: Pedagogy (GTZ, 1985, 144 p.)
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(introduction...)

HERBERT BERGMANN

A Publication of the Deutsches Zentrum fwicklungstechnologien - GATE, a Division of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fhnische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH - 1985

The author: Herbert Bergmann, born in 1943, is head of the section General Education of Deutsche Gesellschaft fhnische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH. A sociologist by training, specialised in development issues, he worked in Cameroon in the framework of that country’s primary school agriculture as member of a multinational team of educationists working at IPAR (Institut de Pgogie Appliquocation Rurale)

Preface

This manual is intended for teachers who are teaching agriculture or gardening to the upper classes of primary school. Its aim is to provide a realistic pedagogical background to primary school agriculture, in line with current reforms.

Such factual information has to relate first and foremost to the pupils environment if one of the main aims is to be achieved, namely making school more relevant to the people. Since the two major types of environment treated, tropical rainforest and humid savannah, are typical for the humid tropics, it is hoped that the manual may be of value in African countries with similar natural conditions.

The present book, volume I, entitled Pedagogy, covers the pedagogical background. This volume is divided into three parts:

- Pedagogical Foundations,
- Teaching Methods,
- Examples for Practical Use.

Under Pedagogical Foundations, we discuss several pedagogical approaches-regarding the inclusion of agriculture as a subject in primary school, give a short analysis of agriculture teaching in Cameroon and an East-African country, and propose a scientific approach which is adopted throughout the manuals.

Under Teaching Methods we discuss topics of practical importance in everyday school life, e.g. the "scheme of work", the structure of teaching units, various indoor and outdoor activities as part of primary school agricultural instruction, the use of scientific methods of observation and experimentation, etc.

These discussions, which are sometimes of a general nature, are given a practical basis in part three. It contains a number of lesson notes and teaching units organized according to the principles laid down in the first two parts. In addition, it includes a few background information texts written by teachers. These notes illustrate how classroom teaching and practical work may be combined.

Volume II will provide factual information on questions which may arise when teaching agriculture.

This manual could not have been written without the help of many people who cannot all be named here.

Special thanks are due to the Government of the United Republic of Cameroon who made my stay in their beautiful country possible, and to the Cameroonian educational authorities who supported IPAR research and pilot project work in Environmental Studies with patience, sound advice, and invaluable administrative assistance, as well as to the German Agency for Technical Cooperation which agreed to fund this follow-up work to the project.

I am greatly indebted to Mr. V.J. Divine, a member of the senior staff at IPAR-Buea, who taught me a great deal about Cameroonian agriculture and Rural Science, and who gracefully submitted himself to the rigours of extensive field research.

I would also like to mention the contributions of those Cameroonian teachers, colleagues, and friends who participated in the IPAR-Buea school farm scheme and attended the respective seminars. Their contributions in the form of written material and discussions have helped to make the manual what it is.

Miss P. Smithson's and Miss Germann's art work deserves special mention; it facilitates the reading and complements a large part of the text.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. and Mrs. Greenland who edited the manuals as far as language is concerned and, last but not least, to Mrs. H. Winkler who never lost spirit in what sometimes was a very tedious job typing and correcting the manuscript.

Herbert Bergmann

(introduction...)


Map of Africa

1. Introduction

Agriculture occupies an important place in many Primary School Curricula. Often it is not a new element in the syllabus, however, but has been taught for many years in succession. Why bother to write a Teacher's Manual since there are already a number of Rural Science books, and why design a manual which goes beyond the level of factual information about agricultural topics?

The answer is that after Independence education proceeds from a concept which places education fully in the context of independent nations belonging to the group of developing countries in Africa. Education is supposed to serve the needs and aspirations of an independent nation with ambitious goals for development, needs and aspirations of a political, cultural and social nature as much as of an economic nature. It seems necessary, therefore, to define the place of primary school agriculture in relation to the overall aims of education and to make comparisons with similar efforts in other African states. From the discussion of aims and objectives on the one hand, and the daily constraints under which schools have to operate, on the other, the necessity of thinking about appropriate teaching methods will become apparent. It is in this broader framework that factual information for teachers will have to prove its usefulness.

2. Objectives for teaching agriculture in primary schools

Agriculture was incorporated very early into the syllabuses of primary and secondary schools. None of the colonial powers in Africa and none of the more important missions made an exception to this rule. Reasons for this were complex:

- Economic considerations demanded increased productivity, especially in the brandnew cash crop sector.

- Another line of economic reasoning led to the inclusion of food crop farming in the curriculum: many of the early schools were boarding schools. Their costs could be kept relatively low only if part of the food at least was produced by the school itself.

- Many educators expressed a concern to create in their pupils the habit of hard and reliable work.

- A work-oriented and farm-oriented education was meant to keep the colonized peoples safely in their place. These were politico-administrative considerations whose aim was to keep the emancipation movements in check. It is for mainly this reason that work-and farm-oriented education came to be resented and rejected by many politically conscious Africans.

A number of objectives - are pursued whereever agriculture is included in the school curriculum. The following major objectives can be identified:

1. Teaching basic scientific procedures and introduction to the general methods and logic of science;

2. Teaching practical skills and knowledge;

3. Developing positive attitudes towards manual labour;

4. Making education African in content;

5. Halting or reducing the migration of school leavers from rural to urban areas;

6. Generating income for schools.

As can easily be seen, these objectives are interrelated and are also linked to overall national goals. The diagram on p. 11 shows the relations between the objectives. It might be useful to take a closer look at the links between the various objectives.

1. Pre-vocational training means providing knowledge, skills and attitudes that will be directly useful for agricultural activities. This does not constitute a full-scale professional training, since pupils are too young for it and must not be barred from the chance of further education through having specialised too early. Rather, what they learn in agriculture should prepare them for real professional training later on. The argument for pre-vocational training is that the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired are valuable. Since most primary school leavers in Africa will, for some time to come, have to earn their living in rural areas, this means that the pre-vocational training will be agricultural instruction. Also it is hoped that a practically relevant education will motivate pupils to stay in their home communities. The rural exodus is seen as economically wasteful, depriving rural areas of valuable labour and adding to the high costs of urban centres. It must be realised, however, that rural-urban migration depends mostly on economic factors beyond the control of the school system. The rural exodus is often seen as a threat to political stability. Agricultural skills, it is argued, will enable rural young people to earn an income in their home areas. While production in the rural areas would go up, the urban centres would no longer be flooded by job-seekers.

2. Attitude formation often figures as an objective in its own right. People deplore the disdain for manual work. By introducing agriculture, with its partner farm-work, into the syllabus, one hopes to create a habit of manual work. A positive attitude would build up at the same time. It ought to be remembered, however, that the overall attitude towards manual work is also shaped by cultural traditions, early childhood socialization, parental- expectations and the actual hard work involved in manual labour, the rewards that go with it, the behaviour and attitude of teachers etc. This objective can only be reached if practical work is carefully conducted and supervised in school.

3. Using agriculture as a means of teaching basic principles and procedures of science might be a more realistic aim. How well it has been achieved can be assessed throughout and at the end of formal education, whereas the success of pre-vocational training can only be seen a number of years later. Also equipment for the teaching of science, e.g. experimental kits for physics or chemistry, is expensive and needs constant replacement. Yet, scientific methods can be taught on the school farm or garden at very little expense. Experimentation and observation, both short- and long-term, are perfectly possible. This would provide a valuable preparation for any pre-vocational or vocational training. It would also make pupils receptive to future extension work, and help develop an informed critical mind.

4. Earning income by means of school agriculture seems to be an attractive objective, too. Since farming produces crops, it can provide an income. This could be used to finance at least part of the recurrent expenditure of a school. As a large part of the budget for education goes into teachers' salaries, very little is left for any other purpose. But it is not just economic considerations that back up this objective. Earning income from school agriculture fits into a general policy of self-reliance. The idea is that teachers and pupils who are used to taking care of most or all of the needs which arise in school will carry this attitude over into other spheres of life. The earning of income by schools will lower the cost to be met by society at large. How well it will be achieved depends among other things on the relative importance of prevocational training and introduction to science: the more emphasis there is on pre-vocational training, the more production will be valued as the result of work, whereas for science education, production is of minor importance.

5. Last not least, including agriculture is seen as a means of adapting education to the local situation. Work constitutes an important part of human life, and any cultural tradition is intimately linked to work. Since agriculture is the main area of work in most of Africa, it should not be overlooked in education. This implies, however, that agriculture in education really does refer to traditional agriculture. If this is so, then it may well facilitate skill development and attitude formation as discussed under the heading of pre-vocational training. More important, in general terms, it will help to shape and stabilize the cultural identity of the pupil. And it will contribute to ensuring that education is the passing on of traditions from one generation to the next instead of the transmission of knowledge and values coming from an outside culture.

Our discussion of the objectives for school agriculture has been rather general. We shall be more specific when dealing with the objectives for primary school agriculture.


Figure

3.1 Overview

In this section, a few approaches to the teaching of agriculture in primary schools will be presented so that the reader may compare them and judge the merits of each. On the evidence of two particular cases, we shall then briefly examine the gap between educational theory and what actually goes on in the schools.

3.1.1 Agriculture as a Vocational Subject

This approach is followed, for example, in Kenya. Practical work and a high level of production are important. The emphasis is on modern methods of agriculture. Textbooks are structured according to crops with detailed information as to the methods used in obtaining high yields. There is no reference to other subjects. Specially trained teachers are required who ideally have the qualities of a good farmer or farm manager. The assessment of pupils is based on their performance in the garden and on the farm. This approach is also the one being followed in the current educational reform in Rwanda. It was prevalent in colonial days and is used today in most post-primary programmes.

3.1.2 The Concept of Rural Science

In the anglophone provinces of Cameroon and in countries like Nigeria and Ghana, agriculture is or was incorporated in a broader subject labelled Rural Science. The plan of A.F. Ndenge's book "Science for the Beginner" neatly exemplifies the structure of the subject:

Agriculture

- the soil
- manure
- farm and garden management
- crop husbandry

Nature Study

- weather
- entomology
- air
- flowers
- roots
- animal husbandry

Hygiene

- water
- refuse
- ventilation and overcrowding
- first aid
- organs of the body
- body systems
- classes of food and drinks; food preservation; diet
- common worms

General

- dead and living material
- money and trade
- lamps
- engines and machines
- clubs and societies
- some important Cameroon industries

The syllabuses and schemes of work provide for experimentation and observation. Practical activities take place on the school farms. The scope of this subject is not confined to pre-vocational training but is more general and therefore acceptable also to those who will not become farmers. It is a compromise between a pure science curriculum structured according to the internal progression of the natural sciences, and a purely vocational training approach with recipes showing "how to do it". The methodical emphasis is on flexibility and on a timing that ensures immediate applicability of what is taught:

"The topics should be taught at suitable times of the year in relation to the changes in seasons. It is important to establish links between the topics in this book. They should neither be treated separately nor dealt with in the strict order in which they occur." (Ndenge, A.F., Science for the Beginner, Victoria 1972, preface)

For a more detailed analysis see Volume 2, Part I (Farming Methods), sections 3.1. and 3.2.8.

3.1.3 Focus on Manual Labour

The approach tentatively advocated by IPAR-Yaounde, Cameroon, splits the teaching of agriculture into two components and keeps them separate as far as the time-table and schemes of work are concerned. One component is actual farm-work where pupils are supposed to acquire a certain amount of practice. Building up a positive attitude towards manual work as such seems to be as important as the acquisition of skills. The other component is called "Observational Science" (sciences d'observation). It covers roughly natural science and social studies. Being entirely classroom work it is supposed to follow a rigid scheme of work which links up only occasionally with work on the school farm. It is to be feared that such an approach severely limits the pupils' opportunities for learning.

3.1.4 The Integrated Approach

Agriculture is seen as part of a much larger subject called "Environmental Studies" within primary education. It covers the topics included under Rural Science but extends to Social Studies. Furthermore, it is integrated as far as possible with teaching in the general subjects - language and mathematics - following a project-centred approach. The aim of agriculture is to develop basic agricultural skills and to teach, in a practical way, elementary scientific principles and procedures. As for agricultural skills, the emphasis is on basics. A six or seven year primary school course cannot and should not turn out professional farmers. The aim is to teach basic scientific skills through primary school agriculture. This approach seems to have been first advocated in Africa by a curriculum development project at Namutamba in Uganda. It was recommended as part of the reform of Primary Education for Cameroon. Apart from supplying background information, heavy emphasis is placed on teaching methods, since the approach requires new teaching skills not demanded by the old approach. Much of the curriculum development activities will have to go on at local, subdivisional and provincial level in order to produce teaching content suited to local conditions. Within a general common syllabus' teachers will have to determine teaching content based on local situations. While documentation is needed to back up teachers' efforts, they must do their own fact-finding. This, in turn, is one of the skills pupils are supposed to acquire through the integrated approach. Systematic inclusion of African farming methods is part and parcel of the approach. Integration in this context has assumed two meanings. One is unifying a number of separate subjects in a larger one. This greatly simplifies the timetable and gives teachers more scope for organizing their teaching according to areas of interest. It also makes project-centred teaching possible. The other meaning is that content in one subject is used in other subjects, too. Lessons in language and mathematics use content taken from agriculture instead of examples from contexts unrelated to the child's experience. One step further in integration would be to use agricultural content as it comes up during school-farm work. It would be good, for example, to practise reading and writing with texts about soil and tilling when the school farm is being prepared for planting.


The Integrated Approach

3.2 An appraisal of how agriculture is taught at present

The Rural Science approach seems quite adequate in theory. Yet, the way it is practised raises doubts about its feasibility. Here are a number of weak points.

3.2.1 Teaching and Learning

- The main teaching method employed is chalk and talk. It is rare to find experiments or nature walks. There is hardly any observation. Thus the many opportunities for the pupils to be active and to make discoveries are lost.
- Pupils' textbooks and teachers/guides are relatively poor. There is not enough background information on agriculture, nor are there sufficient guidelines on teaching methods and work organization. Therefore, wrong things are sometimes taught and work organization on the farm is less effective than it could be.
- Classroom teaching and farming/gardening are most of the time unrelated. This again means the loss of valuable learning opportunities since one would think that, for example, teaching a lesson on soil would be most effective if the pupils actually tilled the soil.
- Linked with this is the mechanical application of a common syllabus. For example, certain crops have been termed "school farm crops" - yams, beans, and maize. Most teachers try to farm these crops no matter whether they ape suited to their area or not. Instead of taking the syllabus as a general guide and adapting it to their respective environments, they try to carry it out to the letter.
- Examinations are exclusively in writing and usually come in the form of multiple-choice items. Therefore there is no important incentive for good practical work.


3.2.2 Effectiveness

- Most school farms perform less well than local farms using traditional methods. This is going to defeat the very purpose of school agriculture, exposing it to the ridicule of illiterate farmers.
- School agriculture has little influence on farming outside the school compound. Teachers and ex-pupils use traditional farming methods. At best, they try a mix of "scientific" and traditional methods. The pupils know very well what is going on on the teachers' private farms. They therefore get a firstclass demonstration of the teachers' own lack of faith in "scientific" agriculture.


3.2.3 Failure to Comply with Regulations

- In many schools, pupils are sent to work on the school farm as a punishment, especially since physical punishment is forbidden by law. This is bound to create or reinforce a negative attitude to farm work rather than foster positive attitudes. It highlights the hardship of farm work and portrays more than anything else the real attitude of teachers towards manual labour.
- Also, unfortunately very common is the misuse of pupils' labour, of crops grown at school, and of money from the sale of crops by teachers and headmasters. During farm work lessons, some pupils are sent to work on the teachers' farms or in their compounds. The teachers often take part of the harvest from the school farms, either free of charge, or at a price below current market prices, or on credit that is difficult to recover.

In conclusion, one could say that

- learning effectiveness is far below the level of what is possible;
- farming and gardening often degenerate into mere child labour;
- as for attitude formation, current practice is counterproductive;
- pupil's efforts are exploited, often in a dishonest way which brings the whole subject into desrepute.

The following extract describes an inspection tour to schools doing agriculture in an East African country.

Agriculture Programme in Schools and Collegesby J. Wesonga

My familiarization trips to a few schools and the questionnaire which I sent to all schools and colleges teaching Agriculture reveal some problems in teaching Agriculture. The Ministry has made significant steps to try to introduce as many schools as possible to the teaching of Agriculture; with the major objective of boosting our Agriculture as one of the major earners of income and Foreign Exchange. At this juncture it is needless to mention that Agriculture plays a vital role in our Economy both for international trade and the internal market, as the industry on which more than three-quarters of the population of the country depend for their livelihood. It was with this in mind that Government decided to reintroduce Agriculture in the Curriculum in both Secondary schools and colleges, and soon we hope in Primary schools and High schools. This is to comply with the principle that Education is for the benefit and needs of the country. One of the needs of not only this country but the world at large is to produce enough food to feed its people. Thus when Agriculture was started in schools, the aim was to make it a vocational rather than a theoretical subject. This is clear from many official documents of meetings and Conferences concerning the development of Agriculture syllabuses in the sixties and early seventies. This point is further emphasised in the aims of the Agriculture syllabus itself, i.e. 'To teach in a practical manner, basic principles and skills in Animal Husbandry, Crop Husbandry, Agriculture Economics and Agricultural Mechanics'.

Despite all this, most schools have turned the subject into a theoretical one. It is not unusual to find poorly kept crops or animals in the school garden just - because of the failure to put theoretical knowledge into practice; e.g. poorly spaced crops, coffee that is not pruned, cabbages that are not weeded; no rotational cropping or grazing, no records kept of what cropping is being done on the farm.

This type of education is not only useless but also a waste of Government money and man power. There are many reasons why this subject in some schools lacks the practical aspect but I will discuss them broadly under three headings; i.e. Agriculture teachers, the role of the Administration, and Financial Limitations.

Agricultural teachers: Many problems in school are due to the laziness of some teachers. While some teachers are doing a very commendable job there are others who are trying to frustrate the aims of the subject. They are too lazy to initiate a project in school; so they resort to theoretical teaching and place most of the blame on the Head Master or the Ministry. An Agriculture teacher is somehow different from other teachers because his work and abilities can be easily seen on the school farm apart from the usual class-work. He is lucky that he can convert all that is being taught in class into practice on the school farm. This farm not only helps to teach pupils but also becomes an example to be copied by people around. Yet in many school farms the practices used are either below the standard of an ordinary surrounding farmer or are just the same. in this way most students don't see any difference between school agriculture and traditional methods of farming. A good number of schools I visited personally had projects established such as coffee, tea, dairy etc. but surprisingly enough instead of the Agriculture teacher grabbing this opportunity to use these projects, he neglects them, and does not seem concerned with what happens on the farm. The farm is the laboratory of the Agriculture teacher, thus he should strive to improve anything on the farm. Lack of maintaining the school farm in good conditions is just as lack of maintenance of a laboratory for a Science teacher, as such a teacher cannot call himself a scientist if he is not able to demonstrate experimentally some of his theories and laws of science.

I feel it is better to have, nothing on the school farm at all than have something of very poor quality. This type of project does not achieve the aims stated in the syllabus, i.e. it can never change the attitude of students and make them think that farming can be a dignified occupation. Instead it fortifies their already negative attitude towards farming. High-quality projects do not necessarily mean grade-cows instead of our local breeds, or hybrid chicks, or any other exotic breeds of animals. What I mean is that even if you have local breeds, try to improve their quality e.g. through good feeding, or if possible through cross-breeding, and any other animal husbandry procedures. All these will lead to increased yields and to better farm-projects. It will create insight and arouse the interest of the students, whereas keeping tick-infected cows which are poorly fed is more of a liability to the school than an asset.

Crop-production should also lead to high standards of crops. All the theories of good husbandry should be followed i.e. selection of good crops according to climatic conditions and marketability, practices like spacing, weeding, pruning, pest and weed control, seed selection. It is very frustrating to see the demonstration plot demonstrating some of the worst practices such as no correct spacing, poor weeding, monoculture practices etc., so that the end result is the lowest yield in the whole neighbourhood. All this happens because the Agriculture teacher does not plan these projects. He has no concern for what is happening on the farm; Many complain of lack of funds. This is not true. It rather is a question of a lack of technical competence and diligence. A demonstration plot should be big enough to provide a real farm situation rather than just a plot of a meter by a meter, but at the same time the plot should be small enough to be well-looked after without straining the teacher and students, and allowing teachers and students enough time to discuss problems and exchange ideas. In schools where there is enough land, commercial farming can be practised by employing workmen to run the farm, and if possible a Farm-Manager. However, an Agriculture teacher should still be involved in decision-making both in long-term and short-termplans.

While I agree that students should not be overworked on this commercialized farm I feel strongly that there is nothing wrong with students helping during peak periods such as planting and harvesting time. This gives them the basic skills needed for farming. It has been proved that some students can write excellent essays on how to grow this and that crop, yet they are not able to raise a cabbage if given land. The question then arises why the Ministry should spend money on building workshops, buying equipment or even tractors. If the intention is to teach Agriculture theoretically there should only be books for Agriculture.

It has come to an unfortunate state where even an agriculture teacher gives the impression that work on the school farm by students is a sort of exploitation, or hard labour, a punishment to the students. I wonder whether this helps in any way to obtain the objective of stimulating interest in Agriculture. Working on the farm should be incorporated in the scheme of work. Students should be made to feel that practicals are not at all a punishment but experiences that make them understand better the theories taught in class. They should feel proud that working on the farm is just as dignified an occupation as any other, that it is not a dirty job only fit for the uneducated. The experiences gained from the garden should glamorise Agriculture and not be the drudgery they had hoped to escape by coming to school in the first place.

- It is better to have nothing on the school farm at all than to have something of very poor quality.
- Students should be made to feel that practicals are not at all a punishment but experiences that make them understand better the theories thought in class.


Figure

(introduction...)

Agriculture has been carried out most of the time and in most countries of the world by illiterate or poorly educated people. Sometimes, education and the pursuit of knowledge have been set in opposition to agricultural activities. Not too long ago, in Europe, the terms for farmer carried an additional meaning of being uncultured, ignorant, rude, and dirty. In many African countries today pupils who take up farming after primary school are still considered a failure. Rural areas are often labelled as backward, traditional, underdeveloped and closed to new ideas. Would it not therefore seem that agriculture and science are direct opposites, excluding each other? Of course that is not true, and "Scientific Agriculture" is on the syllabuses for primary education in many African countries.

4.1 The relationship between agriculture and science

Since the scientific method and its results were applied to more and more fields of practical activity, it was inevitable that agriculture, too, became an area where scientific knowledge and methods were introduced. This produced a body of applied science of its own, much like engineering. Science is organized according to areas of specialisation, called disciplines. Agriculture, like many other fields of activity (medicine, building, administration), does not fit neatly into any one of them. It presents problems that can only be solved by calling on a number of disciplines. But even the most sophisticated agriculture does not rely on science alone. It draws on a body of long-standing traditional experience and skills which cannot be replaced by science. Today, agricultural sciences are recognized as areas of applied science in their own right. The following subdivisions are known:

- Soil Science dealing with soil formation (geology), its physical and chemical properties, and generally speaking with all factors affecting soil fertility.
- Plant Production dealing with topics such as plant physiology, plant nutrition, plant breeding, weed control, plant diseases, and pest control.
- Animal Production, treating problems like animal breeding, animal nutrition, and animal husbandry.
- Economics and Management.
- Agricultural Engineering dealing with tools, implements, farm machinery, and buildings.

The diagram shows the relationship between agriculture and science.


Relationship between science and agriculture

Although science does not simply replace traditional knowledge, it helps to rationalize it and to make it more systematic. It is when they come face to face with scientific knowledge that certain elements of a given agricultural tradition will be regarded as erroneous or even "superstitious". On the other hand, a well established, experience-based agricultural tradition acts as a check on science running wild: sometimes scientists rush into the open with results that have not yet been really tested in real-life conditions.

Science does not simply replace traditional knowledge, it helps to rationalize it and to make it more systematic.

Having established the link between science and agriculture does not prove that agriculture must be taught using a scientific approach. One would have to prove that a scientific orientation to agriculture is necessary, and that this approach can be used with primary school pupils. Traditional agriculture so far has produced most of the food needed for Africa's population. This in itself is a measure of success. It is a fairly coherent system based on experience, and by no means closed to innovation. If conditions change only slowly, traditional farming methods will probably adjust to these changes. But during and after colonisation conditions have changed more and more rapidly, and traditional farming is not adjusting fast enough to guarantee a steady food supply in the long term (see Volume 2, part I (Farming Methods), sections 4.1. "The need for a new approach", and 3.1., "The meaning of scientific agriculture"). The following are the main factors of change which require traditional agriculture to seek help from science:

- Population Growth
As the population keeps growing, more and more land has to be cultivated. This leads to a shortening of the fallow period (see volume 2, part I (Farming Methods), section 2.1. "Traditional land use systems - from shifting cultivation to degraded bush fallow"). Systematic research into continuous farming, building on traditional agriculture, is important if a disastrous decline in soil fertility is to be prevented.

- Urbanization
In all African countries there are urban settlements. The urban population is not able to grow the food it needs. Towns rely on food produced in the surrounding rural areas. This is only possible if the rural population produces a greater marketable surplus than before. Both land and agricultural labour become scarce, and changes are needed which allow farmers to produce more crops on the same land and with the same amount of work. Here again, one would look to science for possible solutions, new farm inputs, improved farming techniques, better storage facilities etc.

- Industrialization
Many industries need raw materials derived from plants for their work. Sugar cane is used to produce sugar, maize is used to brew beer, cotton is made into cloth, sisal fibres into ropes and mats, cocoa into chocolate, groundnuts and palm nuts into oil. Factories operate on a large scale and need a steady supply of inputs of standard quality. If they use large quantities of food crops (as for instance in brewing), they compete directly with local consumers and may create food shortages. If they use non-food crops these must be grown somewhere, and the areas growing industrial crops are no longer available for food crop farming. Industrial activity will also push traditional agriculture to its limits. These limits can only be overcome if productivity in farming can be raised, and this is one of the main tasks of applied science.

- Financing National Development
Development plans usually require large amounts of foreign goods and services. This has to be paid for in foreign exchange. The main part of the foreign exchange is earned from sales of agricultural products. Science is called on to play a vital part in improving productivity in this area.

There is a widespread belief that science can be taught properly to primary school children. In Africa, there is the well known APSP (African Primary Science Programme), later on the Science Education Programme for Africa (SEPA). Basic science can be taught at primary school. Experience with SEPA-material seems to prove, furthermore, that pupils enjoy it.


Basic Scientific Skills Taught Through Agriculture

It seems clear that all the basic scientific skills can be taught through primary school agriculture. The flow chart above and the next Figure show this in a rather general way, but detailed examples will be given later in the manual.

An important part of school agriculture is school farm work. School farm work deals with plants and the conditions of plant growth. This quite naturally leads to topics taken from different natural sciences, as can be seen from the diagram above. The emphasis in science teaching should be on method rather than on content. It would be possible to memorize a large amount of scientific knowledge. However, without an elementary grasp of the scientific method one might not be able to apply such knowledge to practical problems. On the other hand, somebody who masters the basic scientific approach will be in a position to find out for himself answers to problems in everyday life which he would not find in books. He would also understand that a scientific approach to problem solving is open to everybody.

In order to understand better what is meant by the scientific method let us look at the meaning of science. The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary offers the definition:

"Knowledge arranged in an orderly manner, especially knowledge obtained by observation and testing of facts; pursuit of such knowledge."

Significantly, this does not refer to any content of knowledge but rather to its orderliness and to the methods by which it was obtained. Therefore we are fully justified in stressing the need to familiarize children with elementary scientific methods rather than with a mass of findings.

Science based education, if well done, enhances personal self reliance. It will not only enable a person to take a rational stand in matters concerning traditional ways and beliefs, it will also protect him or her against uncritical acceptance of new methods and proposals.

Thus, in agriculture, a farmer with a basic scientific outlook will retain from tradition whatever seems valuable after comparison with other ways of doing things. On the other hand, the same person will carefully listen to the advice of the agricultural extension agent and ask for proof. Maybe he sets his own little experiments in order to test the innovation under local conditions. In this way he would be better protected from risks than if he accepted the new ideas and methods mainly because the extension man is a government employee.

· The emphasis in science teaching should be on method rather than on content.
· Science based education, if well done, enhances personal self reliance.


Figure

4.2 Environment-Based school agriculture

This approach contains the study of the child's everyday-life environment as one of its central ideas. It has been stated as follows:

"Focus On the Local Environment
The didactic centre of the reformed primary school curriculum is supposed to be the local environment, with which pupils, teachers and parents are familiar. The children's learning process will start from that very environment in order to become aware of its problems and try to find solutions. According to this concept the educational activities should be organized around centres of interest or problems which relate to the environment in question. The content of teaching will differ from region to region, even from one locality to another in the same region." (IPAR-Buea, Report on the Reform of Primary Education, 1977, p. 71)

Primary school agriculture can help to achieve this aim. Farming is part of children's lives in most of the country. They usually help to farm from a very early age. The use of the environment is a sound educational principle. In order to make full use of the educational possibilities offered by the environment one would have to observe the following guidelines:

- Local crops should be at the centre of teaching and school farm work.
- Local farming methods should be discussed.
- Good local farmers should take part in teaching and farm work.
- If new crops and methods are discussed in school, they should be related to local conditions.
- Agriculture should not be taught as an isolated field of productive activities. It should be presented as a part of people's way of life and cultural tradition. By following these guidelines one will automatically africanize the content of teaching.

The use of the environment is a sound educational principle.

4.3 The Political dimension: Self-reliant development, social justice, and the link with traditional culture

Public statements related to development have laid much emphasis on issues like self-reliance, the "green revolution", and social justice.

One might very well feel that school agriculture should emphasize production, because this would make schools more self-reliant, less dependent on Government funds. By increasing overall agricultural production school agriculture would contribute to the "green revolution". This is true in the short term. Yet we must not forget that the main aim of school is essentially one of training the new generation for adult life with a much bigger effect on agricultural production later.

A science-based approach to school agriculture will, in the short run, produce less in terms of crops than a production-oriented approach for the following reasons:

Primary schools are not research institutes which produce new knowledge in such a way that today's experimental results can be turned into more productive farming methods for the next farming season. They deal with children who are having their very first introduction to science.

We therefore would want to set experiments the results of which we already know for certain. For the aim is not to find new knowledge but to demonstrate what experimentation can do, and how the method works. There will be a limited set of simple farm experiments which will be repeated many times. This need not stop an enterprising farm master from using experimentation for genuine research. Here is an example of how science orientation would lead to lower yields than an approach geared to maximum production:

Teachers know that weeding is essential for maize growth. If they were aiming at maximum yields, they would make sure that the maize plot was properly weeded, and at the right time. Experiments on weed control are easy to set, and results can be seen early and easily, so that the experiment is very convincing. By allowing weeds to grow on part of the plot, some yield will be lost.

Observation, too, might lead to losses. Observation of a growing crop means measuring, looking at plants closely, and sometimes taking samples and specimens. Taking samples and specimens might destroy or disturb the plants concerned. Measuring might disturb a plant, and pupils walking around almost certainly cause some damage. In order to make observation easy, one might have to provide more paths than usual. This reduces the area for farming and means an additional loss in yields.

But if primary school agriculture succeeds in teaching elementary scientific skills and procedures, pupils will tend to apply these skills to their practical problems in later life, be they farmers or not. The option between a "production approach" and a "science approach" is not an option for or against self-reliance or the "green revolution" but a choice between relatively small immediate benefits and larger benefits later.

The "production approach" has another snag. Since it stresses productivity rather than systematic learning, it will lead towards vocational training. But agricultural skills are more limited in scope than a general introduction to scientific methods. Parents might oppose a "production approach" especially in urban areas. This would lead to a split in the school system - one type of primary school for the urban areas, and another type for the rural areas. Reform attempts in many countries have shown convincingly that a reform fails as soon as suspicions of such a split arise.

The "science education approach" to primary school agriculture is feasible in every envronment and would therefore not in itself discriminate between different classes of people. It serves the political goal of social justice better than the "production approach".

4.4 Objectives for primary school agriculture

Here is a set of potential objectives from which curriculum developers may choose and which could be complemented by other ones.

General Objectives

Knowledge and Skills

1. Pupils should acquire basic facts relevant to agriculture.
2. Pupils shall master basic scientific principles and procedures.
3. Pupils shall be able to apply basic scientific principles and procedures to agricultural problems.

Attitudes

4. Pupils shall accept the need for change and adaptation.
5. Pupils shall develop the self-confidence necessary to survive in a changing environment.
6. Pupils shall develop the motivation to participate actively in the improvement of their environment.
7. Pupils shall develop the social skills and attitudes necessary for co-operation with other members of the community and nation.

Specific Objectives in Science Education Through Agriculture

Most of these objectives deal with study skills. As such, they are valuable beyond their field of application, agriculture. The more they are pursued, the better will pupils be prepared for further education after primary school.

- Basic Scientific Principles

1. Logical thinking.
2. Curiosity and open-mindedness.
3. Intellectual honesty.
4. Acceptance of the fact that knowledge is relative: what is thought to be right today may be proved to be wrong tomorrow.
5. Accuracy in scientific procedure.
6. Insistence on factual evidence.

- Basic Scientific Procedures

7. Pupils will be able to make a simple hypothesis, stating a relationship between two phenomena.
8. Pupils will be able to design a simple way of testing such an hypothesis. "Simple" here means simple apparatus and low or no costs.
9. Pupils will be able to collect information by way of experiment, survey work, direct observation.
10. Pupils will be able to measure properties such as extension, volume, and weight of objects.
11. Pupils will be able to record their observations. Record-keeping may be in written or in graphical form.
12. Pupils will be able to analyse observations. This essentially means grouping of information for comparison, calculating elementary statistics (mean, percentages, simple ratios).
13. Pupils will be able to make systematic comparisons according to initial hypotheses.
14. Pupils will be able to draw conclusions from comparisons.
15. Pupils will be able to report their findings in such a way that the reader can repeat the whole process by himself.

Specific Objectives in the Field of Agriculture

These are objectives which cannot easily be generalized beyond the field of agriculture. The more important they become, the more primary school agriculture becomes pre-vocational training.

Knowledge

- Parts of a plant
- Life cycle of plants
- Crops and their requirements
- Modes of propagation
- Diseases and pests
- Plant improvement: breeding and selection
- Main crop associations
- Sources of improved planting material

Skills

- Propagate plants by seeds, suckers, cuttings etc.
- Distinguish suitable and unsuitable patterns of mixed cropping
- Identification of pests and diseases
- Prevention and cure of pests and diseases (elementary)


Figure

Knowledge

- Properties of soil
- Conditions of soil fertility
- Dangers to soil fertility
- Improving soil fertility
- Soil types

Skills

- Take and analyse a soil sample
- Manuring and mulching
- Simple erosion control
- Compost work, green manure, fallow and cover crops, chemical fertilizer
- Selecting crops adapted to a few soil types

Tools

Knowledge

- Common tools
- Maintenance of tools
- Measuring equipment
- Animal-powered equipment
- Main agricultural machines

Skills

- Handle some common tools
- Correctly care for tools
- Making and using simple measuring equipment

Knowledge

- Set of operations required for different farm crops
- Sequence of farming operations for different crops
- Time required for different farm operations
- Rejuvenation of tree crop farms

Skills
Make a plan for the farming of a given crop

- Laying out a farm plot with right angles
- Doing light tillage as required by the crops farmed
- Preparing nurseries for vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, lettuce), for coffee, cocoa, or oil palms according to area, for Eucalyptus and fruit trees, etc.
- Thinning
- Earthing up
- Weeding
- Harvesting
- Simple methods of drying and storage

Knowledge

- Division of labour by sex and age
- Forms of group work

Skills

- Draft the regulations of a mutual help group
- Draft the rules for a contract job

Knowledge

- Notions of profit and loss
- Elements of planning

Skills

- Calculate profit and loss of the school farm (the class plot)
- Make a simple time-table for farming a standard crop
- Keep records

Knowledge

- The local market
- Local measures of weight and volume
- The Licensed Buying Agent
- Sale on credit before the harvest
- The Cooperative Society
- The Produce Marketing Board

Skills

- Convert local measures into standard measures
- Compare prices
- Use and check a balance
- Establish and check a receipt
- Calculate the interest on a loan

Knowledge

- Agricultural employment
- Information on rural training schemes
- Information on sources of agricultural knowledge

(introduction...)


Figure

(introduction...)

Any teaching that involves practical activities in the classroom or outside presents a number of problems absent in ordinary classroom teaching. Primary school agriculture with an orientation towards science presents certain additional problems, because

- the practical work is mostly farm work, and extends over a whole season requiring continuity;
- the activities must be so organised as to enable pupils to make their own discoveries; -integration with other lessons, e.g. language or mathematics should be possible.

All this has consequences for the planning of a teacher's work: schemes of work, teaching units, and lesson notes. But it also affects work organisation in the classroom and on the school farm, it has consequences for classroom discipline, and it ought to have an influence on the way pupils' performance is evaluated.

The traditional way of structuring a scheme of work is to follow the internal progression of a subject. In reading, writing and mathematics, certain skills and knowledge are basic and must be mastered before more complex skills can be taught. To the extent that this is true, things outside the school do not matter. Fortunately, not all the subjects taught in primary school have a strict internal progression. Topics in social studies, nature study, or rural science are related in such a way that many topics can be the starting point for a number of lessons, the sequence of which pupils and teachers can determine together according to their interest and liking. This can best be illustrated by the topic web. The topic web is a diagram organized around a central theme, e.g. The Family, My Home, Soil, The Maize Crop, etc. Such a diagram shows how the main topics are related to the central theme and to each other. It also shows how the various topics are related to the traditional school 'subjects'. The topic web carefully avoids any time sequence. Pupils and teachers who want to study the central theme would start with a brief introduction and are left to decide which related topics to study at what time. Therefore, the topic web is not yet a scheme of work. It is like a set of building materials without any exact plan for joining the pieces together. All a teacher would have to do is to decide beforehand on how many periods he wants to use for the whole theme. How this time is divided up among the various elements of the topic web is left to the whole class (or the teacher alone if he feels he is the only one who should make decisions). The illustration on p. 34 shows such a topic web related to primary school agriculture.Yet, the topic web is not sufficient for the teaching of agriculture if practical farming is involved. Farming a crop or a crop association imposes a definite time schedule on the practical activities, from tilling to harvesting and storage or sale. There is a principle which would seem to make sense, educationally:

Practical work and classroom teaching in agriculture should be closely connected.

This means that the work on the school farm should be used in classroom lessons. This has the advantage that the pupils' immediate experience can be utilized during lessons, and practical work is seen to be an outcome of teaching/learning in the classroom. It has an important consequence, however: the scheme of work for teaching agriculture will by and large be determined by the growth cycle of the crop(s) farmed by a particular class. This is a departure from the topic web where the timing and sequence of lessons can safely be left to teachers and pupils.

1.1 The growth cycle of crops as a means to devising the scheme of work

Crop calendars can be used for planning the school farm work for the crops selected and for designing the appropriate scheme of work. Care should be taken to select crops whose growth cycle is so short that neither tilling nor harvesting fall in holiday periods.The calendar for a particular crop should always be checked against the holiday periods of the academic year in question. In so doing one easily sees which farm jobs may be delayed because of holidays. Whenever this seems a danger, the teachers should organize a roster for supervising the farm during holidays early enough. Carelessness in this respect may lead to heavy losses on the school farm, and will expose the school to the ridicule of local farmers.

The calendar for a particular crop should always be checked against the holiday periods of the academic year in question.

1.2 The principle of integration

So far we have discussed the integration of practical work and classroom work in agriculture. But integration means more than that. Farming activities provide many opportunities for teaching other subjects and provide real-life exercise material for language work and mathematics.

There is yet another aspect to integration: Practical work and observation will not yield much unless they can draw on language and mathematical skills already developed in other lessons. What such an integrated scheme of work can look like can be seen from the examples on p. 37-43. Taking into account that in primary school one teacher teaches all the subjects in a class, integration across subject boundaries should not be too difficult. But it certainly means more preparatory work than if the teacher simply followed the prescribed books in the various subjects.

Farming activities also give real meaning to end-of-term revision: at the end of each term, teacher and pupils go through the records compiled during the term, state their achievements and difficulties end summarize all the quantitative observations carried out.

By the end of the school year pupils will be able to formulate the crop calendar of the crops farmed by going through the record of work on the school farm and the record of observation made on local farms. These calendars may differ considerably from the one provided in the teacher's manual since they depend on local conditions and on the season in a particular year. For similar reasons, topics listed for the different subjects other than manual work are only suggestions. The teacher will have to select those that are suitable for his class' or treat them in a way which suits the overall development of the class.

The following elements, however, should always be present in order to relate farm work to classroom teaching:

- keeping records of school farm work,
- observing and recording the local way of farming,
- end-of-term analysis of these observations,
- end-of-year analysis of these observations,
- preparing the necessary vocabulary at the beginning of each school year,
- writing texts which summarize the ongoing observations (report writing), again graded according to the general language level of the class,
- end-of-term and end-of-year analysis of quantitative observations in mathematics lessons.


Table


Table

Classroom teaching should always be related to farm activities
The main point is that reading, writing, speaking, and doing mathematics are all required in order to put the opportunities offered by school agriculture to good use.

What is meant by integration will become clearer if you look at four texts below. They are written for use in the classroom and show how agricultural topics - yam and maize farming - can be extended in order to incorporate aspects like traditional religion and culture, and nutrition.

Two of the texts simply provide factual information about religious ideas and practices connected with farming. You will notice that these texts do not single out the religious and cultural aspect but bring it up in connection with topics such as land tenure, farming methods, and work organization. They show very well how all these aspects are integrated in the life of farmers in Cameroon. One text is a small collection of recipes for dishes and alcoholic drinks prepared with maize. Finally, one text is the first part of a lesson note on food taboos. It links nutrition and religion, both of which are very closely linked with agriculture. This last one you will find here. For the other texts consult Part III, texts: "Yam Growing in Banyang Area", "Traditional Rites associated with the Planting of Maize in Bali", and "Some Corn Dishes in Bali".

Lesson Notes on an Aspect of "Country Fashion" in the Banyang Areaby M.A. Nchong

Topic: Food Taboos in the Banyang Area
Class: Six or Seven

Aims and Objectives

1. To help the children know why some animals and certain types of food are not eaten by some classes of people in certain areas.
2. To provide language training through interviewing, recording, and reporting on food taboos.
3. To give children practice in writing and reading reports.
4. To enhance the children's ability to conduct interviews, listen carefully, and select useful information.
5. To help children discuss freely the relevance of some rules forbidding some classes of people to eat of certain types of food.
6. At the end of the lesson children are expected to hand in their assignments which are then kept together in the class for reference.

Introduction

Children! Listen to a story I am going to tell you. This story concerns a young man called Arrey-Ndip and his wife Mary. Arrey-Ndip was the only child of his parents. When he left school he went to live with a distant relative in Victoria and soon started work at the Cameroon Development Corporation (C.D.C.) Headquarters at Bota. Having worked for two years he went home and took beautiful Mary as his wife. When both Arrey-Ndip and Mary came down to Victoria, Mary realised that Victoria was a much better place than the village and also that her husband had secured a good job.

Mary became pregnant just six months after she moved to her new home. It was at this particular time that her husband was selected to do a course in Agriculture at Bambili School of Agriculture, North West Province. Arrey-Ndip decided to send Mary home to his parents. He bought a lot of things (beverages, maternity dresses etc.) for her to take home. In fact it was Arrey-Ndip himself who took Mary home. He returned to Victoria and then left for the course.

One day Mary went with the family to a hear-by farm. They had taken water in bottles to the farm. Mary was thirsty. She got a bottle of water, stood upright and started drinking. Her mother-in-law who was working near her turned round and saw her standing upright, drinking water from a bottle. She thundered from a distance: "Sit down before drinking water! Sit down before drinking water from a bottle. You children today do terrible things. When did I ever drink water from a bottle in such a position. It's no wonder some of you give birth to children with long mouths and squint eyes.”

This reminded Mary of several restrictions on meals which had been imposed-on her since she returned from Victoria. Just a few days before, she had been told not to eat antelope, bush fowl, or python. As soon as Mary got home, she wrote a letter of protest to her husband. She protested against all such restrictions. She had even been told not to drink ovaltine and milk which she loved so much. Arrey-Ndip wrote a strong letter to his parents asking them to allow his wife to eat what she liked. His father asked a teacher from the village school to help him write a letter to his son. The parents continued to make sure that Mary did not eat things they regarded as not being right for pregnant women.

According to Arrey-Ndip's parents most of the calamities befalling young men and women today are the result of the nonobservance of local traditions concerning food taboos. They stressed that Mary must not be a victim of such disregard of traditional values.

Finally Mary gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Every member of the family was very happy. Arrey-Ndip took a week's vacation just to come down and see his first child. Mary was also very happy.

The Integration of Agriculture and Mathematics

The following problem is an example of how agriculture and mathematics can be integrated.
More problems are to be found in Part III, text: "The integration of agriculture and mathematics".

Mathematics on the yam plot

There is a plot on which yams are to be grown. In the first example (Variant 1) there are 10 rows, in the second one (Variant 2) there are 29 rows. The rows are 1.5 m apart. The yams are to be planted along the rows at intervals of 1 m. Holes for the yams were dug by a group of three young men. When all the holes had been dug, the lady farming the plot went and counted them in order to pay the group and to find out how many yams could be planted. In each row, she noted the holes which could not be used for planting because they had stones in them, and the holes which were not deep enough and needed more digging. The tables show what she found. Variant 2 is more difficult because some rows are longer than others. This is due to the fact that the plot has an irregular shape which the sketch map will bring out nicely.

Variant 1:




row number

total number of holes

holes with big stones

holes ready for planting

1

40

1

39

2

40

2

38

3

40

-

40

4

40

-

40

5

40

1

39

6

40

-

40

7

40

-

40

8

40

5

35

9

40

-

40

10

40

-

40

Variant 2:





row number

total number of holes

holes with big stones

shallow holes

holes for use

1

34

1

1


2

35

3



3

36

1

2


4

38

1

2


5

39


15


6

40


9


7

41

2

30


8

42


5


9

42

2

16


10

42


12


11

42


15


12

39

3

23


13

38




14

37




15

36


17


16

35

2

5


17

34

2



18

31

1

9


19

30


8


20

26

1

11


21

25




22

22


22


23

19

2

7


24

16


3


25

14




26

11

1

1


27

8




28

6




29

4

1




Variant 1


Variant 2

Questions (for variant 1 + 2):

1. What is the total number of holes?
2. How many holes cannot be used because of stones that could not be removed?
3. How many holes can be moulded up and planted immediately?
4. How many holes must be made deeper?
5. How many seed yams will the farmer need once all the holes without stones have been made deep enough?
6. The farmer has agreed to pay the group 15 frs for each hole which can take a seed yam, and 5 frs for holes which cannot be completed because of stones. How much does he pay?
Payment for completed holes ready for planting?
Payment for incomplete holes with stones?
Total sum of money paid?
7. The farmer 'asks the headman of the group to write out a receipt. How should the headman do it?
8. What is the percentage of holes that cannot be used because of big stones?
9. What is the percentage of holes that the group has to make deeper before they can get their pay?
10. Draw a sketch of the yam plot under consideration. In order to do this, you must know:

a) Ail rows are at right angles to the base line.
b) All rows are straight.
c) The first row starts at a distance of 75 cm from the end of the yam plot. Each row is 1.5 m apart from the next one. The planting distance along the row is 1 m.
d) Your drawing should be on a scale of 1 :100.
e) Show each hole by a mark x on your sketch

11. What is the area of the plot (in square meters)?
12. Each yam hole is 60 cm long, 60 cm wide, and 50 cm deep. What is the volume of soil from one hole (in cubic metres)? What is the volume of all the soil removed from the holes which later on can be planted with yams?

1.3 The physical strength of school children

Children must not be overworked during practical school farm work. Allowing for repeaters and for children who start school late, each class will have a few pupils who are considerably older then the majority. If one assumes that school farm work really starts in class 4, then the children doing farm work are between 9 and 13 years old. Many of them are still very small and cannot do hard work over a long time.

Class age of pupils

crops to be farmed

four 9-11 years

pineapple, maize on the flat, nursery work with coffee, cocoa, oil palm, eucalyptus, colocasia and xanthosoma

five 10-12 years

cassava, groundnuts, melons, pumpkins, maize, sweet potatoes

six 11-13 years

yams, crops on ridges or mounds, transplanting tree seedlings, contract work on cocoa and coffee farms

Therefore, the area of land per pupil must be small, and should not exceed 20 - 30 m². Crops that require heavy tilling (e.g. digging deep holes, serious ridging) and hard work while they are growing (e.g. staking) or at harvest time (digging tubers or groundnuts from heavy, wet soil) should be farmed in the upper two classes only. Nursery work, growing pine-apples and maize farming on the flat can be done with younger children since the work is relatively light. The table above summarizes these recommendations.

2.1 Breaking down a scheme of work into units

Farming a crop or a crop association is a teaching project which for some crops extends over a whole academic year, sometimes more, for others over one or two terms. Such a project must be divided into smaller units, e.g. farm preparation, farm care, harvesting, storage and processing, according to the seasons. These units in turn consist of sub-units built around one practical activity - practical work or observation-. Sub-units are made up of different lessons, some of them pure class-room lessons, some of them outdoor activities.

Level

time needed


Project

determined by growth cycle of crop

e.g. Maize Farming - Planning - Implementation - End-of-year-revision

Unit

varies with duration of main farm operations

e.g. farm preparation- planting - farm care - harvesting - storage, processing, marketing

Sub-units

4-6 lessons

built around a practical activity, e.g. planting, weeding, observation of plant growth, of insect attacks etc.

Lesson

40-55 minutes

types of lessons: preparation of practical activity, practical activity itself, follow-up lessons

We shall concentrate on the sub-units and on the individual lessons. The larger units are given in the schemes of work. They require less detailed planning than the sub-units and the actual lessons. The diagram illustrates how units, sub-units and lessons fit together.

The basic element in this approach is the sub-unit. Lessons in a farm project can only rarely be regarded as self-contained, independent blocks. The sub-units, on the other hand, with their sequence of classroom and outdoor activities can be regarded as relatively self-contained, ending with some conclusions at least.

2.2 Defining objectives for the sub-units

Teachers planning their sub-units and lessons should be clear about what they want the pupils to learn during that particular sub-unit or lesson. The units as outlined above take too much time to warrant a detailed statement of objectives. They have general objectives, i.e.

- getting the practical work included in each unit done in time,
- making as much use as possible of the learning opportunities provided during that particular period of farm work. Since a sub-unit is a sequence of lessons organized around one or a few closely related practical activities, objectives should be defined at this level. During lesson planning, the various objectives can then be apportioned to single lessons. But only a few objectives can actually be attained in any one lesson since much of the learning will depend on how the activities in the lessons making up a sub-unit are linked with each other. Up to the end of a sub-unit, there will be frequent references to things done earlier or activities yet to take place. An example will make this clearer: it is a sub-unit built around the activity of harvesting a maize farm. It consists of ten single lessons, but the objectives are defined for the sub-unit as a whole:

1. Objectives Concerning Farm Work

- harvest a crop of maize,
- weigh the crop in preparation for storage and drying.

2. Objectives in Agriculture

- revise and deepen knowledge of maize farming,
- identify possible causes for the yield recorded,
- discuss ways and means of reducing losses,
- discuss the main pests and diseases affecting maize,
- teach about weights and weighing,
- teach about the concept of yield per standard unit.

3. Skill Development

1. Study Skills

- do observation,
- sort and grade objects,
- keep records,
- analyse observations and draw conclusions,
- summarize results (use of graphs, charts, and summary reports).

2. Social Skills

- team work during practical work and during classroom work,
- work organization.

These objectives are divided among the lessons of the sub-unit and broken down into more detailed objectives:

A. Introductory Lessons

1. Lesson on Content Preparation:

- Pupils recall the main steps in maize farming.
- Pupils know the main pests and diseases affecting maize on the farm.
- Pupils know the signs of attacks by birds and weevils and fungus diseases in maize.
- Pupils have an observation sheet for sorting and grading maize cobs.
- Pupils are able to use a balance.

2. Work Organization

- Pupils know the various tasks to be performed at harvest time: harvesting, dehusking, assembling the harvest row by row, sorting and grading, counting cobs, recording observations, weighing.
- Pupils are grouped in teams of two or three.

B. Practical Work

- Harvesting
- Pupils harvest the maize.
- Pupils grade and sort the maize row by row.
- Pupils weigh the maize row by row.
- Pupils record the results of grading, sorting, and weighing row by row.


Practical Work: Harvesting

C. Follow-up Lessons

1. Assembling the Observations

- Pupils and teacher have the complete picture of all observations (row by row). - Pupils know the total number of cobs and the total weight harvested, according to the various grades of cobs and for the whole farm.
- The observations are assembled in a way which permits further analysis in class.


Follow-up Lesson

2. Lesson on Yields

- Pupils know the yield per hectare achieved on the farm.
- Pupils can explain the advantage of yield per standard area over the yield on a given farm.
- Pupils assess the yield in comparison with maize yields elsewhere.
- Pupils list the main factors responsible for this particular yield of maize.

3. Lesson Topic: How Did Soil Fertility Affect our Maize Crop?

- Pupils are able to assess soil fertility at the beginning of maize farming in terms of initial soil quality, previous farming, and activities to maintain or improve soil fertility.
- Pupils are able to read a graph and draw conclusions.

4. Lesson Topic: How Did the Climate and the Seed Material Affect the Yield?

- Pupils are able to check the water requirements of maize during its growth against the distribution of rains during past seasons (in terms of observations about particularly dry and wet periods).
- Pupils are able to discuss the properties of the seed material used.
- Pupils recall methods of selecting seed material.
- Pupils are able to state an hypothesis on the effect of seed material on the maize crop.

5. Lesson Topic: How Did our Work Schedule Affect Yields?

- Pupils are able to draw conclusions from a comparison between an ideal crop calendar for maize and the actual work schedule as documented in the Labour Records of the previous season.
- Pupils are able to identify farm operations that were so badly out of time that they might have affected yields.

6. Pests and Diseases Affect Yields?

- Pupils can recognize the damage done to maize by birds, weevils, and fungus diseases.
- Pupils are able to estimate the loss due to birds, weevils and smuts, in terms of quantity and in cash value.
- Pupils are able to use a graph in order to find out how different types of damage are distributed over a farm.
- Pupils know simple ways of fighting pests and diseases on the farm.

7. Summary

- Pupils are able to make a summary table of factors affecting maize yields.
- Pupils are able to draw conclusions from a summary table.

This and other sub-units are included here. They will all show the objectives of the subunits and those of the lessons making up that sub-unit. In going through the material carefully you will get an idea of how objectives at these two levels might be defined.

2.3 Indoor and outdoor activities in a sub-unit

Taking the example of the sub-unit on the maize harvest you can see quite clearly that the indoor activities predominate. Neither farm work nor discovery activities (e.g. observations on the school farm or in the community) will take precedence over classroom work, but they will make it much more interesting.

The indoor activities, i.e. the classroom work, can be grouped into preparatory work and follow-up lessons. Preparatory work or introductory lessons consist of the following elements:

- an introduction to the overall topics of the sub-unit: This introduction might contain a revision of previous knowledge and practical work, an introduction to new content, and a brief overview of the whole sub-unit. The introduction will focus on such knowledge and skills as will be needed to carry out the practical activity. It may end with the design of an observation sheet to be used during practical activities.

- a period devoted to work organisation: If the practical activity is relatively new, a whole lesson might be devoted to discussing the work involved, breaking it down into elementary tasks, and organizing teams of two to five pupils with definite assignments. If the practical activity is well known (e.g. if it is one of the routine farm jobs like clearing), work organization might be included in the introductory lesson mentioned above. Alternatively, a second introductory lesson could be built around the observation sheet and work organization.

Follow-up lessons consist of the following steps:

- summarizing the practical work done,
- using the observations made for actual teaching,
- summarizing the results of the sub-unit.

Summarizing the practical work could mean making a list of the different farm operations and tasks performed, compiling the observations made by the various teams, clarifying the meaning of the items recorded and the various work operations.

Using the observations made for actual teaching can best be illustrated with the sub-unit on the maize harvest (p. 99). The attempt to explain the maize yield recorded leads to six lessons.

- a general one on the concepts of yield and yield per standard area, and on the factors influencing yields;
- a number of lessons, each devoted to one or two factors affecting the maize yield.

Follow-up lessons on other topics can be structured in a similar way. Only large sub-units give rise to such a large number of follow-up lessons.

Summarizing the results of the sub-unit may be done in one or two lessons: in either case it is important for the success of the sub-unit. In the case of the maize harvest sub-unit, the six follow-up lessons on the maize yield will leave the pupils puzzled: there are so many factors to be considered, each of them seems important -which one can really account for a poor or good harvest?

Such a summary may simply be a text listing all the results of previous lessons and drawing conclusions. It may also be a formalized table as in the maize harvest example (p. 107), or even a series of calculations with written comments and conclusions as in the sub-unit on the pine-apple experiment.

The outdoor activities are either work or observation, sometimes both. Observational activities also incorporate survey work: pupils asking local people questions about certain topics. There may be pure observational activities, for example when the class observes plant development on the school farm or on a native farm. There should be no pure work periods, however. The example of the maize harvest shows how even a very basic farm job can be an occasion for fruitful observation leading to a whole series of lessons.

Practical activities connected with experiments are no exception here. They consist of work and observation: work as the experiment is set up and supervised, and careful observation is needed from beginning to end.

It is important that the necessary tools and equipment be available in sufficient numbers.

Teachers will have to make sure that the tasks are carried out according to instructions, especially when it comes to observation and recording. Pupils have more difficulties in thus area than with farm work. If the planned outdoor activity cannot be completed in one period, more time will have to be allocated, but this does not change the overall problem.

· There should be neither pure outside work nor pure classroom teaching.
· A good combination of both will lead to better learning with less fatigue.

(introduction...)

The following section raises a few more points about how to organize classroom work within a sub-unit.

3.1 Classroom preparation of outdoor activities

The introductory lessons do not present special problems. Their success depends on how well the teacher himself knows the overall course of the sub-unit he is going to teach. In some cases it might be possible to plan the whole unit beforehand so that the teacher can present a rough outline of the whole sub-unit to the class. But sometimes a teacher would want to give the class some say in deciding the course of study. He/she would concentrate on the practical activity in the introductory lessons, and would have one lesson devoted entirely to summarizing the practical activity, but would decide only afterwards which topics to stress and what to leave out. The latter approach is difficult and should only be tried by well experienced teachers. A few special problems will be discussed subsequently since they proved to raise problems during trial lessons. These are

- organizing a class for group work,
- defining tasks for teams or single pupils,
- designing observation schedules and recording sheets.


3.1.1 Organizing the Class for Group Work

Work in small groups or teams is nothing new in primary schools; school farm work is often done in teams of two to four pupils. But group work can be made more effective, and many of the follow-up lessons will profit from well-organized group work. Group work is the most effective way of teaching the social skills mentioned above. Another reason for group work is that it helps to avoid overworking the pupils. If two or three pupils form a team, the work load of the individual is reduced. Out of two or three children, one can always rest.

- Size of the Teams

Depending on the task at hand teams could consist of between two and five pupils. Team leaders cannot adequately supervise a large number of pupils. The more pupils there are in a team, the more important it is to define tasks carefully and to make sure that pupils do not interfere with each other. It would not make sense to assign five pupils to one row and have them start working close to each other. Observational tasks are best carried out in teams of two pupils.

- Team Leaders

Team leaders are responsible to the teacher and have to make sure that the tasks assigned to the team are carried out. This does not mean that they need not do the work themselves. It should be clear that team leaders must know how to do their group's task so that they are able to explain it to team members who might not have understood the teacher's instructions in class and at the work or observation site.

- Recording

Since all practical activities should yield data that can be used in later lessons, recording becomes an important part of any practical activity. Someone in the team should be responsible for taking notes. Sometimes this can be the team leader, sometimes someone else, sometimes team members may take turns in recording. If the task of recording is given to one pupil, he/she will later on report the team's observations and recordings in class.

- Sharing the Work in a Team

In a team there is always the question of who does what. There are two extreme situations:

1. Every team member does the same kind of work. This is the case where a plot is portioned out to a number of teams of clearing. Each team has an area to clear, and everyone in the team does exactly the same work, with the team leader recording the time spent on the job and the difficulties encountered.

2. Every team member has his own task which he specializes in. Take for instance maize planting along a straight line according to a standard planting distance: there is a team of three pupils; one takes charge of the rope and pegs for marking the straight line, one marks the planting holes using a stick cut to the planting distance, and one of them plants the maize and bean seeds and covers them with soil.

It depends on the size of the team and the complexity of the job whether one or the other of the above alternatives is to be preferred. Since all the pupils are to learn all the various activities, they should take turns in doing the various jobs.

Many teachers simply assign an overall task to the teams - "you clear this portion of the farm", "you plant that section with yams", "the three of you harvest these five rows". They leave it up to the teams to organize themselves appropriately. If pupils have learnt how to do it, this is ideal, since it fosters self-direction. But often, there has been no training in work organisation so that some teams do very well while others work very inefficiently. It is very important that teachers have a clear idea of how the work can best be divided within the teams. They can still leave them for a while to organize themselves. But where the teacher sees that a team is not organizing the work properly, he must be able to suggest better ways of doing things.

- Continuity of team work

One should keep the same teams for the follow-up lessons. If observations have been recorded, the team will report them in the first lesson after the practical activity. Usually, even relatively limited observation tasks yield so much data that it would become boring to analyse all of it with the whole class. Most of the time it is possible to define a number of tasks and problems which are shared out between the teams. You will find an example further on below.

- Effectiveness

Team work is usually more efficient than putting a whole class to work. Teams may be willing to compete with each other. This is especially so if the work to be done is divided among the teams, e.g. sections of the same size to be worked. Teams that have completed their job can rest. Task work is also possible with individual pupils, but with classes of 30 - 70 pupils it involves a lot of preparation to assign equal portions of work to so many pupils. Besides, it is easier to supervise ten teams of five pupils than 50 pupils working individually.

- Group work is a very effective way of teaching.
- It avoids overworking the pupils. It needs good team-leaders.
- Recording is part of team work and is useful for the classroom-lessons
- There should be a rotation of tasks among group members.
- Self-organization of pupils fosters self-direction


Group Organization

3.1.2 Defining Tasks

When pupils go to the farm for work or to the site where they have to do observations they should know exactly what to do and what to look for. This seems easy enough as far as farm work is concerned: pupils or teams are shown the area they have to care for with the instruction to clear, till, weed or harvest this part of the farm. It is simply assumed that they know the various steps involved in such an assignment. If they are doing it for the first time and the teacher wants them to do the work in a way that differs from what they might have learnt at home, he/she will have to give detailed instructions and demonstrate a few times how he/she wants the work done.

For learning to be effective, teachers not only have to explain what the pupils are to do but also why it is done at this time and in this or that way.

Clear instructions about the task are even more important for observation than for work, because teachers and pupils alike are not familiar with systematic observation.

Let us take as an example the observation of a crop of maize just before tassling. Teams may simply be told to go and count the number of healthy plants in a given row. In everyday conversation, the term "healthy plant" is perfectly all right. People have common understanding of what a healthy maize plant looks like. But for exact observation the instruction is not clear enough. Pupils need a few criteria in order to decide for each plant in a set of 20 - 30 maize plants whether to classify it as healthy or poor. In this case the teacher could, during the introductory lesson, discuss with pupils what a healthy maize plant looks like in terms of colour, size, thickness of the stem, appearance of the leaves etc. The pupils' task would be to record for a fixed number of plants the main characteristics previously defined. The various criteria can best be taught by using specimen plants. Depending on the level of the pupils, the teacher should not only explain what to look for but also why this is important. The latter discussion - why is dark green colour a sign of healthy plant development etc. - can safely be left for the follow-up lessons but must not be left out from the sub-unit in question. Apart from specimens, the usual teaching aids like drawings, wall charts or standard measurements may be used.

At harvesting, a typical task involving standard measurements is grading the harvested cobs, tubers or corms according to size. It would be much too tedious to measure all the harvested items with a metre. One team might do just this on a sample of say 40 - 60 maize cobs or 10 - 20 yam tubers. But the others only need a yardstick with which to classify cobs, tubers etc. as big, medium, or small. If the teacher indicates the respective limits - e.g. cobs longer than 25 cm are classified as big ones, cobs shorter than 15 cm are classified as small ones, and cobs in between as medium ones-, every team can easily cut a stick with two marks for the upper and lower limit. Even the instruction to measure the height of a maize plant (or any other plant) can be misleading unless the instruction states how the measuring has to be done.

To measure the height of a maize plant, one may

- measure from the soil up to the end of the sheath of the uppermost leaf, i.e. to the uppermost node,
- measure from the soil to the tip of the uppermost leaf stretched upwards,
- measure from the soil up to the point where the uppermost leaf starts bending downward.

Which method is used in the end does not matter very much. It is important, however, that everybody uses the same method in order to arrive at comparable results, and that. the method is clear. A few useful hints will close this section:

- Demonstrate every observational activity until you are sure that pupils have mastered it sufficiently, e.g. the use of the ruler in measuring; pegging the corners of a farm, a ridge, a bed; drawing to scale; measuring along a rope; filling in a form etc.
- Don't ask for too many different observations at a time. Going through a farm plot, class 5 might be asked to look for two to three different things, class 6 might observe four to five different things at a time. It is better to repeat observational activities than try to do too much in one period.

For learning to be effective, teachers not only have to explain what is to be done, but also why, when and how.

Concerning observation and measurement, the same methods should be used by everyone to arrive at comparable results.

It is better to repeat observational activities than to try to do too much in one period.

3.1.3 Designing Observation Sheets and Record Forms

Observation sheets and record forms are used for a number of reasons:

- relying on pupils' memory for the follow-up lessons is not sufficient;
- filling in forms provides another opportunity for writing;
- filling in forms is an important skill for whenever one has to deal with government offices in later life;
- the observation sheet reminds pupils of the things they have to look for;
- only information in figures can be integrated with mathematics teaching; observation sheet/record forms are instruments providing such information.

In order for the forms to be of any use, they have to fulfill certain conditions:

- they must have a title stating clearly the purpose of the observation and recording;
- they must provide headings or short questions for all the items to be observed and recorded;
- they must provide enough space for all the entries. This means that the teacher must have an idea of the space needed for the different entries. Before he/she suggests such a form to the class he/she should have tried it out on a small scale by him/herself. This handbook cannot suggest observation and record sheets for all the possible purposes a teacher might need. Teachers should therefore work through the examples given below in order to familiarize themselves with the way these forms are designed. By trying to design their own forms they will gradually gain experience and skill so that they can easily design the type of form they need.

How will the teams get their forms? In most cases, the teacher will develop them on the blackboard, discussing them with the class as he does so. When they are in their final form, those responsible for doing the recording will copy them into their exercise books. Before going out for work or observation, pupils must be sure about how to fill in these forms. Time spent on preparing and explaining them is well spent.

Here you find an example for an observation and record sheet (Maize Harvest). Other examples for observation sheets are to be found in Part III, text: "Record sheets".


The Quality of Maze Cobs at Harvesting

3.2 Follow-up of outdoor activities



3.2.1 Compiling Data

The data collected by the various teams during outdoor work must be collated before it can be of any use in further teaching. Teams come back with information about a few rows, a few stands, or one experimental block. But the scope of study is usually at least one plot or a whole experimental area. Before observations can be analyzed at this level, they have to be collated. This could be done by the whole class or by the teacher alone. At the end of an outdoor activity, the teacher could collect all the observation and record sheets and sort them out at home, as part of his lesson preparation, and present them in class the following day. On the other hand, he/she could do it with the class in a first follow-up lesson. In this case, the headings of the observation sheet would be used to design a big table on the central blackboard. The reporter or team leader of each team is then asked to read out his observations which the teacher or a pupil writes down. If a class is used to this procedure, the pupil reporting may well write down the observation himself.

Most of the time, the outdoor activities will have been organised row by row. Data should be compiled starting with row 1, row 2, row 3 and so on. This means that observations appear on the board in the order in which they occurred on the farm.

Since the data on the blackboard are going to be used by the whole class, it is vital for the blackboard display to be clear and tidy. If the exercise of arranging the data in order lasts too long, it can easily bore the pupils. This is yet another reason why pupils should not be asked to collect too much data at a time.

Since we advocate the active involvement of pupils and since sorting out the data in class provides another opportunity for reading and speaking, we are in favour of doing this as a class activity.

As soon as the display on the blackboard is complete, teacher and pupils copy it into their exercise books so that it can be referred to when the blackboard has to be used for something else in between lessons. If possible, a few problems should be worked on directly after the observations have been collated. It is for the teacher to asses whether further work on the results of the outdoor activities will retain the pupils' attention or whether they need something else in between.

1. Maize Growth with Different Methods of Weed Control

Date of Observation:

15/5/1978

Time of the Day:

10 a.m.

No. of weeks after planting:

9

Experimental Block No., Method of weed control

Height of Maize Plants
(in cm.)

No. of cobs

Weed growth

General Remarks on Maize Growth

(1)

65, 70, 75

70

very dense, healthy, grass nearly as high as the maize

maize plants and very poor, leaves pale, chocked by weeds

no weeding

72, 55, 60




no mulching

61, 73, 65





70, 50, 52





64, 58, 60





71, 63, 66





58, 50




(2) weeding no mulching

65, 85, 75

100

a few weeds growing between the rows and very close to some maize plants

healthy, dark green leaves


72, 75, 80





61, 73, 75





70, 82, 80





64, 68, 70





71, 63, 86





62, 60




(3) no weeding mulching

60, 72, 77

95

a few healthy weeds where

healthy, dark green leaves the mulch is thin


72, 60, 62





63, 70, 65





70, 60, 62





64, 61, 60





71, 63, 66





62, 60




(4) weeding and mulching

65, 85, 75

120

nearly no weeds growing

very healthy and tall, good yield expected


76, 77, 85





65, 73, 79





70, 82, 80





74, 78, 72





80, 78





Maize Growth with Different Methods of Weed Control

2. The Development of Yams

Date of Observation:

2/3/1978

Time of the Day:

9:00 a.m.

No. of weeks after planting:

12


Table

3. The Maize Harvest - the Quality of Maize Cobs at Harvesting

Date of Observation:

7/2/78

Time of Day:

8:30-11:00 a.m.

No. of weeks after planting:

21

Row No.

Cobs damaged by

good Cobs

(6)

(7)


(1)
Birds

(2)
Weevils

(3)
Smuts

(4) Big
Cobs

(5) Small
Cobs

Cobs total

Total weight
kgs

1

14

22

1

10

10

57

4 kg

2

10

44

-

8

43

75

5.5 kg

3

39

36

1

9

25

110

6 kg

4

41

31

2

13

30

117

6.5 kg

5

23

26

2

21

36

108

7 kg

6

46

64

-

14

27

151

8 kg

7

48

74

1

-

17

140

7 kg

8

46

21

-

7

14

88

6 kg

9

49

55

-

4

11

119

5 kg

10

42

42

-

14

20

118

7 kg

11

34

64

1

11

28

138

7.5 kg

12

60

19

1

9

16

165

9 kg

13

63

80

3

13

14

173

10 kg

14

48

85

3

8

8

152

7 kg

15

26

107

3

17

21

174

12 kg

16

15

70

-

7

23

115

8 kg

17

57

86

-

11

14

168

7.5 kg

18

49

39

-

10

34

132

11.5 kg

19

42

56

-

30

25

153

7 kg

20

32

76

3

3

30

144

7.5 kg

21

43

110

1

9

34

197

10.5 kg

22

31

49

-

7

7

94

7 kg

23

15

34

1

11

15

76

8.5 kg

24

23

58

1

24

10

116

5.5 kg

25

25

69

5

11

12

122

8.5 kg

26

12

45

-

9

3

69

5 kg


933

1522

29

290

497

3271

194 kg


3.2.2 Working Through the Data

Marty though not all the observations are numbers. Working through them therefore means doing mathematical operations. This shows how simple calculations can help to answer questions arising from practical experience and activities. As we work through the three examples given in section 3.2.1 you will see for yourself how one could analyse the data resulting from observation and practical work on the school farm or on the farm of a local farmer.

Example 1: Maize Growth with Different Methods of Weed Control (see above)

1. Height of the Maize Plants:

- Calculate for each block separately the average height of the 20 sample maize plants and record, again for each block, the tallest and the shortest plant. The calculations involved are addition and division.

The Height of the Maize Plants

Block

Average or
Mean Height

Tallest
Plant

Shortest
Plant

(1)

62.9 cm

75 cm

50 cm

(2)

69.6 cm

86 cm

61 cm

(3)

65.0 cm

77 cm

60 cm

(4)

75.7 cm

85 cm

65 cm

Total

68.3 cm

86 cm

50 cm

2. Number of Cobs

Order the blocks according to the number of cobs growing, from lowest to highest. Is this order the same as the one obtained if you order the blocks according to the average height of the maize plants?

3. Weed Growth

There are no calculations to be done. Ask the teams which have observed the same blocks for more details: What kind of weeds were seen? What other weeds besides grasses were growing? What did the soil look like below the mulch?

4. General Remarks on Maize Growth

Here again there are no calculations needed. Ask the teams for more details like the thickness of the stalks, size and thickness of the cobs, signs of tassling, the growth of adventitious roots etc.

Example 2: The Development of Yams

1. Number of Sets Planted

- Calculate the total number of sets planted (simple addition).

2. Number of Sets Having Germinated

- Calculate the total number of sets which have germinated (simple addition).
- Calculate the germination rate:

Total number of germinated sets x 100
—————————————————
Total number of sets planted

- Is the germination rate the same for the whole farm? Calculate the germination rate for each row separately.

- Example:
row 1: (28 x 100)/34= 82.4 per cent

row 4: (8 x 100)/38= 21.0 per cent

3. Type of Disease

What types of diseases were seen? Discuss them with the class. Ask for details: how did you recognize the various diseases reported? Correct errors or raise doubts and check on the spot if necessary.

- Calculate the total number of plants affected by the various diseases (simple addition).
- Calculate the percentage of diseased plants for each disease separately (division).

Example:

plants affected by mosaic disease:

8

plants affected by rot:

8

percentage of plants affected by mosaic disease:

1.6

percentage of plants affected by rot:

1.6

4. What the Yam Vines Look Like

- Calculate the number of destroyed or damaged vines. Since one yam plant may grow more than one vine, it does not make sense to calculate the percentage of yam plants with destroyed or damaged vines.

- Calculate the number of vines not yet trained and of vines poorly trained. Comparing it to the number of germinated yams gives a rough indication of how well the yam farm is being looked after.

5. Mulching

Assign teams to the rows where there was not enough mulching.

6. Remarks

Sort the remarks according to topics and whether they indicate good or poor growth. Re-write the short remarks as complete sentences. Are there any remarks showing that more farm care is needed?

Example 3: The Maize Harvest - The Quality of Maize Cobs at Harvesting (p. 65)

1. Number of Maize Cobs in Each Column (i.e. under each heading)

- Calculate the total number of cobs under each heading (7 simple additions).

- Add the totals for each heading of columns 1-5 (birds, weevils, smuts, big cobs, small cobs). The sum should be equal to the sum of column 6 (total number of cobs).

- Draw 4 graphs showing the number of cobs damaged by birds, the number of cobs damaged by weevils, the number of big cobs, and the total number of cobs row by row (for an example see the graphs in the complete sub-unit in Part III, p. 99). These graphs will show better than a table full of figures the distribution of the total yield and the damage throughout the farm.

2. Yield per Hectare

Calculate the yield per hectare (division).

3. The Amount of Damage Done

Relative figures, i.e. shares or proportions give a better idea of the damage done than the absolute figures calculated in 1.

Calculate the percentage of cobs damaged by birds and weevils.

Example:
cobs damaged by birds: (933 x 100)/3271 = 28.5%
cobs damaged by weevils: (1522 x 100)/3271 = 46.5%

- Calculate the percentage of damaged cobs (birds and weevils) for each row separately. This will answer the question whether roughly the same proportion of cobs,were attacked in each row or whether there are areas of the farm where the damage is particularly bad.

- Make graphs showing the percentages of damaged cobs row by row. This means two graphs.

4. Estimate of the Grain Lost due to Birds, and Weevils

Here the problem is less one of doing sums than of a sound estimation technique. It means reasoning out ways of assessing the losses due to the various maize pests. The reasoning might become quite involved, and the pupils might not be able to follow. The necessary examples have been provided in the sub-unit on the maize harvest. Teachers will have to judge for themselves whether their pupils can understand the reasoning behind such simple estimation techniques.

These few examples have shown that even with a restricted number of observations a lot of follow-up work can be done. Since it can be broken down into a number of simple tasks - mainly doing a lot of sums - these simple tasks should be assigned to the various teams organized for the outdoor activities.

In this way, everybody will be busy for a relatively short time after which the results of the data analysis will be reported by the different teams.

It should be clear that it is not possible to do all the data analysis in one lesson. It would not be desirable either. The sub-unit on the maize harvest (p. 99) shows how a subunit is structured according to topics of interest. Whenever the observations made during harvest could be useful, the class works through them. Where the observations do not provide answers, other sources (books, knowledgeable people) will help. Finally, there is nothing wrong with confessing one's ignorance.

- Even with a restricted number of observations a lot of follow-up work can be done. It would not be desirable to do all data analysis in one lesson.

- It would be wrong, however, to limit the follow-up work of an outdoor activity to problems that may safely be solved by working through data.

3.2.3 Arriving at Conclusions

Conclusions from the data will always be based on some kind of comparison. The yield on one part of the farm will be higher than elsewhere, and we might find that a particular part has received more manure than the rest, and therefore we conclude that the high yield was due to manure. The damage done by birds is heaviest in the centre of the farm. We know that birds are easily scared away and conclude that they feel safest at the centre of the farm where they can take their time and eat up the maize.

- What is important in our work is that these conclusion be clearly explained. Pupils must know the reasoning by which a conclusion is drawn from the data.

- Conclusions and the way they were derived should therefore be put in writing so that at the end of a sub-unit there is a series of tentative conclusions about the topic under study.

(introduction...)

In this section a number of problems relating to farm work, observation and experimentation will be discussed. Before going into detail a few general remarks are in order. During all or part of the year, outdoor activities can be unpleasant simply because of the weather. Heat and humidity affect pupils not only while they are actually working on the farm but also during observational activities. Therefore, keep the time spent out in the open as short as possible.

Use it only for - necessary demonstrations, - assigning pupils to their work areas, -doing the actual work, observation and recording.

Anything else should be done in the classroom, e.g. calculation of averages, of areas, additions, writing short reports, etc.

4.1 Farm work



4.1.1 Planning Farm Work

Planning farm work most of the time relies on the long standing experience of farm masters and headmasters. Sometimes this can lead to difficult situations, for example when planting time comes before the tilling or fencing is completed -which in turn means that planting is delayed and the school may be unable to harvest in time. The following shows how labour records of school farms can be used in order to plan school farm work efficiently. Figures are about a school that had an old coffee plot which was to be converted into a maize farm.

The total farming area was 6800 m².

Table 1 (p. 72) shows the labour distribution from February 17th to June 1st. Figures were compiled from the farm diaries kept for each class. Table 1 is a summary of work done. But it differs from the form used by the school. During periods when the demand for labour was high, it shows the amount of farm work done everyday. This is necessary since it is the only way to analyse in detail the difficulties encountered during this time.

Looking at table 1, what do we see?

1. Getting the farm started took about 300 hours, i.e. fencing and taking out the stumps of the old coffee trees. This accounts for 15.1% of all the work done on the farm. In subsequent years, of course, this labour will not be required.

2. The grass cut down during clearing was removed from the farm altogether. This is necessary if the whole farm area is being tilled. But when planting on the flat, one can reduce the tilling by following a minimum tillage approach as recommended by the IITA (International Institute for Tropical Agriculture) at Ibadan, i.e. tilling only the narrow strips where the maize seeds will actually be planted. The area between the rows of maize can be left untilled. This means that the rows for planting have to be pegged, ropes are used to mark the straight planting lines, and the grass is removed to the strip between them. This would save 520 hours or 16.1% of the total labour time since raking and gathering the grass is no longer required. But it does not only save labour. The grass left between the rows acts as mulch, keeping the soil temperature low, retaining moisture, and slowing down the growth of weeds.

3. Tilling only the actual planting area and leaving the space between the rows untilled reduces the amount of labour required considerably. Tilling needs a lot of labour (521.5 hours = 26.2%). Moreover, it has to be finished early in order for planting to start on time. Therefore, if labour can be saved here, it would be particularly welcome. Tilling using the minimum tillage approach would require only 323 hours. saving another 198.5 hours or nearly 10% of the total working time.

4. You will immediately see that the work could have been better distributed over the time available:

- All the work for fencing should have been done in February and early March. The way fencing was timed has a big disadvantage. It was interrupted by planting, so that the fence was left unfinished till the last day of March, because catching the correct planting time was more important. This left the farm very vulnerable during the early growth period of the maize.

All jobs not directly related to farming a particular crop should be shifted to the dry season.

- Tilling should have started earlier. This would have been possible had fencing been completed earlier, and had the school concentrated all its efforts on planting. The time taken for planting was 225 hours. Had tilling been finished on or before March 18th, the day when planting started, all the planting could have been done on that day as 238 hours were effectively spent on the farm on March 18th. The minimum tillage approach would have permitted this. Had all the time spent on raking and removing grass been used for tilling, the farm would have been almost completely tilled on March 1 8th without any other change in work organization. The first weeding is very important for maize and should be finished 10 days after planting, but in this case weeding was late and too prolonged.

- As far as possible, several different operations or jobs should be done on a farm at the same time rather than just one. This means you can have several small groups doing different jobs rather than have all the children doing the same work. Supervision is easier, and groups can take turns at each other's work.


Table 1


Table 2

Table 2 shows how farming could have been organized along these lines:

- Clearing and fencing done at the same time,

- Tilling starts in the first days of March while fencing comes to an end in the second week of March. At planting time the whole plot has been tilled. As tilling is reduced because of the minimum tillage approach it could be done even faster than shown in table 2, let us say in five periods of farm work. This would have the advantage that planting could start as soon as the first rains fell. After planting, very little work is left. The time could now be used for lessons on the farm work done so far and for observations with the pupils, e.g. on maize germination (during the first ten days after planting) and on the growth of maize after the first weeding. Interplanting beans with the maize would not have changed the amount of labour needed. Planting might have taken a bit longer, and harvesting the beans would have come earlier than the maize harvest. Table 3 shows the distribution of labour week by week both in terms of pupil hours and as percentages, for three different situations:

- First, there is the real situation as recorded in the farm diaries and shown in table 1.

- Second, there is the situation where the labour has been planned properly using the minimum tillage approach as shown in table 2.
- Third, there is a situation which assumes that the farm is already fenced or does not need a fence. This last situation needs only 1186.5 pupil hours as compared to the 1988 hours actually worked on the farm.

Table 3: Labour Distribution for Three Different Situations

Month

Week

Actual Situation
(Table 1)

Planning With Fencing
(Table 2)

Planning Without
Fencing



hours


%

hours

%

hours %


3

174

8.75

223

15.56

174

14.66

February

4

226

11.37

370

25.82

218.5

18.42


1

263.5

13.25

210

14.65

174

14.66


2

341.5

17.18

118

8.23

108

9.10

March

3

412

20.72

261

18.21

261

22.00


4

274

13.78

-

-

-

-


5

53

2.67

95

6.63

95

8.01


1

72

3.62

15

1.05

15

1.27

April

4

31

1.56

-

-

-

-

After April


141

7.10

141

9.85

141

11.88

Total


1988

1100.00

1433

100.00

1186.5

100.00


4.1.2 Important Rules for Practical Work in the Farm

Certain principles should be respected during actual farm work.

1. Make sure that all pupils in a class participate in school farm work. This is a question of justice and equity towards pupils, and a matter of honesty for the staff. Staff members should be discouraged from sending pupils to work in their houses or on their private farms during periods of school farm work.

2. Make sure that there are enough tools and equipment. Make a stock of simple equipment for the school, e.g. sticks marked to show decimetres, ropes made from local material, wooden pegs for marking, etc. Tell pupils in advance what they will need so that they do not forget to bring it to school: hoes, cutlasses, rulers, pens, samples of leaves or plants, etc.

3. Define the tasks to be performed clearly. Make sure that pupils know what they are expected to do. Task descriptions and instructions must not be vague but should indicate the exact method to be followed e.g. for clearing or planting. Part of the instruction is a demonstration by the teacher which will have to be repeated several times for small groups of pupils. If the demonstration is given to the whole class, some pupils might not be able to see properly.

4. The work area for each pupil or team should be well defined. Pupils must not be overworked by having too large an area assigned to them. But they must not be in each other's way either. They might injure each other with the tools, and their work will certainly be inefficient if they are too close together. If the work is heavy, the pupils will take it in turns, with one or two working at a time and one or two resting at the same time. For clearing, there is a simple way of avoiding the pupils being too close to each other: the pupils line up in front of the plot to be cleared; they stretch out both arms and adjust their positions in such a way that their fingertips just touch; if there are more pupils than is required by the length of the plot, they get other assignments.

5. Whether work is done in teams or by each pupil on his own, the teacher should always be present to supervise the pupils' work, give guidance and correct mistakes where necessary, and to do part of the work himself, possibly working with several teams in succession. This will motivate the children. Teachers should never assume pupils to master the farm work just because they have been told what to do and have seen a demonstration. Especially where new activities or new methods are being learnt there is need for continuous supervision and active guidance.

6. Labour records should be kept very carefully. They are a source of data for classroom work and for later planning. They also show the staff whether a certain crop was farmed efficiently or not.

7. School farm work should never be used as a punishment since it will create or reinforce a negative attitude towards farming. We sympathize with teachers who sometimes feel they ought to have something resembling corporal punishment. But to use work as a substitute for beating is certainly no solution.

8. Some people may be afraid that school farm work will take up too much time and push other activities aside so that pupils do not learn enough English, Mathematics, Religion or other classroom-based subjects. This fear is unfounded. The sub-units we have proposed are dominated by classroom work. Furthermore, provided the weekly teaching time is used carefully, more learning could take place than is the case today. The above example on planning a maize farm indicates that work requirements are much lower than is currently believed. The surface of 6.800 m² required a total of 2012.5 pupil hours from clearing to the time just before harvesting. Class 7 worked occasionally on the plot. If their contribution is subtracted from the total, it leaves 1777.5 pupil hours for 121 pupils. This means a total of about 15 hours of work per pupil for the whole period, or between just 1 and 2 hours per week. More time is unnecessary if the time used is well spent. There are times, of course, where more hours per week will be necessary, e.g. just before and at planting time, or at weeding time. But this can be made good during the long periods of maize growth. Furthermore, minimum tillage and a more efficient labour organisation will almost certainly reduce the total amount of work required.

- All pupils in a class should participate in farm work.
- There should be enough tools and equipment.
- The tasks would be defined clearly.
- Work areas should be well defined.
- The teacher should always supervise and do part of the work himself.
- Labour records should be kept very carefully.
- School farm work should never be used as a punishment.
- Other subjects will not be neglected, if planning is well done. There will be mutual reinforcement, instead.

4.2 Observational activities

This section will deal with a number of issues directly relating to observation. We shall start with a discussion about observation as a scientific method and go on to a few ideas about how to use observation consistently in primary school agriculture.

4.2.1 Observation as a Scientific Method

Observation and experimentation are the two main scientific methods for collecting information about things of interest. A respectable science like astronomy is based entirely on observation. The social sciences rely heavily on observation since experimentation with human populations is not allowed.

Observation basically means looking at things. This may be done with the help of very sophisticated equipment or with the unaided eye. The objects under investigation may be destroyed or severely damaged in the course of the observation or they may not be affected at all.

An example of "destructive observation" is the way insects or other small animals, or plants, are sometimes studied. The animals are killed, the plants are removed from the soil. Then they are cut up to see how they are constituted.

Let us first see for what purposes we use observation. Observation is necessary

- if we want to know the structure of an object under study, i.e. if we want to know its elements or parts and how they are linked with each other;

- if we need to know how something works and how it can be influenced;

- if we cannot set up experiments because the objects under study are beyond our reach (e.g. the stars) or because we have no right to do experiments (e.g. with groups of people). Knowledge about the weather can only be gained by observations. Also, experiments with plants with a life longer than two to three years are not feasible in primary school since the pupils who set up the experiment would not see its result;

- if we want to get the results of an experiment. This last point will become clear when we discuss the method of experimentation. Let us say at this point that experimentation means observing objects of interest under different conditions.

Observation is an attempt to increase knowledge. We are always trying to find out more about things in order to improve the way we live. The reason behind all this is the belief that there is some regularity in the way things happen: rain falls only when there are clouds in they sky, fruit and seeds grow only where there were flowers before. A good farmer is somebody who knows that on certain types of soil, certain crops will not grow: if you plant rice on sandy soil you will not have any harvest. He would also know that harvests will become poorer if certain weeds appear on the farm, and he will know that this can be avoided by applying certain types of manure. People without any training in science often turn out to be very shrewd observers. They are able to draw the right conclusions from what they have seen and to apply them to their problems. Scientific observation has the same aim, yet, on the other hand, procedures of observation, recording, and analysing differ markedly.

Observation aims at describing precisely the object(s) under investigation. What does the object "normally" look like and what differences can be seen between objects of the same type? To give an example: What is the normal height of maize plant at tasseling? Do all maize plants on a given plot look alike when they tassel? Do they all have the same height? Observation tries to find chains of cause and effect.

Approaches to Observation

Observational activities can differ widely as to the number of objects observed and the timing of the observations. Concerning the objects under study the following types of observation can be distinguished:

1. The Examination of a Single Object

The object of interest is carefully observed once. The aim usually is to describe its shape, to identify its parts and name them. The objects can be taken out of their natural setting for examination in the classroom. This is the case when pupils examine a plant, a stone, an insect or a small animal which they bring into the classroom. The objects may also remain in their natural setting. This is the case when pupils observe a tree, a house, a monument, i.e. objects too big to be removed and brought to school. This is the type of observation which is usually done with specimens. If no specimens are available, illustrations can be substituted - in books, on wall charts or on the blackboard.

2. The Case History

Here, a single object of interest is being observed over a period of time. The aim is to describe apart from its initial shape the changes it undergoes over the period of observation. Case histories are mostly done on living objects. Most of the time they are done on objects in their natural setting, although a few exceptions are known:

Case histories outside the natural setting

- observation of seed germination in a germination box or jar,
- observation of insect development from eggs through the stages of larva and pupa to full growth,
- observation of a plant in a flower pot, etc. Case histories in their natural setting
- observation of the development of a newly born baby during the first two months of his life in the family of a pupil,
- the farm work of a family during a specified time of the school year,
- observation of the life of a plant on a school farm plot,
- observation of water erosion on a cleared and tilled plot that has no crops growing on it, etc.

3. The Population Survey

The population survey is an observation of many individual objects which is done at one particular point in time without being repeated. "Population" in this context does mean any group of similar things or beings. Surveys are always carried out in the natural settings of the population. Examples for population surveys are

- the observation of the quality of maize cobs at harvesting,
- the development of yam plants 12 weeks after planting,
- the yield of a pineapple farm,
- the farming methods of coffee farmers in the village,
- farm tools used in the community,
- how women in the village select and store seeds and planting material.

The last three topics in the list are population surveys to the extent that all or several people are asked for information, or are observed during the relevant activities.

4. Repeated Observation of a Population

This is a case history for a whole population. Observations on a number of similar objects are repeated over time in order to see changes in a whole population. A typical example is the observation of a whole farm plot throughout the agricultural season, the population being the crop growing on the plot.

As the examples show, the four types of observation all have their place in teaching. Teachers should make a judicious choice among the many possibilities for-obsenation. Observations of single objects are easier to organize and are well suited as an introduction to the skill of observation. Usually they do not yield quantitative data but rather a lot of verbal descriptions, sketches, and drawings. They are well adapted to individual work or work in a team of two pupils. The study of populations nearly always yields quantitative data and requires team work.

Methods of Observation

Observation may be direct, with the observer simply examining the object under study and writing down his findings without any equipment or tools to find out things usually hidden from the eye. This is the simplest method and should be used for initial training - how much do pupils see by just looking very carefully at things or beings they know already.

Usually, observation means using measuring equipment - the metre tape, weighing equipment, containers for the measurement of volume. Much of the observational activity is done with the intention of introducing pupils to the use of measurement. The use of numbers - e.g. counting the leaves of a young plant three weeks after germination is already measuring, looking for precision in terms of numbers, although it can be done without any apparatus.

In addition there is indirect observation. Instead of looking at things oneself one puts questions to knowledgeable people. This is the method most commonly used in surveys involving large numbers of people. Usually, there is a need for questionnaires and interview schedules. Examples are provided in volume II, part I, "Farming Methods".

As far as agriculture is concerned, direct observation is preferable to any other method. There are topics, however, where direct observation is not possible. A survey on land tenure relies almost exclusively on survey work and interviewing. Part III contains information written by Cameroonian teachers on topics related to agriculture where the basic information was obtained by questioning local experts. If you want to collect data on work organization, direct observation of people working on their farms alone or in groups will provide some insight but it will always have to be supplemented by discussions with the people concerned.

4.2.2 Using Observation in School

Like any farmer, the Farm Master and other staff members will occasionally have a look at the farm in order to see that everything is going well. Regular observation of this sort means that action can be taken when necessary - weeding, disease and pest control, harvesting at the right time. If the crop concerned is not properly supervised, the risk of losing part of the harvest goes up.

Observation also has its role in classroom teaching. Since our projects - growing one or several crops - must be planned beforehand in order to succeed, observational activities ought to be included in the planning right from the start. The pages 80 and 81 provide examples:

The first example is a general form for planning. One such form should be filled in for each farm plot once the crop has been decided on. The columns "Stage in Farming" and "Stage in Plant Development" have been filled in and contain the most common stages. For a given fruit the appropriate steps and stages have to be selected.

The second example is a farm which shows what the planning might look like for a maize crop. While the stages in plant development and the relevant farm jobs are known, the timing in the first column can only be tentative since actual plant development will depend on the climatic conditions of a particular season.

Teachers are encouraged to carry out a similar planning exercise for other crops. The necessary information about the farm calendar and plant development are available in part II of this book.

If a whole programme of observations is followed throughout the course of farm work, it would be good to display the results in class. One could use an observation chart. as shown below. It should take the form of a wall chart with information entered as it becomes available through the observational activities. Additional space must be provided for the display of sketches, drawings, and specimens. The same observation chart should be copied in the pupils' exercise books so that everyone has a complete record of all the observations by the end of the year.

· Successful integration of agriculture with a science syllabus needs good planning.
· Observational activities ought to be included in planning right from the start.


Programme of Observation (first example)


Observation Chart


Programme of Observation (second example)

4.3 Experimentation

After discussing observation as a scientific method, let us now turn to experimentation.

The difference between the two methods can best be explained by an example: Suppose that you want to know as much as possible about the growth of maize. You decide to find out by watching a maize crop. You have a few ideas about what might be important for good maize growth and what might be not so important. So you keep an eye on the things you think are important. This is an example of observation. But suppose that you have a very strong hunch that maize would yield more if it got more water than it usually gets during dry season. How can you find out? You will probably choose a maize field and, during dry season, you will water it, but not the whole field. You will water only certain rows. This will allow you to see immediately whether your initial belief was right because you can compare growth in the rows left dry with growth in the watered rows. Here, then, you have not left the maize field undisturbed. You have introduced a change in part of it. After this you have observed carefully what happened. This is an example of an experiment. Experimentation always introduces a precisely controlled change into one part of the area under study and leaves the other part undisturbed. Conclusions about the effect of the experimental change are reached by comparing what happens in the two parts of the experimental set-up. The bulk of technical innovations have been discovered through careful and systematic experimentation.

An experiment is a way of testing beliefs or assumptions about facts. It is a planned comparison of two or more objects of the same type under different conditions. An experiment involves a number of steps which are all equally important:

- planning;

- setting up (e.g. getting the two or more sets of objects into place and subjecting them to different conditions);

- observing (an experiment goes on for some time, i.e. the sets of objects always remain subjected to the experimental treatment for some time so that the treatment, the different conditions, can take effect. During this time frequent observations are necessary);

- evaluating (at the end of an experiment, the final comparison must be made: How did the two or more sets of objects do? How did they respond to the differences in conditions? ).Experiments can be very short and might be completed in a period of 60 minutes, like many physical or chemical experiments. Or they might cover a period of a week, e.g. germination experiments. But farming experiments will last much longer, usually stretching over a whole farming season, from planting to harvesting. And while setting up the experiment often attracts considerable interest, at harvesting time this interest has declined. It is important, however, to arouse interest again, and lead pupils through a carefully planned evaluation of the experiment. Unless this is done, the whole exercise has little point as far as teaching/learning is concerned.

As we said earlier, experimentation always actively introduces a precisely controlled change into one part of an area under study and leaves the other part undisturbed. The change introduced in part of the experimental setting is called the experimental treatment. Whether the experimental treatment had any effect is assessed by checking whether it made any difference: we compare the part that received the experimental treatment with the part that was left without the experimental treatment.

This, by the way, leads towards the scientific concept of causation. If the objects which have undergone the experimental treatment are now different from the objects which had no treatment, we will claim that the treatment is the cause of the difference. This claim to a causal relation will be accepted unless it can be proven false, usually by more experiments.

This discussion might appear to be too general and abstract. We shall presently try to make things clear through a number of examples.

Let us imagine you believe that during dry season, maize would grow better if it was' watered than if it was left to grow on water provided by rain and dew. This belief is an assumption or an hypothesis. You want to test this hypothesis. Since you don't want to waste anything, you plant two maize seeds at a fair distance from each other. After they have germinated, you water one of them regularly. This is your experimental treatment. The other one is left alone. At harvest time you compare the two maize cobs, each plant having yielded one. You find that the cob from the watered maize plant is much bigger than the one from the other plant. Besides, even before harvest you have noticed that the watered plant grew faster and taller, remained green for a longer time and showed every signs of being a very healthy plant. Since you believe that other conditions import-ant for maize growth were very much the same for the two plants, you relate the difference in yield to the experimental treatment, watering, and conclude that watering during dry season was the cause of the better yield.

Strange though it might look, this example has all the elements of a true and reliable experiment. Let us analyse it in some detail: - Experimentation grows from previous knowledge. The starting point of our example was a belief, a hypothesis about the effect of watering on maize yields. Such a hypothesis could be derived from clever observation, it could be got from books, or it could be part and parcel of the traditional knowledge of a group of people. For instance there is a belief that maize will only do well on ridges. But according to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria maize can be farmed successfully on the flat. Three reactions are possible: one is the conservative attitude which would dismiss such a claim as not valid in this particular area. The second reaction is the credulous attitude: since an internationally renowned authority made the statement, one ought to believe it and act accordingly. The third reaction is the truly scientific one: Here are two contradictory beliefs. One should try to find out which one is correct. This leads to the formulation of a testable hypothesis which might say: "Maize grown on the flat will do at least as well as maize grown on ridges". This can be tested by a simple experiment, after which it will be possible to decide whether under local conditions maize can be grown on the flat (which would save a lot of work) or whether it is safer to continue with the traditional method of ridging.

The next step is to work out an experimental design. The design of an experiment consists of all the details of the arrangement which will be used to test the hypothesis. It states:

- the objects on which the experiment will be performed (in our case maize plants, but experiments could be done on any other crop, depending on the problem at hand),

- the experimental treatment,

- the method by which other influences are controlled,

- the way in which the effect of the treatment will be assessed.

Let us turn to the parts of an experimental design one by one.

a) Objects

Usually there is a whole set of objects (e.g. maize plants) that will undergo the experimental treatment, and another set that will be used for comparison. What are the reasons for this? It is simply that one plant might be exposed to the influence of chance, good or bad luck, and that such chance influences might be more effective than the experimental treatment. For example:

By chance the plant which is not watered might be growing on an exceptionally fertile spot. By chance the plant which is not watered might develop exceptionally long roots and get water from a depth that the average maize plant cannot reach. By chance the watered plant might be attacked by the stem borer and therefore do badly. By chance, one of the two plants might be destroyed altogether, thus leading to the collapse of the whole experiment. With a bit of imagination you will find more chance factors that can arbitrarily and unpredictably influence an experiment and thus defeat its purpose. The very fact that these chance influences operate in an unpredictable way helps us, however.

If we subject a whole set of objects (say 100 maize plants in 4 rows) to the experimental treatment and take another set of 100 plants without the experimental treatment, then we have the following situation: The experimental treatment will systematically influence all the plants in one set and will be absent from all the plants in the other set. The chance factors can now operate on all the plants used for the experiment, in our case 200. Since they operate unpredictably, unsystematically by definition, we can assume that they will affect the plants on the treated group as well as the plants of the untreated group. In this case, they would have the same total effect on the two groups and therefore cancel each other out.

This is so because we are not comparing individual plant yields but rather the total yield of the treated group with the total yield of the untreated group.

Result of treated group = effect of treatment + combined effect of all chance factors on treated group.

Result of untreated group = combined effect of all chance factors on untreated group.

Result of treatment group - Result of untreated group = effect of treatment

Since we have shown that we can assume the combined effect of an chance factors on the treated group to be the same as the combined effect of all chance factors on the untreated group, the difference between the two results is in fact the effect of the treatment.

To assume that the chance factors influence the two groups in the same way is the more justified the larger the two groups are. Therefore, school farm experiments should not be done on too small a scale.

b) Treatments

Most of the time experiments are identified and named according to the experimental treatment applied. There are very many possible treatments to experiment with, and we shall list a few of them as examples.

- Cocoyams were grown under shade and compared with cocoyams grown under normal conditions, i.e. exposed to full daylight.

- Pineapples were grown with short planting distances in double rows as compared to the usual wide spacing method used on local farms.

- Maize was systematically thinned down to one plant per stand as compared to local farming practice where up to four plants may grow in a stand.

- Yams were grown using chemical fertilizer. Different planting times for maize were experimented with.

- Two methods of weed control (weeding and mulching) were used on maize and compared to no weed control at all.

Any teacher would find it easy to think up similar experiments of his own. This is all the easier since there is a sharp contrast between the "scientific way of farming", prescribed by many syllabuses, and African ways of farming. Just think of all the possible experiments contrasting mixed cropping with single cropping. A few of them have been listed in the volume II. We could end our discussion of treatments here, but there is a danger - the danger of making treatments very complicated. Let us distinguish experiments according to the number of treatments applied at the same time, and the structure of the treatment. The simplest experiments are those where only one treatment is applied, and where we simply contrast the effect of this one treatment with what happens if that treatment is not given. The first four examples above are of this kind.

In the cocoyam experiment the researchers divided their cocoyam farm into two halves with the same number of plants each. One half was shaded with palm fronds much like a coffee nursery or a vegetable nursery, the other was left exposed to the full daylight. We can say that the treatment has only one level. Such experiments with one treatment at only one level are the simplest ones yet embody all the logic of scientific experimentation. Therefore they are particularly suitable for use in school.

The idea of treatment level will become clearer if we look at an experiment with one treatment at multiple levels: The experiment involving different planting times is a case in point. People generally believe that the best time for planting maize is immediately after the first heavy rain in March. Earlier planting will result in poor germination, later planting in loss in yield. In order to test this, planting was started early in March and continued at intervals of one week for six weeks. Here the treatment is difference in planting time, but instead of contrasting late or early planting with planting at the traditionally best time, six different planting times were used, each leading to a block of several rows all planted at the same time. These different planting times are like many treatment levels with the one closest to the "correct" time being the "untreated" one. One could also say that the same treatment is being given at different intensities. In a thinning experiment, one might start by planting four grains in each hole, then have one area where all the plants are allowed to grow, one area where a maximum of three plants are allowed, another area where only two plants at a stand may grow, and a last one where thinning to one plant per stand is done. This would give us a three-level treatment with one untreated group. The fertilizer experiment on yam could be carried out with different amounts of fertilizer applied per hectare.

The advantage of a one-treatment-multiple-level experiment is that it not only tells us whether a given treatment has an effect, but what the most effective form of that treatment under local conditions might be. What would be the best quantity of fertilizer to use on yams? Is it more profitable to thin down to one plant per stand than to two plants? How long can we delay maize planting before the loss in yield or the delay in maturity or both become alarming? This takes us one step further towards finding out experimentally the most advantageous ways of farming.

In order to understand experiments with several treatments at a time we just have to remember that during farming we take not only one but several different measures to ensure good yields. The different operations in farming - tilling, planting, weeding, mulching, staking etc. - can be thought of as different treatments. Each of these farm jobs is thought to be important. Leaving any one out or doing any one poorly might result in a poor harvest. Yet farmers will find it difficult to say which of them is the most important. Can poor weeding offset the effect of careful tilling and ridging? Can intensive watering make up for late planting of a dry season crop? Questions such as these can in principle be answered by experiments with several treatments at the same time. To take a simple example from IPAR-Buea's experimental plot:In traditional farming there are two major methods of weed control. One is weeding itself, the other is heavy mulching. Maize is a crop that is very sensitive to competition from weeds. The effect of weeding is known. The effect of mulch on weeds is that by forming a thick covering over the soil, it prevents or at least delays weed growth at a time when maize is most vulnerable to it, during and shortly after germination.

The questions now are:

- Deciding whether mulching or weeding is the more effective in protecting the maize from competition.

- If a woman weeds her maize properly, would it make an appreciable difference if she also did mulching or could she leave it without losing much?

In order to answer these questions, an experiment was carried out with mulching and weeding as combined treatments. Both treatments were one-level treatments: proper weeding (i.e. two weedings) versus no weeding at all, and heavy mulching versus no mulching. The following blocks of four rows each were laid out:

Block I: No mulching no weeding Block II: No mulching only weeding Block III: only mulching no weeding Block IV: mulching and weeding

Block I is the no-treatment block, block II and III are one-treatment blocks, and block IV has both treatments. You will realise that the blocks show all possible combinations of the two treatments. This is necessary for experiments with more than one treatment, and it makes them very complicated and unwieldy. The number of experimental blocks increases very fast. With one one-level treatment we have 2 blocks, with two one-level treatment we have 2 x 2 = 4 blocks, with three one-level treatments we have 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 blocks, with four one-level treatments we go up to 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 24 = 16 blocks, and so on. The number of experimental blocks increases even faster if the treatments have multiple levels. What is more, evaluating the results of the experiments becomes very complicated and tedious, and therefore primary schools are well advised to stick to experiments with two treatments.

c) Controlling for Other Influences One of the control methods has been mentioned already:

- having a large number of objects in the experiment. Some other methods are:
- repeating the same experiment at one or two different places on the school farm,
- repeating it over several years. If the results of repeated experiments remain roughly the same, then observed differences between treatment and nontreatment group, blocks or sets can be assumed to be due to the treatment.

d) Assessing the Results of an Experiment

The first problem here is to know what the results are we are looking for. In school farm experiments it will almost invariably be the harvest. Most of the time it will be the quantity harvested, but even quantity could be expressed in different terms: the weight of the crop or the number of cobs, fruit or tubers. But sometimes we are more interested in quality: the resistance of a crop to disease, the storage quality of the harvest, the taste, the content of certain substances (e.g. protein in maize, poisonous matter in yams or cassava) etc. Whatever the case may be, we have to make sure what effects we are looking for in an experiment, and define exactly how we are going to measure these effects. It does not make sense, for example, if we set up an experiment to determine the effect of sunshine on the sugar content in pineapples, and have no way of measuring the sugar content. Or, to put it at a more elementary level, it does not make sense to set up an experiment to find out the effect of compost manure on the weight of yams if the school does not possess any equipment for weighing. Most farming experiments go on for a long time, covering at least two terms. The effect of an experimental treatment does not appear only and for the first time at the harvest. The effect of watering during dry season should be evident very soon after the treatment starts. In the case of the experiment on weeding and mulching, the bad effects of weeds on the crop became apparent soon after the first weeding of the treatment blocks. Continuous observation of plant development 'on experimental plots yields rich insights into the biology of the plants grown because it sees them under different conditions.

· Experiments grows from previous knowledge, ideas, beliefs (= hypotheses) which have to be tested.

· Experimentations and observations lead towards a scientific concept of causation. Traditional African farming methods can be improved by using such an approach.

· Try by all means to check the influence of chance in your experiments. You will get clearer results in comparing not individual plants but a large number of plants. Another method of control is to rep eat the experiment next year.

· Experiments can be made with more than one variable. The number of experimental factors influences the analysis: it will become more complicated. The simplest experiments are those where only one treatment is applied. Therefore they are particularly suitable for use in schools.

How to Present Experiments to Pupils

It might be difficult to use the scientific vocabulary and reasoning we have used so far when introducing experimental work to pupils. Here is an example of how a farm master tried to tackle the problem. We have merely elaborated on his idea. Here is how the experiment on weedings and mulching might be introduced to a class:

"There are four farmers (or four women) who started a contest to find out who would get the best maize harvest. They chose four equal pieces of land with the same kind of soil, in fact, they got one large plot and divided it into four equal parts. One of them said she would spare no effort in order to win and decided not only to weed at the right time but also to mulch very heavily between the maize. Two others said they had no time to do so much work. So, one decided to use heavy mulch. This would stop the weeds from growing, and therefore, there was no need for weeding. The other one did not believe this and decided to weed but leaves out mulching. And the fourth one - well, she had bad luck and fell ill immediately after doing the planting. Nobody was prepared to do any of the work for her, and so her plot was neither mulched nor weeded. IPAR-Buea has tried to show what the four plots would look like so that anyone who wants to know can find out for himself which of the four ways of caring for one's maize would produce the best harvest".

In Part III there is a sub-unit about an experiment with pineapple farming. It shows how such an experiment can be evaluated.

In the case of pineapple-farming, there is another experiment which works well: the different types of suckers are said to differ in terms of the size of the fruit they produce and the time after planting when they first produce a fruit. The class should collect an equal number of

- stumps or ratoons,
-stem suckers,
- slips,

crowns. These should be planted separately so that there is a number of rows with stumps only, a number of rows with crowns only, etc.

(introduction...)

Work on the school farm presents a number of problems not usually present in other classroom or outdoor activities. They are:

- tools and equipment,
- record keeping,
- farm care during holidays,
- income derived from the farm.

Tools should be selected on the principle of low cost and the use of local tools as far as this is possible.

Record keeping has been and still is being taught extensively during teacher training. The list of records includes

the Farm Diary,
the Labour Summary,
the Crop Yield Record,
the Cash Account.

The scientific approach proposed here means that two more records are needed, the observation chart, discussed in section 4.2.2, and a record of all experiments done. The use of the Labour Summary for teaching has been dealt with in the sub-unit "Planning Maize Farming", contained in Part III, p. 121. We shall not go into record keeping in any more detail but will confine this section to farm care and income.

5.1 Farm care during holidays

Farm crops and weeds do not stop growing because there are school holidays. As can be seen from the table on p. 91, there is a lot of work to be done in the holiday periods, and many schools have suffered great losses because they did not organize farm work during holidays well enough. These losses are due to poor farm care as well as to theft. The following example is drawn from a country where the long holidays coincide with the main rainy season. (August-September).

1. Work Needs on School Farms during Holidays

The following ideas and suggestions are based on oral and written comments made by teachers when confronted with the problem.

The question of how to arrange a schedule of work during the holidays will have to be answered by taking local conditions and habits into account. Market days have advantages and disadvantages. It might happen that not all the crops harvested can be sold. This raises the problem of storage, and many schools are ill-prepared for storing any type of crops. Therefore, some teachers think that there is need for considerable publicity in order to make sure that all the crops are sold. Other teachers argue that there is no need to take any notice of market days. Our starting point was the problem of how to get pupils to come at the scheduled time. Since market days are days when almost everybody gathers around the market, it might be easier to get pupils then than on ordinary days. Also, in some areas market days are such important events that dates relating to market days will easily be remembered.

One ought to keep in mind that school farm care during the holidays not only means harvesting and selling but also:

- looking after the crops still growing but which are not ready for harvesting, e.g. yams, colocasia, xanthosoma, cassava, pineapple etc. (these need occasional weeding and mulching);

- controlling, especially during rainy season;

- preparing for new crops; most schools miss the season for late maize although the farmers in the area manage to grow a late maize crop. If tilling could at least be started towards the end of the holidays, the school would benefit from a late maize harvest. Thus is the more important since the harvesting would fall in term time and could very well be used for teaching purposes.

Arrangements will have to be made for all these jobs, and here, reference to the market day would be of great help. Where pupils are needed by their parents on the days preceding market day, it might be possible to call them in for school farm work on the day after market day.

Holiday Period

Harvest

Watching and Tending

Farm Preparation

August

· Maize

· Yams



· Melons

· Xanthosoma



· Egusi

· Colocasia



· Yams

· Cassava




· Pineapples and other Perennials


September


As in August

· Late Maize




· Late Beans



· Cowpeas



· Vegetables

December/

· Maize

· Maize

· Yams

January

· Beans

· Pineapples and other Perennials



· (Coffee)



March/


· Maize Weeding


April


· Beans Weeding



· Yams



· Pineapples and other Perennials


2. Respecting the Schedule

Teachers must themselves make sure that pupils turn up at the right time. Yet a few teachers do believe that it is sufficient to draft a plan of work, appoint pupils as group leaders, and discuss the plan of work in detail. This, they say, would ensure that the pupils turn up on time and follow the schedule. In our opinion this is highly doubtful. Firstly, planning ahead might be possible for harvesting maize and for regular maintenance work, but it is impossible as far as the preparation work for new crops is concerned. On the whole this proposal is not realistic.

Many teachers seem to have passed on information successfully through the churches. During service, a date for harvesting or other work on the school farm is anounced. This announcement reaches pupils and parents alike. Also, it is given via an institution which has good standing in the community. However, the pastor will certainly not be willing to make an announcement if it is a pupil who asks him. There will always be a teacher who takes an occasional look at the school farm. When he decides to harvest he should inform the pastor. The presence of at least one teacher during the holiday period is absolutely necessary. The same is true if information is to be passed through local gatherings. We concede, however, that in semi-urban or urban communities where there is a large number of churches, local societies and "meetings", such an approach might be difficult since the teacher in charge would have to contact many of them at a time.

Suggestions

1. Remember that it is not only harvesting that has to be done during holidays. Losses due to late harvesting are indeed heavy. But losses due to lack of farm care can be equally heavy. Thus, the first and second weeding of maize, so very important for good yields, usually falls in the Easter holidays. Many schools lose a late maize or bean crop because planting in the middle or towards the end of October is too late for a dry season crop to do well.

2. In any case, in order to ensure proper timing of work, the presence of a teacher is required. Only exceptionally can he/she be replaced by a conscientious member of the Parent-Teacher-Association.

3. As far as harvesting is concerned, a reminder through churches and local societies or meetings will be sufficient to ensure that the previously appointed pupils turn up for work. It would also be a means of informing prospective buyers. Harvesting will usually be done in a single day.

4. Where dates close to the weekly market are convenient, these may be chosen. People will remember them easily as the local market is of great importance. But avoid clashes with market days. If there is a danger that crops put out for sale might not be sold, it is preferable to choose some other day both for harvesting and selling.

5. There is need for a pre-established duty roster for guarding the school farm and for looking after the growing crop. Farm care sessions for weeding/mulching, earthing up etc. might be organised once every two weeks during holidays. Here again, reminders through churches and societies will be very useful.

6. Depending on the weather, preparation of the farm for maize and leguminous crops can be undertaken towards the second half of the last holiday month in the course of the weekly sessions.

3. Selecting Pupils for Holiday Work

The pupils are chosen by headmasters and farm masters, although sometimes the class teachers, head boys and head girls also help in selecting those who are to participate. Pupils selected for holiday duty usually live not too far away from school.

As important as the distance from the school is the pupils' character. Experienced teachers insist that only willing, reliable, careful, and honest pupils be appointed. In order to make doubly sure they should be grouped in teams, all the team members coming from one and the same quarter. It seems to be difficult, sometimes, to get children of relatively well-to-do parents to do holiday assignments. The easiest solution is to leave them out, but this is unfair. The principle of social justice rules out any solution where only the children of the poor have to work. Patient and careful negotiation is needed in order to establish firmly a tradition of holiday farm duties among parents, pupils, and teachers.

Since not all pupils can take part in school farm work during holidays, those who are appointed must be rewarded in some way. Rewards could be largely non-material, such as additional marks in Rural Science or Agriculture, public honours after the start of the new school year or the term, but some material reward is necessary in most cases. If they do not receive any reward, the pupils may simply take part of the harvest for themselves. With the usual problems of supervision, this cannot be avoided. Material rewards could be part of the harvest, part of the income from the sale, or small presents like pens, pencils, or exercise books. In any case, losses due to a delayed harvest or poor weeding are often relatively great, and it is only fair that those who carry out an extra assignment receive part of the extra income which their work has produced.

4. The Role of Parents in Farm Care during Holidays

The role of parents in the success of any holiday arrangement cannot be overemphasized. It is absolutely crucial. They are free to tell the children what to do during the holidays and can actually; prevent them from going to school. Their goodwill and cooperation is essential. Two things make fruitful cooperation between parents and teachers difficult: distrust and inadequate knowledge of the educational value of school farm work.

Individual parents and members of the School Committee or Village Education Committee often accuse teachers of using the school farm for their own benefit and of exploiting the children. Since they cannot prevent this exploitation during term time, they are not prepared to encourage it during the holidays, especially at a time when they need the children's labour themselves.

Teachers have suggested that parents and pupils should be fully informed about the school farm records, and that the School Committee should be invited to be present when the school crops are sold. Knowledge about the income produced and the way it is spent will build up confidence and mutual trust. Linked to this is the thought in some parents' minds that the school farm has no educational value. This is no surprise when one takes into account the poor performance of many school farms, the lack of integration between school farm work and teaching in Rural Science and other subjects, and parents' aspirations that their children will get a job other than farming.

The attitude of parents towards school farm work in general is often hostile, and therefore it is hostile towards work assignments during the holidays. To counter this, the school must make an effort to clarify the educational meaning of primary school agriculture, and thus build up an atmosphere of trust.

Where friendly links between school and parents exist, parents not only encourage their children to work during the holidays but they themselves help occasionally.

5. Teachers and School Farm Work during Holidays

If school farm work during the holidays is to be effective, at least one teacher must be present. Pupils need at least some guidance, control, and encouragement. Headmasters and farm masters should devise a duty roster, making sure that at least one staff member is present on the school compound at any one time. A copy of these duty rosters should be sent to the Inspector in charge.

- Pupils who help during holidays should be rewarded.
- For school farm work during holidays, one teacher at least should be present.

5.2 Income

School farms produce a crop which is income - income in kind as long as it is not sold, and income in cash as soon as it is sold. The use made of the school harvest is the single most important cause for conflict between school and community. It is therefore important that the harvest from the school farm and any monies earned be handled with the utmost care and honesty.

5.2.1 Disposing of the Crops

Guidelines about safe harvesting and storage have been given in volume II, part III, which the reader should consult for details. The following text provides a few suggestions about how to handle the harvest:

- Any harvesting should be recorded. Even a preliminary sample harvest, done in order to assess the maturity of a crop or an early harvest (e.g. of green maize for immediate consumption), should be recorded.

- Any theft should also be recorded; the extent of the damage should be estimated. An important theft should be reported to the authorities for investigation.

- Sales of school farm produce should always be made by a sales committee. Making the Farm Master or the Headmaster solely responsible for all sales is likely to allow too much freedom for misappropriation of school income. The sales committee should consist at least of

- the teacher in charge of the school farm,
- older and responsible pupils from the farming classes (head boys or head girls),
- at least one member of the Parent-Teacher Association,
- the local agricultural extension agent, if available.

- School cooperatives should be considered for the marketing of school farm produce.

- Selling the school farm crop before it is harvested should be avoided. This is the practice in some areas in the case of crops that mature during the holidays. Harvesting the crop then becomes the responsibility of the buyer, but the price is much lower than when the school harvests the crop itself.

- Sales must be strictly cash. Schools have lost a lot of money because buyers obtained the crop on credit and later on did not pay their debts.

- Sales should be done at current market prices. Neither school staff nor members of the P.T.A. should get any preferential treatment. The only exception is when pupils who have actually worked to produce the crop want to buy. They should be allowed a fair reduction;

- Wherever possible, crops should not be sold at the peak of harvesting time in the area. With the help of the simple storage techniques described in volume II maize, yam tubers, beans etc. can be stored long enough to obtain a better price than if they are sold at harvest time itself.

If the harvest is handled according to these principles and rules, pupils will learn a few basic rules of farm economics.

5.2.2 Use of Income

Money earned by the school farm and through craft activities should be used according to the principles of a business enterprise: first, all the money needed to replace worn out tools and measuring equipment, to buy seed material, fertilizer, chemicals for spraying, fencing material, etc. should be earmarked and put on one side. Allowance has also to be made for the eventual cost of wage labour and of transportation. Since we advocate an approach to agriculture that requires a minimum of inputs only -tools, high quality seeds and planting material, an occasional bag of fertilizer - the annual cash requirements of the school farm will be small. If there is a surplus left over, this can be spent on the basis of decisions reached by the Parent- Teacher Association, preferably with the purchase of further school equipment as first choice.

· The sale of school farm produce is a matter of trust and confidence.
· Therefore, pupils, parents, and teachers should be involved alike.
· Any money earned by school farming must be handled with the utmost care and honesty.
· Sales should always be made by a Sales Committee.
· Sales must be strictly on cash.
· Sales should be done at current market prices. Reductions to be conceded only to pupils who worked on the school farm.
· The income should be first used for the running of the school farm.

1.1 The maize harvest-integrating work, observation and classroom teaching

Any school farm project entails a lot of work, Most of the skills needed for farming children learn from their mothers. Only a few skills like measuring, mulching, compost work, the use of certain tools like the West Indian hoe etc. are genuinely learnt in school. One should are developed and that it can be used directly for classroom teaching.

The following notes try to show how the aim of using school farm work for teaching can be achieved taking the harvesting of maize as an example.

Harvesting is a very important moment in any farm project. The crop harvested is the ultimate measure of success or failure. It is therefore a particularly good moment to revise and critically assess the work done on the crop harvested. Teacher and pupils can assess critically whether they made any mistakes in farming. This of course means using the records, especially the Farm Diary. Since the maize harvest comes up towards the end of the third term, it is ideally suited for an end-of-year revision.

Class: Six Topic of Teaching Unit: Maize Harvesting Time: 10 periods of 40 minutes Size of Plot: 2250 m²

Objectives of Sub-Unit

1. Objectives Concerning Farm Work

- harvesting a crop of maize,
- weigh the crop in preparation for storage and drying.

2. Objectives in Agriculture

- revise and deepen the knowledge about maize farming,
- identify possible causes for the yield recorded,
- discuss ways and means to reduce losses,
- discuss the main pests and diseases of maize,
- teach about weights and weighing,
- teach about the concept of yield per standard unit.

3. Skill Development

a) Study Skills

- do observations,
- sort and grade objects,
- keep records,
- analyse observations and draw conclusions,
- summarize results (use of graphs, charts, and summary reports).

b) Social Skills

- team work during practical work and during classroom work,
- work organization.

Children's Previous Knowledge

The pupils undertook the planting of maize. The pupils know the various tasks to be carried out during the growth of the maize. Pupils have been taught the signs of maturity in maize.

A. Introductory Lessons

1. Lesson on Content Preparation

Objectives

- Pupils recall the main steps in maize farming.
- Pupils know the main pests and diseases of maize in the farm.
- Pupils know the signs of bird attacks, weevil attacks, and fungus diseases in maize.
- Pupils have an observation sheet for sorting and grading maize cobs.
- Pupils are able to use a balance.

Teacher's Preparation

- Specimen of maize cobs showing the various types of damage are taken to the classroom.
- A table for collecting data on maize is prepared and a sample drawn on the blackboard.

Lesson

Teacher asks pupils about their maize plot: planting time, preparations for planting, signs of maturity, when are cobs ready to be eaten green, treatment of maize after harvesting.

- Teacher and class recall how last year's maize harvest had been handled.
- Teacher discusses damages to be observed on the maize cobs using specimens from the farm.

The main damages are those due to birds, to weevils, and to smuts. In connection with smuts, fungus diseases are discussed or revised.

If weighing has been taught earlier a short revision will be sufficient. If weighing is a new topic, an extra lesson in mathematics is necessary in order to introduce it.Teacher draws the observation sheet on the blackboard and explains using the specimen cobs.


Observation Sheet

2. Work Organization

Objectives

- Pupils know the various tasks to be performed during harvesting: harvesting, dehusking, assembling the harvest row by row, sorting and grading, counting cobs, recording observations, weighing.
- Pupils are grouped in teams of two or three.

Lesson: Explanation of Work to be Done on the Farm

The teacher explains in detail the tasks to be performed on the farm:

- harvesting and dehusking maize cobs row by row,
- piling up the harvest of each row at the numbered peg of that row,
- sorting and grading the cobs according to size and damage observed,
- counting the number of cobs in each group,
- recording the result in observation sheets,
- carrying the different groups of cobs to the weighing stand,
- taking turns in weighing.

The class is organized into teams of 2 pupils each and given numbers according to the rows in the school farm. The team leaders copy the observation sheet on the blackboard into their exercise books, using the measurements of columns previously determined by the teacher for uniformity.

B. Practical Work - Harvesting

Objectives

- Pupils harvest the maize.
- Pupils grade and sort the maize row by row.
- Pupils weigh the maize row by row.
- Pupils record the results of grading, sorting, and weighing row by row.

Teacher's Preparation

- The rows on the school farm are pegged and numbered.
- A stand is made for weighing.

Apparatus

A spring balance.

Paper and pencil by each pupil.

Utensils for carrying of maize (children are instructed to bring them from their homes on the day of harvesting, e.g. buckets, small basins or baskets).

Lesson

The teams take up their position at the end of the rows assigned to each of them. They carry out their various assignments. The teacher supervises the teams and helps where necessary.

The teams carry each group of cobs separately to the weighing stand and heap them according to grade and quality.

All the maize cobs damaged by smuts should be piled at a corner of the farm and burnt. The other heaps of maize cobs should be weighed separately. During the process pupils should take turns in weighing each heap and record the weight in the observation sheet.

C. Follow-up Lessons

1. Assembling the Observations

Objectives

- Pupils and teacher have the complete picture of all observations (row by row).
- Pupils know the total number of cobs and the total weight harvested, according to the various grades of cobs and for the whole farm.
- The observations are assembled in a way which permits further analysis in class.

Lesson

Time: Immediately after farm work.

Teacher draws the observation sheet on the blackboard. The teams read out their observations starting with row 1 and going up to the last row.

Teams are asked to copy the complete table of observations into their exercise books. A number of sums are given out to the teams to work.

2. Lesson on Yield

Objectives

- Pupils know the yield per hectare realized on the farm.
- Discuss why it is useful to know the yield per standard area (hectare or square meter): farm.
- Pupils assess the yield in comparison with maize yields elsewhere.
- Pupils list the main factors responsible for the yield of maize.

Lesson

- Discuss why it is useful to know the yield per standard area (hectare or square meter): the need for comparison in order to know whether the result was good or bad.
- From the yield recorded work out the yield per hectare.

Example:

Total yield of plot = 194 kg.
Area of plot = 2245.5 sq. metre
Yield per hectare:
If 2245.5 sq. metres yield 194 kg,
1 sq. metre yields 194/2245.5 kg, and
1 hectare = 10000 sq. metres yield
194/2245.5 x 10000/1 = 863.95 kg.

- Compare previous yields from the school farm from records if available. Is this year's yield better or worse?

- From the above figures showing maize yield, compare with other parts of the country (for data on maize yields see volume 11, part II on crops).

- Discuss whether the yield was poor or good.

- Get reasons for good or poor yield from the pupils.

- List out the factors affecting the yield: soil fertility, climatic conditions, seed material, timing of work (planting, weeding, earthing up etc.), pests and diseases.

3. Lesson Topic: How did Sod Fertility Affect our Maize Crop?

Objectives

- Pupils are able to assess soil fertility at the beginning of maize farming in term of initial soil quality, previous farming, and activities to maintain or improve soil fertility.

- Pupils are able to read a graph and draw conclusions.

Lesson

Discuss with the class

- whether the soil had already been exhausted by previous crops,
- what had been grown before (rotation),
- what the class had done to improve soil fertility (mulching, manuring, chemical fertilizers, leguminous crops, following),
- whether the soil fertility is the same on the whole farm.

The last question can be tackled by looking at the number of cobs harvested row by row. Are there areas with fewer cobs per row than others? A graph is developed in order to answer this question (Graph l). If so this could be attributed to differences in soil fertility within the plot unless other causes can definitely be established.


Figure

Conclusion a) How did soil fertility probably affect the yield? Let the class develop a few sentences which they copy into their Rural Science exercise books. Write into summary table of factors (see summary table of factors, p. 107).b) If there are differences in soil fertility - What can we do? Discussion with the pupils.

4. Lesson Topic: How Did the Climate and the Seed Material Affect the Yield?

Objectives
- Pupils are able to check the water requirements of maize during its growth against the distribution of rains during past seasons (in terms of observations about particularly dry and wet periods).
- Pupils are able to discuss the properties of the seed material used.
- Pupils recall methods of selecting seed material.
- Pupils are able to state an hypothesis on the effect of seed material on the maize crop.

Lesson
Revise water requirements of maize - quantity and timing.
Was there much rain or was it unusually dry? Did the rain fall at the right time?
Conclusion - How did the rainfall probably affect our yield?
Let the class develop a few sentences which they copy into their Rural Science exercise books. Write into summary table of factors.

Seeds
Revise the following
- Variety of maize planted and the yields to be expected from this variety.
- Origin of seed material (school farm, homes, research stations).
- Method of selection of seeds - conscious selection of best grains or using whatever was available.

Conclusion
How did the seed material probably affect our yield?
Which aspects (variety, origin, method of selection) should make for good yields, which ones should make for poor yields?
Let the class develop a few sentences which they copy. Write into summary table of factors.

5. Lesson Topic: How Did our Work Schedule Affect Yields?

Objectives
- Pupils are able to draw conclusions from a comparison between an ideal crop calendar for maize and the actual work schedule as documented in the Labour Records of past season.
- Pupils are able to identify farm operations that were so badly out of time that they might have affected yields.

Lesson

- Discuss in general the idea of working to schedule.

- Develop a time chart on the blackboard which makes the comparison between planning and actual work possible (see p. 104).

- Revise the correct timing of work for maize farming, according to the beginning of the rains, and enter into the time chart.

- From farm records enter the dates of the different farm operations (planting, first and second weeding' earthing up' harvesting) into the time chart.

- Find out operations that were not carried out at all or badly out of time (mark in time chart).


Time Chart for Maize farming (Specimen) Season: Dry Season 1977, late Maize

Conclusion
How did timing of work probably affect the yield?
Let the class develop a few sentences which they copy. Write into summary table.

6. Lesson Topic: How Did Pests and Diseases Affect Yields?

Objectives
- Pupils know the damage done by birds, weevils, and fungus diseases on maize.
- Pupils are able to estimate the loss due to birds, weevils, and smuts, in terms of quantity and in cash value.
- Pupils are able to use a graph in order to find out how different types of damage are distributed over a farm.
- Pupils know simple ways of fighting pests and diseases in the farm.

Lessons
- Find out from observational data the incidence of damage done by birds, insects, and fungus (smuts).
- Are there areas where these damages are heavily concentrated or are they spread out evenly over the farm?
- Work out percentage of damages row by row and graph (see graphs 2 and 3, p. 105).

How did pests and diseases affect the yield?

Teacher leads pupils to estimate the loss due to the pests and diseases found on the maize. Since the reasoning leading to the estimates is somewhat complicated, teachers should take great care introducing it. The following might be a useful approach:

"What have the birds done? They have eaten some or all the grains of a cob. The cob is partly empty. Maize grains have a weight. If birds eat grains from a cob - is that cob heavier of lighter than if birds had not eaten some grains? The loss is restricted to the grains eaten.

"Using the weight of good cobs and the weight of cobs attacked by birds one can estimate the loss due to birds. The procedure is as follows:

- Calculate the average weight of good cobs:

average weight = weight of all good cobs / number of all good cobs

- Calculate the average weight of cobs damaged by birds:

average weight = weight of all cobs damaged by birds / number of all cobs damaged by birds


Graph 2: Percentage of Maize Cobs Damaged by Weevils(per row); Graph 3: Percentage of MaizeCobs Damaged by Birds (per row)

One assumes that cobs damaged by birds would have had the same average weight as good cobs had they not been attacked by birds. If this is sound, one can calculate the loss due to birds as the difference between the average weight of good cobs and the average weight of cobs attacked by birds. This is the estimated average loss per cob due to bird attack.

Average loss due to birds equal average weight of good cobs minus average weight of cobs damaged by birds.

- Calculate the estimated total loss due to birds: Multiplying the average loss per cob by the number of damaged cobs one arrives at an estimate of the total loss of grains due to birds.

"Some of the cobs have been attacked by weevils. What part of the grains have been eaten by weevils? Has the maize cob lost or gained weight? If the cob is weighed after removing the eaten grains it will be noticed that there is a loss of weight compared to the same cob if it were eaten by weevils.

"Here, a comparison of the weight of good and weevilled cobs is not possible since the weevilled grains on the cobs have gone into the weight but cannot be used. We propose the following procedure:

- Take a sample of 100 weevilled cobs, taking small ones and big ones in the same proportion as in the total harvest.
- Remove all the grains damaged by weevils.
- Weigh the cobs after removing damaged grains.
- Calculate the average weight per cob,
- Calculate the difference between the average weight of good cobs and the average weight of the weevilled cobs. The difference is the estimate for the average loss due to weevils.
- Multiply the average loss by the number of weevilled cobs. The result is the estimate of the total loss due to weevils.

Type of Maize Cobs

No. of Cobs

Weight

Average Weight

Average Loss

Total Loss

Good Cobs

787

58.2 kg

73.9 g

-

-

Damaged by Birds

933

46.6 kg

49.9 g

24.0 g

22.39 kg

Weevils

1522

89.2 kg

62.7 g

11.2 g¹

17.05 kg

Smuts

29

not recorded


73.9 g2

2.14 kg


3271

194 kg

59.3 g


41.58 kg

1 Estimate based on sample of 100 weevilled cobs.

2 It is assumed that cobs attacked by smuts would have had the same average weight as good cobs had they not been attacked by fungus.

"What has smuts done to the grains of maize? It has damaged them badly. They don't look like maize grains any longer. Can they be eaten? They are poisonous. Since the whole cob is bad, cobs attacked by smuts were not weighed. We burnt them straight away."

To estimate losses due to smuts, multiply the average weight per good cob by the number of cobs attacked by smuts.

The table below shows in detail the results of the different steps needed in order to estimate the loss. Using these estimates, the teacher can discuss the following problems:

What would the total yield have been had no damages occured?

What would have been the yield per hectare had no damages occured?

What is the proportion of the yield lost?

Taking maize prices at harvesting time, how much money was lost to birds, weevils, and smuts?

The class now is in a position to discuss whether it is worth while doing something to prevent damages from pests and diseases. Discuss different methods of fighting against pests and diseases and their respective costs.

7. Summary

Objectives
- Pupils are able to make a summary table of factors affecting maize yields.
- Pupils are able to draw conclusions from a summary table.

Lesson
- Teacher puts the summary table completed during the last lessons on the blackboard.
- Discussion about the importance of each factor and whether, on the whole, the yield could have been better.
- The class makes recommendations for next season's farming.

Summary Table of Factors Affecting the Yield of Maize Season: Dry

Season 1977, Late Maize

Factor

How it was on our Farm

Yield Expected

Soil Fertility



- previous crop

none, plot was fallowed

good

- measures to preserve/

none

-

improve soil fertility



- distribution of soil fertility

uneven

less than would have been possible

Climate



- amount of rain fall

insufficient

poor

- timing of rain

stopped too early after flowering and cob formation

poor

Seeds



- variety

Ekona White

good

- origin

Agricultural Department

good

- selection

hand picking

good

Timing of Work



- planting

late

poor

- first weeding

late

poor

- earthing up

not done

poor

- second weeding

late

poor

- harvesting

late

poor

Pests and Diseases



- bird attack

heavy

poor

- weevil attack

heavy

poor

- fungus

light

no effect

1.2 Surveying farm plots - the use of the plane table

(by Jeremy Greeland)

Class: Six or SevenTopic of Teaching Unit: Surveying a Plot of Farm Land
Time: 30 minutes (class) plus 90 minutes (plot) plus 40 minutes (class) plus 20 minutes (break) = 3 hours

Aims and Objectives
- To teach children how to measure and draw the perimeter of an irregular farm plot, using local instruments.
- To teach the children the names of the apparatus and how to use it.
- To teach the children how to calculate the area of the school farm after measuring it.

Apparatus
Plane-table; sighting-ruler; plain paper; pencil; tape-measure; ranging poles;. drawing-pins.

Lesson Sequence

1. Introductory Classroom Work (30 minutes)

- Revise the concept of area by asking children to state the area of their classroom, of the blackboard, of their desks.

- Ask why it is useful to know the area of such objects (to work timber needed for desks, paint needed for blackboard, etc.)

- Draw an irregularly-shaped outline on the board, e.g. Q and ask if it also has an area. Check that the term perimetre is known.

- Draw a rectangle beside the other shape and ask which one is like the shape of the school-farm.

- Explain that it would be useful to know the area of the school-farm (in order to calculate crop yields, fertilizer needed, etc., and also to calculate the value of the plot itself at francs per square meter).

- Explain that to calculate the area we need to do two things: make a drawing of the plot and measure accurately each of the sides.

- Check that the concept of drawing to scale is known, by drawing a rectangle or square on the blackboard and asking the children how they know that it represents the dimensions of the classroom.

- Explain that a scale of 1-1000, i.e. 1 mm: 1 m will be used in the surveying exercise. Get the children to say how big a football field measuring 100 m x 70 m would be, using this scale.

2. Practical Work on the Plot Itself (90 minutes)

- Teacher explains that the large poles are called 'ranging poles'.

- Teacher asks children to show him the main corners of the farm by going and standing at the various spots.

- Other children carry a pole to each corner and fix it.

- Teacher gathers all the children at any one pole.

- He names the plane-table and gets children to confirm that it is made of local materials; the children guess its cost and teacher corrects their estimates.

- Remove the pole and insert the plane" table at the same spot.

- Name the pole 'A' end get the children to name the other poles in order, 'A', 'B', 'C', etc. by fixing a scrap of paper with the letter on it to each pole.

- Fix a sheet of plain paper to the plane-table.

- With the ruler draw a straight line near the righthand side of the paper so that you can proceed to mark in the other corners by moving in an anti-clock-wise direction. Mark point 'A' on the base-line towards the bottom right-hand corner (see diagram 1).

- Set up the sighting ruler along the base line and then turn the table so that the two nails and ranging pole 'B' are exactly in line. Get the children to come up in groups of 5 to practice lining up the sighting-ruler.

- Take the tape and measure the distance between spots 'A' and 'B'. Get a group of children to redo the measurement and con firm the distance.

- Ask children how much this distance represents on paper, using the scale of 1 :1000. Measure the distance on the paper starting from point 'A' and plot point 'B'.

- Remove the plane-table from point 'A', put the ranging pole back. Move to point 'B', remove the ranging pole and set up the plane-table there.

- Set the ruler along the line BA on the paper and then turn the table until the two nails are in line with point 'A' (this is called backlight). Then fix the table steady. Then put the ruler at point 'B' and turn it round until the nails are in line with point 'C' (this is called foresight). Then draw a line along the ruler through point 'B' (see diagram 2).

- In most cases there will be a small gap when the last side of the farm has been plotted. To overcome this problem, draw a line joining up the original point 'A' end the final point 'A'. Take as the real point 'A' the halfway point along this line, and then re-draw the first and the last sides of the plot (see diagram 3).


Diagram 1; Diagram 2; Diagram 3

3. Classroom Work (40 minutes)

Identifying Apparatus
Teacher makes sure that the names and the functions of the plane-table, ranging poles, sighting-ruler and measuring tape are known and understood.

Calculating the Area of the Farm

- The teacher takes the plan which he has removed from the plane-table and uses it in order to draw a larger copy on the blackboard. He marks the corners 'A','B','C' etc. just as they were marked on the paper.

- Teacher asks the children what must be done in order to calculate the area (they should reply as follows:) Divide the area into right-angle triangles (as in the example diagram 4).

- The teacher does the same on his own drawing, measures the distances on his own drawing and then copies those figures on to the blackboard outline.

- Teacher asks children to explain how to calculate the area of the triangles (ABD and BCD in the example above). He writes the formula height x base divided by 2 on the blackboard.

- The teacher and children calculate one triangle together, and the children make the remaining calculations on a rough piece of paper.

- The teacher then assembles the total on the blackboard.

- In their exercise books the children are told to write the title 'Surveying a farm plot'; write 'Today we surveyed a farm plot and it looks like this' (diagram);copy the outline from the blackboard; fill in the triangles and the distances, and list the calculations underneath, finishing with the total area.


Diagram 4

1.3 Results of an experiment on pineapple farming

This sub-unit gives the details of how to evaluate an experiment. It does so sticking very closely to one example. But the general procedure is the same for all experiments.

The example is drawn from Mudeka Government School. Under the guidance of IPAR-Buea, the school grew a large number of pineapples on an area of 60 m x 56 m = 3 360 m². Two different planting methods were used. On part of the farm, pineapples are 1.8 m apart from each other in each direction. This is called single row planting. On another part of the farm, pineapples are planted in double rows, staggered, the distance of the plants in each of the double rows is 60 cm, the two rows forming one double row are 60 cm apart, and the centre line of one double row is 2.4 m apart from the centre of the next one. This is called double row planting.

The Problem
Which of the planting methods is superior, and should therefore be recommended to farmers? How can this question be answered?

One important yardstick certainly is the yield, to be got following either method. Two questions might be asked in this respect:

- Which planting method produces higher yields per area?

- Which planting method produces a higher return over costs (i.e. the money initially spent to plant the crop)?The problem is made difficult by the fact that pineapples are a perennial crop. Unlike coffee or cocoa, the time between planting and first harvest, and between first harvest and the first ratoon crop can vary a lot so that there is no clear-cut, short, well-determined peak harvesting time. The procedure proposed provides an assessment of the harvest at the time of measurement and an estimate of future harvests It is best done towards the end of the first heavy harvest. The answer to our problem will be provided by two comparisons:

- yield per standard area: No. of fruits harvested per square meter under single row planting and under double row planting;

- return over costs: Value of fruits harvested at time of measurement compared with cost of planting material for single row planting and for double row planting.

Planting Methods Used in the Experiment

1. Objectives Concerning Farm Work
none

2. Objectives in Agriculture

- Pupils know the advantages and disadvantages of different planting distances.

- Pupils know that in the case of single cropping, planting distances can be smaller and plant populations higher than in the case of multiple cropping.

- Pupils know the practical use of the concept of plant population per hectare.

- Pupils know simple indicators or measures of profitability.

3. Skill Development

a) Study Skills

- Pupils are able to find out the results of a simple experiment.
- Pupils are able to count relatively large numbers of objects exactly.
- Pupils are able to make simple estimates
- e.g. forecasting next year's crop, forecasting price movements for a given crop.

b) Social Skills

- Pupils are able to work in teams of two to three children during outdoor and classroom activities.

A. Introductory Lesson

Objectives
- Pupils know the purpose of the teaching unit.
- Pupils are able to recall the main facts of the experiment.
- Pupils are able to recall the main facts about the pineapple plant and pineapple farming.
- Pupils have a record sheet ready.
- Pupils are grouped in teams.

Lesson
(the day before the observation or immediately preceding the observations on the farm)

- Revise the reasons for setting the pineapple experiment.

- Explain the problem of the sub-unit: how can we get an answer to our question from the experiment?

- Discuss the comparison in terms of yield per hectare.

- Discuss ways to assess the yield of a pineapple farm considering the fact that fruits do not get ready for harvesting at the same time.

- Propose a record sheet and let pupils copy it into their exercise books.

- Group the pupils in teams of two or three children.

Record Sheet





Row

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

No.

Total No. of Plants

Plants Harvested

No. of Plants with Unripe Fruits

No. of Plants without any Fruits

B. Practical Work

Objectives
- Knowing the number of plants harvested, bearing fruit, and remaining without fruits;
- pupils are able to count correctly and to record their findings correctly using the record sheet proposed in the preceding lesson.

Outdoor Activity
The teams got to their assigned rows and start counting. One team member counts, the other one enters the information in the record sheet. Team members take turns. Each team counts at least one row which has already been counted by another team. This will help cross-checking and gives an idea of the incidence of error.

When all the rows have been counted, the teacher checks a few rows himself.

C. Follow-up Lessons

1. Assembling the Observations

Objectives
- Pupils and teacher have the complete picture of all observations row by row.
- Pupils and teacher have an idea of the errors made during counting.
- Pupils know the total number of pineapples harvested and the number of fruits to be expected during the season.
- The observations are assembled in a way which permits further analysis in class.

Lesson
(immediately after the outdoor activity)

The teacher draws the observation sheet on the blackboard. The teams read out their observations starting with row 1 and going up to the last row. For each row there are at least two readings. Major differences between them give rise to a re-check on the farm. Differences of 1 or 3 plants are minor differences. Discuss possible reasons for these errors.

Teams are asked to copy the complete table of observations. The following sums are given to the teams for work:

a) For each row, add columns 2, 3, and 4. The total must agree with the entry in column 1.
b) For each of the two blocks (single row planting and double row planting), add

- the total number of plants (column 1),
- the number of plants harvested (column 2),
- the number of plants with unripe fruits (column 3),
- the number of plants without any fruits (column 4).

Data Collected by Pupils and Assembled in a Table Ready for Evaluation

Single Row Planting


(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Row No.

No. of Plants

No of Plants Harvested

No. of Plants with Unripe Fruits

No. of Plants without any Fruits

1

35

7

2

26

2

32

7

9

16

3

35

9

3

23

4

37

10

1

26

5

32

13

2

17

6

25

6

1

18

7

50

6

1

43

8

23

3

1

19

9

37

10

1

26

10

12

6

-

6

12

11

5

-

6

13

13

5

1

7

14

24

9

1

14

15

12

4

2

6

16

11

3

-

8

17

12

1

-

11

18

26

5

1

20

19

12

3

-

9

20

22

3

2

17

21

33

7

2

24

22

19

3

1

15

23

30

5

-

25

24

20

3

2

15

Total

585

148

34

403

Double Row Planting

25

102

34

13

55

26

95

15

3

77

27

100

25

3

72

28

106

34

3

69

29

79

14

5

60

30

86

24

2

60

31

84

25

1

58

32

95

27

8

60

33

94

30

4

60

34

42

6

6

30

35

42

19

1

22

36

42

13

4

25

37

38

11

-

27

38

44

14

-

30

39

34

10

5

19

40

43

12

13

18

41

42

14

2

26

Total

1168

327

77

768

Grand Total

1753

475

107

1171

2. The Yield in Single Row Planting

Objectives
- Pupils know the yield of the single row block in terms of fruits per hectare.
- Pupils know how to calculate this yield using the information available.

Lesson
- Get the following data for the single row block:

the total number of plants (from the table of observation),
the planting distance (from the farm records or from measurements to be done by a few pupils).

- Calculate the area occupied by each plant. It is the planting distance squared: 1.8 m x 1.8 m = 3.24 m².

- Calculate the total area of the single row block (in m² ): total number of plants x area per plant; 585 x 3.24 m² = 1895.40 m².

Note: If the area for the two blocks has been carefully measured at planting, this information can be taken directly from the records.

- Get the total number of pineapples harvested on the single row block from the table of observations.

- Calculate the number of pineapples per hectare: (total number of pineapples harvested x 10 000): total area of single row block; (148 x 10000): 1895.40 m² = 781.

3. The Yield in Double Row Planting

Objectives
- Pupils know the yield of the double row block in terms of fruits per hectare.
- Pupils know how to calculate this yield.
- Pupils know how to calculate the area per plant in double row planting.

Lesson
- Pupils are asked to calculate the yield per hectare in double row planting using the same procedure as in the preceding lesson. They will need some help in calculating the area of the double row block if this area has not been recorded in the farm records. The planting distance in double row planting is as follows: between the double rows, the distance from the centre of one double row to the next is 2.4 m. Each plant can use half that distance, 1.2 m. Along the rows, the distance is 60 cm. Each plant therefore occupies an area of 1.2 m x 0.6 m = 0.72 m² (see the illustration p. 111 for an example).

- Let the teams-work through the problem after they know the area per plant and repeat the calculations for the whole class.

Total area of the double row block = number of plants x area of double row block/ plant; 1168 x 0.72 m² = 840.96 m².

Yield per hectare = (327 x 10000 m²): 840.96 m² = 3 888.

4. Comparison Between Single and Double Row Planting

Objectives
- Pupils are able to draw conclusions from comparisons.
- Pupils are able to put conclusions in writing.

Lesson

- The teacher asks the class to compare the yields from the two blocks. He/she draws a simple table on the blackboard (see below) and asks what information should be used for comparison.

- Ask teams to make sentences about the differences observed.

- Let the teams read out their observations and remarks and arrive at a common text.

- Ask teams to think about reasons why the double row block, where pineapples are "choked up", does not have the same or a lower yield than the single row block where pineapples have much more space.

- Ask for reasons why the yield per area in double row planting is even higher than in single row planting.

- Discuss the reasons advanced by the teams and arrive at a common summary.

Method of Planting

Single Row

Double Row

Fruits Harvested on each Block

148

327

Fruits per Hectare

781

3888

Planting Distance

1.8 m x 1.8 m

1.2 m x 0.6 m

Area per Plant

3.24 m²

0.72 m²

Plant Population per Hectare

3086

13888

5. Expected Yields at the End of the Season

Objectives
- Pupils know how to make short term forecasts and to justify them.

Lesson
- The teacher puts the following problem to the pupils: "So far, only the pineapples harvested have been counted in the yield. Is this reasonable? How can we take the unripe fruits into account?" - We do not know when the unripe fruits will get ripe.

Can we make an assumption? Assume that all fruits will get ready by the end of the current pineapple season. We can now estimate the total yield of the first season:

single row planting:

harvested

148

unripe

34

total

182

double row planting:

harvested

327

unripe

73

total

400

- Ask the class to do the calculations on yield with the total number of fruits instead of the number of fruits harvested. All other figures remain the same. The results should be: single row planting: 960 fruits per hectare; double row planting 4 756 fruits per hectare.

- Ask the pupils whether the result of the preceding lesson concerning the difference between the planting methods is confirmed, whether the difference has narrowed down or grown bigger. This can be seen by asking how much bigger the double row harvest is than the single row harvest The way to do it is by a division:

double row yield/single row yield = 3888/781 = 4.97(harvested fruits) and 4756/960 = 4.95

There is a very slight difference only which can be neglected. For both yield estimates the yield in double row planting is nearly five times bigger than the yield in single row planting.

6. The Profitability of the two Planting Methods

Objectives
- Pupils know how to do a simple calculation of profit.
- Pupils can draw conclusions from two different ways of evaluating the experiment: yield in terms of fruit, and cash income.

Lesson

- Confront pupils with the question whether the class has made any profit on pineapple farming.
- Discuss the notion of profit: income - costs = profit or loss.
- From the sales records tell the class the total income from the pineapples. If a large number of fruits have been given out free, calculate their cash value. In order to do this, work out the average price per fruit sold and multiply the total number of fruits harvested by the average price.

Up to the date of evaluating the experiment, 259 pineapples had been sold, yielding an income of 14340 frs CFA. The average price per pineapple therefore was 14340 frs: 259 = 55.37 frs CFA.The cash value of the harvest in the two blocks is:

single row planting

harvested fruits

148

cash value

8195

double row planting

harvested fruits

327

cash value

18106

- Ask the class what counts as cost. Argue that only suckers should be counted since the farm land and teacher's and pupils' labour were actually free.

- Calculate the average cost of the suckers. Consider that 1 800 suckers were bought at 11 500 frs CFA, but that only 1 753 of them survived. Since only the surviving plants produce a fruit, they alone can be charged with the total cost of the farm. The average cost per sucker therefore is 11 500 frs CFA: 1 753 plants = 6.56 frs CFA/plant

- Ask teams to calculate the cost of the two blocks separately. This is done by multiplying the number of plants in each of them by the average cost per plant:

single row planting

total number of plants

585

cost

3838 frs CFA

double row planting

total number of plants

1168

cost

7662 frs CFA

Let the class calculate the profit of the two blocks:

single row planting

cash value

8195 frs CFA

cost

3838 frs CFA

profit

4357 frs CFA

double row planting

cash value

18106 frs CFA

cost

7662 frs CFA

profit

10444 frs CFA

The profit from double row planting is much higher than that from single row planting.

- Ask the class to divide the income by the costs. What does the result mean? It says by how much the income has multiplied, the costs, i.e. the money invested. The results should be: single row planting: 2.14; double row planting: 2.36.

Costs for planting material have been recovered with the two planting methods. But in single planting, the yield valued in monetary terms is about 2.1 times the cost, whereas in double row planting, it is about 2.3 times the cost. Therefore, double planting is advantageous.

7. Drawing Conclusions from the Experiment

Objectives
- Pupils draw conclusions from the experiment.

Lesson
- Ask pupils what they would recommend a farmer to do if he or she planned to farm pineapples.
- Let them repeat all the results:
- Double row planting uses the soil more efficiently.

Double row planting produces yields per hectare which are five times higher than in single row planting.

Double row planting means higher cost per hectare.

Double row planting means much higher income per hectare.

Farmers should always do double row planting and use the remaining land for other crops.

1.4 Observing the growth of yams

Class: Six
Topic of Sub-Unit: Observation of a plot farmed with yams 6-8 weeks after planting General Context: Class 6 farms yams on the school farm. After planting and staking, plant development has to be watched.

Pupils' Characteristics
Class 6 pupils are familiar with farming. They have started the yam plot, are familiar with the crop through earlier lessons, and have already done measuring and observation. They are used to tally marks. (Where this is not the case, it needs practice before doing the actual observation. Such practice cannot be done during the period immediately preceding the observation but should be scheduled for the previous day).

Objectives of the Sub-Unit

1. Agricultural aims
- detect deviations from normal growth,
- take appropriate action,
- forecast yields,
- estimate losses.

2. Skill Development
a) Study Skills
- training the power of observation,
- training the power of judgement,
- using observation for further action;
b) Social Skills
- being able to work in a team,
- being able to work efficiently.

A. Introductory Lesson

Objectives
- Pupils know the purpose of the unit.
- Pupils are able to recall the main facts about the yam plant and yam farming.
- Pupils have a record/observation sheet ready.
- Pupils are grouped in teams.
- Pupils know what they are to observe.

Lesson
Bring out the reason for the observation exercise:

- Ask when the class had last been to the yams plot.

- Ask for a description of the yam farm at present and take down the answers (blackboard).

- Suggest to have an exact look, e.g. "Just as a baby is cared for by its mother, so any crop planted on the farm is cared for by the farmer. In order to ensure this care, the farmer has to observe how his crops grow. Only then can he give the crop all the care needed".

- Put the observation sheet on the blackboard while discussing what one would want to observe at this stage of yam growth.

- Explain how to get the information required.

- Pupils copy the observation sheet as presented on the blackboard.

Steps in observation
- In each row, inspect each yam plant according to the observation sheet;
- Put tally marks into the appropriate space;
- Write down observations verbally (e.g. under "remarks");
- Convert tally marks into numbers after having completed the row.

Organizing the class for practical work
It is ideal if all pupils could start observation at the same time. Two to three pupils should work together. If necessary one should form more teams than there are rows and have some or all rows observed twice. This provides a check on the accuracy of observation. If the number of teams is smaller than the number of rows, teams are assigned to rows starting at row 1, any team having finished its assignment reports to the teacher and is assigned another row until all have been done. One team member is responsible for writing down the observations.

B. Practical Work

Objectives
- Pupils develop the skill of observation and recording.
- Pupils develop the skills required for efficient team work.
- Pupils possess information about the actual stage of yam growth.

Outdoor Activities

Apparatus: Numbered paper labels on pegs, one to a row of yams; the observation sheet in pupils' exercise books; pens.

The teams go to their assigned rows and start their observations. One team member counts, the other one enters the information in the record sheet. Team members take turns.

Supervision and Control
Wilful or careless destruction should be avoided. The use of tally marks must be checked. The teacher makes sure that the right words are used when pupils note down observation. Note: Looking at the observation sheets, the teacher may read "spotted leaves", "blight". He asks the team to show him the affected plants and corrects on the spot where necessary. The teacher is available for questions. Teams having completed their assignments will be kept busy while waiting for teams still doing observation. They might be asked to weed between the plants.

C. Follow-up Lessons

1. Assembling the Observations

Basic Material: observation sheets filled by pupils. Teaching Method: teacher-class dialogue, some group work. Objective: gaining an overall picture of the yam farm at time of observation. Classroom Organization: pupils remain together as teams. This changes the sitting order as long as the observations are the basis of the lesson(s). The teacher puts a table form on the blackboard. It will be used to assemble all the observations made by the different teams. It could be roughly like the following table.


What we Saw on the Yam Plot

The teacher calls the team leaders starting with row 1. Each team leader reads out the observations, the teacher enters them in the table. On completing a row, a line is drawn to separate it from the following row. This makes reference easier and reduces errors.If a row has been observed by more than one team, both sets of observations should be read and compared. Differences are discussed. If necessary, the team leaders go out and do the observations again. All teams copy the completed table from the blackboard.

2. Analysing the Data

Objectives
- Present the observations collected and tabled in a form that makes teaching about related topics possible.

Lesson
A number of mathematical operations can be performed in order to reach conclusions. They can profitably be shared out among the teams. This teaches the concepts of division of labour and cooperation: only if all teams contribute their share of work can the overall task be successfully and efficiently completed. The following single tasks can be shared out:

- Calculation of the germination rate per row. This is the percentage of setts that have germinated: setts germinated per row: setts planted per row x 100. Five rows are assigned to each team until all the rows have been given out for calculation.

- Calculation of the germination rate for the whole plot (one team).

Add the number of germinated setts over all the rows.

Add the number of planted setts over all the rows or look it up in the records.

The overall germination rate is total number of germinated setts: total number of planted setts X 100.

- Diseases and damages observed on yams (one team). Add the number of destroyed vines over all rows, of vines not trained over all rows, of vines poorly trained over all rows.

- identification of rows that need remulching (one team); All the rows in which mulching is less than satisfactory are noted down separately.

The teacher supervises the team activities, answers questions, and corrects where necessary. As a result of team work, the observations are now ready for further analysis. Conclusions can be drawn and lines of action defined. The teacher makes sure that all relevant information is copied down by the teams.

3. Germination Rate and Drought

Objectives
- Pupils know the concept of germination rate.
- Pupils know reasons for poor germination and conditions for good germination.
- Pupils are able to calculate the germination rate.
- Pupils know the effect of drought on yams.

Lesson
Germination rate
The teacher has calculated the germination rate per row as a preparation for this lesson. He asks the teams to report their results and notes them down row by row on the blackboard, ending with the overall germination rate, and checks pupils' results with his own results.

Germination rate on our yam farm
(figures taken from IPAR-Buea demonstration plot)

Row. No.

Germination rate

1

82.4%

2

17.1%

3

83.3%

4

21.1%

5

35.9%

6

32.5%

7

63.4%

8

50.0%

9

16.7%

10

40.5%

11

40.5%

12

41.0%

13

63.2 %

.

.

.

.

.

.

Total farm

60.1%

Points to be discussed with pupils are:

- Which are the rows with the highest and the lowest germination rate?
- What is the difference between highest and lowest germination rate?
- Looking at the highest and lowest germination rate observed - how satisfactory is the overall germination rate on the farm?
- How can one find out whether more setts will germinate?

This leads to a new observational task:
Teams will inspect their rows again to find out
- how many of the non-germinated setts are rotten,
- how many of the non-germinated setts have dried up,
- how many of the non-germinated setts might still germinate.

Damage by drought:
- How does lack of water affect a plant?
- How serious is the effect of drought?
- How many plants are affected?
- How many plants have already died from drought?
- Is it therefore necessary to do something about it?
- If so, teacher and class organize a duty roster for watering.
- This will be done by teams previously formed.

4. Diseases: Leaf Spots and Tuber Rot

Objectives
- Pupils are able to recognize leaf spot and tuber rot.
- Pupils know about a few other diseases on yams.
- Pupils know how to prevent tubers from rotting.

Lesson
Using the list of diseases and damages on the blackboard, the teacher gets pupils to read the name(s) of the disease(s) observed, for each of them, he asks for an exact description. Teacher asks how serious the attack is in terms of the number and the proportion of plants affected and in terms of the consequences for the affected plants: will yields go down? Will the affected plant die off before maturity? In our example, only anthracnose has been observed in 18 out of 36 rows. Half of the rows have been affected by a disease which easily spreads from plant to plants, but "The various leaf spots found do not appear to affect the yield". (Irvine, F.R., West African Crops, 3rd edition, London 1976, p. 172). Anthracnose is a leaf spot. One therefore would not have to bother about it.

The teacher asks what other diseases are common with yams, supplies descriptions and blackboard drawings and informs pupils about ways of fighting these diseases. (For information see volume II.)Teacher asks what other damages had been observed.

Rotting tubers:

- What does rot do to tubers? (Killing the tuber and preventing it from germinating, killing already germinated setts)

- How does a tuber start rotting? (When it is poorly stored: too much wafer' too much heat, too closely packed so that it touches another tuber; when it is poorly handled at harvest: cuts and bruises which become infected)

- What can one do about rotten setts and tubers?

- What can one do during next season to prevent setts from rotting? (be careful during harvest, store them well, prepare them carefully at planting time)

5. Training of Vines and Mulching

Objectives
- Pupils know the functions of vines.
- Pupils know how vines turn for the main varieties of yams in the area.
- Pupils know the reasons for training vines.
- Pupils know the reasons for mulching.
- Pupils are able to mulch yams correctly.

Lesson
Assign teams to train vines not yet trained and to improve training of poorly trained vines.

Teacher revises reasons for training yam vines.

Mulching: Teacher revises techniques of mulching and reasons for mulching. He assigns teams to do remulching where necessary.

Concluding Remark

Analysing the observations has led to new tasks:

- More observation in order to know more precisely how many setts have been lost. Only after this will it be possible to estimate yields and losses:

- Watering of the yam farm if the effect of drought is serious;

- Training yam vines;

- Mulching where necessary.

1.5 Planning maize farming

Agriculture in Primary School means more than a mere introduction to new farming techniques. One of the aspects to be taught is planning While pupils learn how to plan a simple farming project they are introduced to the skills involved in planning in general and gradually acquire a positive attitude towards planning.

Objectives of the Sub-Unit
- Pupils should know the timing of work for the crop they are going to farm on their class plot.
- Pupils should identify deadlines and bottlenecks.
- Pupils should know how to meet deadlines, how to avoid bottlenecks or how to deal with them if they cannot be avoided.
- Pupils should know the reasons for planning.
- Pupils should be able to plan the work for a crop they are familiar with.
- Pupils should develop a favourable attitude towards planning.

The following assumes that class 6 will grow maize on their plot. The lessons take place shortly after reopening schools in September.

Preparations
The teacher will have to be thoroughly familiar with the labour summary of last year's maize farming. If the area to be farmed with maize is roughly the same size as the area farmed last year, he/she can use the figures on pupil-hours as found in the labour summary. In this case, all that need to be done is to work out carefully the sums for each farm job. If the area is much smaller or bigger than last, year's maize plot, the labour requirements for each job have to be adjusted accordingly. This can be done very easily, however, as the amount of work required depends only on the size of the plot. As an example, take the figures reported on maize farming in section 4.1.1. They apply to an area of 6800 m². Suppose that in the coming season, a plot of 2720 m² (a plot of 40 m width and 68 m length) is to be farmed. Dividing the area of the previous plot by the area of the new maize plot, we get 6 800 m²: 2720 m² = 2.5.

a) If the new plot is smaller than the old one, we divide the area of the old plot by the area of the new plot.

We now divide the number of pupil-hours worked on the old plot of 6800 m² by 2.5 and arrive at an estimate of roughly 800 pupil-hours for the smaller plot. (2000: 2.5 = 800) In the same way we can get estimates for each of the different farm jobs.

b) If the new plot is bigger than the old one, we divide the area of the new plot by the area of the old plot. Suppose that the new plot is 10 000 m² (1 hectare). 10 000 m² : 6 800 m² = roughly 1.47. We now multiply the number of pupil-hours worked on the old plot, of 6 800 m² by 1.47 and arrive at an estimate of 2 000 X 1.47 = 2941 pupil-hours. In the same way we can get estimates for each of the different farm jobs.

Lesson 1: Work in Maize Farming

1. What is the best time for planting maize?

Starting point: the local season for maize growing at the end of the dry season. Correct answer: usually the day after the first heavy rains.

2. When do the first rains after the dry season fall?

Find out from the class the earliest and the latest date for the start of the March rains; Supply information: The women farming maize usually plant immediately after the rains in the morning, they would even go out in the afternoon in order to plant.

First rains in march: between march 10, and march 20.

3. How can we make sure that we are ready for planting at the time of the first rains? What work has to be done so that planting can start?

Suggest a source of information, the farm records of last year, and write the jobs on the blackboard.

Jobs done last year: Clearing, raking, stumping, gathering grass, digging fencing holes tilling, cutting fencing sticks, carrying stumps away, measuring, planting distances, planting, fencing, first weeding and earthing up, thinning, second weeding.

4. Which jobs have to be done always when we grow maize? And which jobs are not necessarily part of maize farming?

Ask pupils to sort the various jobs into the groups mentioned and write the groups on the blackboard.

Jobs always done for maize farming: Clearing, raking, gathering grass, measuring, planting, 1st weeding and earthing up, thinning, 2nd weeding. Jobs not always part of maize farming: Stumping, carrying away stumps, digging holes for fencing, cutting fencing sticks, fencing.

Objectives
- Pupils know the different farm jobs for maize farming.
- Pupils know the planting time of maize after the dry season.

Lesson 2: Deadlines

5. What is a deadline?

Suggest procedure: Let us concentrate on the work which we must always do when we farm maize. If planting is so very important, let us start with planting time. The planting time is a deadline for maize farming. Give definition at once, the term is certainly unknown.

Deadline: a date which must be respected; if we do not meet the deadline, i.e. if we don't respect the date, this will cause damage and losses.

6. Are there other deadlines for maize planting?

Find out from the class. If no answers or only wrong answers are given, supply information.

1. deadline: planting 1 day after 1st rain
2. deadline: 1st weeding 10 days after planting
3. deadline: 2nd weeding 30 days after planting

7. Why are these dates deadlines?

Find out from the class; after a few answers for each of the deadlines, supply information: 1. deadline: planting time: The Food Development Authority states that every day of delay in planting causes a loss of 1% of the harvest. If you plant 10 days late, you will get 90 kg of maize where a farmer planting in time will get 100 kg. 2. deadline: first weeding: Maize is very sensitive to competition by weeds. 10 days after planting the first weeding must be done in order to ensure a very good harvest. 3. deadline: second weeding: Weeds growing after the first 3 0 . days don't harm the crop. If the second weeding is done before that time, weeds having grown so far are destroyed, the crop will now remain undisturbed.

Results of missing the deadline

1. deadline: loss of yield due to lack of water.
2. deadline: loss of yield due to to competition by weeds.
3. deadline: loss of yield due competition by weeds.

8. What does that mean for the farm jobs that are usually done before planting?

Summary and conclusion: The first deadline is the most important and the most difficult one. If late planting means such heavy losses, it would be best to plant the whole farm on the same day. Find out from the class. Answer: the whole farm must have been tilled.

Objectives
- Pupils know the notion of deadlines.
- Pupils know the deadlines in maize farming.
- Pupils know what happens if the deadlines are not met.

Lesson 3: How to Meet Deadlines

9. Do we exactly know when the first rain will fall? If we don't know in advance when should we start tilling?

Get suggestions from the class and comment. Introduce the notion of safety margin. A safety margin in this case is some extra time between the end of tilling and the start of planting such that rain at the earliest possible date could be utilized. Give general rule: Jobs that have to be completed before the next job can start must be given particular attention.

Safety Margin: Some extra time in order to be ready for an action (e.g. planting) whenever that action can start. Safety margin for maize planting: usual date of first rain earliest possible date of first rain.

10. What about clearing and tilling? Can we start tilling only when the whole farm has been cleared?

Get opinions from the class and summarize.

Some jobs can be done nearly at the same time. They do not need safety margins between each other.

11. How can we make sure that deadline is really met?

Get suggestion from the class and summarize. Supply information when answers do not come forward.

To be ready for planting we can
1. start very early, leave the farm waiting: very big safety margin;
2. work very hard for a short time;
3. plan the work beforehand in order to find out the best time for each job

12. What are the problems with each of these suggestions?

Get suggestions from the class and summarize.
Supply information where answers are insufficient.
Supply definition of planning.

1. Early start - weeds
2. Very hard work - too tiring, risks of accidents
3. Planning - tools for planning
Planning - stating in advance what one wants to do at what time.

Objectives
- Pupils know several ways of meeting a deadline.
- Pupils know the problems linked with the various ways of meeting a deadline.
- Pupils acquire the notion of safety margin.
- Pupils know that planning is one way of meeting deadlines.

Lesson 4: Tools for planning

13. What do we need for planning?

Supply information:
something to show time-calendar, location of the deadlines in the calendar, an estimate of the time needed for each job.

Tools for planning:
- calendar
- deadlines
- time for each job

14. How much work is needed for each of the farm jobs? How can we know?

Put headings to the table prepared on the blackboard before the lesson, enter deadlines; discuss the planning calendar.

(For planning calendar see separate sheet, p. 128)

15. How do we show the amount

Supply information from the farm records of last year.

(Pupil hours worked on each job are entered into the column labeled "Total" in the planning calendar)

15. How do we show the amount of work done in our planning calendar?

Introduce the notion of man-hour (pupil-hour) as a measure of work done and explain how it is used.

Pupil-hours: the number of hours worked by a number of pupils; hours X pupils.

16. How many pupil-hours can the class work in one morning period if all pupils are present?

Suggest to the class: The work must be done in such a way that it can be done during ordinary morning periods of practical work. Apply the notion of pupil-hour to the class and get pupils to calculate the actual amount of work on the blackboard.

No. of pupils in class X 2.5 hours = work done by the class in a morning session of farm work

17. How many morning periods of farm work does the class

Find out the right approach from the class and get the calculations done.

Number of morning periods = pupils-hours needed for clearing . . . tilling: pupil-hours in 1 morning period. Number of morning periods needed for each job is entered into the respective column of the planning calendar.

Objectives
- Pupils are able to set up a farm calendar for maize.
- Pupils are able to calculate the number of morning sessions needed for each of the different
farming job.
- Pupils are able to use information from records for planning.

Lesson 5: Identifying Bottlenecks and Dealing with them

18. Since we know the number of morning periods for tilling and planting - when do we start to till the farm in order to be ready for planting?

Get pupils to mark the farm work periods needed for tilling, starting with the period immediately preceding the planting deadline, and working backwards.

X - marks to be inserted into the appropriate cells of the planning calendar.

19. When should we start clearing?

Get pupils to mark the farm work periods needed for clearing. If all the pupil-hours are spent on one job at a time, clearing precedes tiffing entirely. If you split up the labour force of your class between tilling and clearing, show the number of hours allocated to each job for each morning period. If only half the labour force of the class is used on tilling in each morning period, the number of morning periods for tilling will double.

X - marks to be inserted into the appropriate cells of the planning calendar.

20. How many morning periods will it take us to plant the whole farm?

Get pupils to mark the farm work periods needed for planting.

X - marks to be inserted into the appropriate cells of the planning calendar.

21. Can we do it in a day?

If the answer is 'no', ask question (a)
If the answer is 'yes', ask question (b)

22a. What shall we do in order not to lose yield?

22b. If the farm were bigger and we could not plant all in one day what could we do in order not to lose yield?

Introduce the notion of bottleneck, supply definition.

Bottleneck - If a farm job like planting or weeding needs more labour (pupil-hours) in one day than we can provide during that day this is called a bottleneck.

23. How can we deal with such a bottleneck?

Get suggestion from the class, classify answers on the blackboard

How to deal with bottlenecks:

1. Leave the work till next week,
2. Ask other classes for help,
3. Work longer hours that very day,
4. Work on the following day.

24. What are the problems with the different proposals? Which is the best suggestion?

Get suggestions from the class, supply information where necessary and put on the blackboard. The best solution is probably to ask another class for help, but this class needs compensation in the form of help on their own plot. Bottlenecks give rise to more manual labour during peak periods of farming than provided for on the timetable, but this can be compensated for later in the term.

Problems with the proposals:

1. Important loss of yield (7-10%);
2. Class might be busy on their own plot or not have farm work on the time-table;
3. Tiresome, very hard, not on time-table;
4. Farm work is not on the time-table, small loss of yield.

Revision, Summary, simple planning exercise.

Objectives
- Pupils are able to complete a farm calendar.
- Pupils acquire the notion of bottlenecks.
- Pupils know how to deal with bottlenecks.


Planning Calendar

2.1 Lesson notes on tephrosia

This plant was introduced in Mmen as a flower, later used as firewood. People soon saw that it could make the soil fertile. Its rapid spread was a result of the lack of firewood. In order to plant tephrosia one must bear the following in mind:

1. Ways of Propagation: It is propagated by seeds, broadcast on farms when the crops are already one month old. During weeding some of the tephrosia plants are removed to avoid overcrowding.

2. The stem is used for firewood and the seeds preserved for planting.

3. Use of the plant on local farms: People grow it for wood, but they also know that it helps to "soften the soil" and to increase yields. After late planting the plants are cut down and the leaves buried fresh as green manure. People are not aware of the fact that tephrosia helps to prevent erosion and shades the soil.

Lesson

Topic: A brief history of Tephrosia in Mmen. Aim: To make children know about the past.

Objectives
- To know why it came to Mmen.
- To know where it came from.
- To know who introduced it.
- To know how the people have accepted it.

Introduction
Class move to inspect two places: (a) with tephrosia, (b) without tephrosia.

Organisation
Children are divided into two groups with a leader to inspect these places.

Presentation
- Result of the inspection. by the two different groups.
- Presentation of lesson: The teacher and pupils discuss the importance of tephrosia based on their observation and what they already know.

Evaluation and Procedure
- Children give the points they have discussed together.
- Written work - copy the notes in their books.

Presentation
Just as plants need food for growth, so the soil needs certain things to make it rich for the growth of crops. Though we plant tephrosia to enrich the soil, it is worth while knowing its history in Mmen. When Bamenda was still a division in the then Southern Cameroon, the house of a certain Mr. Chia Angole of Mbulom quarter in Mmen village was burnt by his brother. Since they were not on good terms he went and reported the matter to the police in Bamenda where the case was to be tried. A certain Pa Zia Ngoh accompanied him to Bamenda since they were friends. There Pa Zia Ngoh saw tephrosia growing, and he harvested the seeds because he liked the flowers. He planted them around his house as flowers but when they grew the stems got dry, and he cut them down for firewood and stored the seeds. When he saw that this flower had provided him with firewood, he planted more of them. When many people saw that his flowers were doing well, many women came begging for seeds. Later on the women found out that tephrosia helped to make the farms fertile. From then till now tephrosia is indispensable in Mmen. Pa Zia Ngoh who brought the tephrosia is still living.

2.2 Lesson notes on rice



2.2.1 Rural Science

Topic of Unit: The Rice Plant: Type and Origin
Class: Six
Time: 60 minutes

Aims and Objectives
- To teach the children what rice looks like and how it is different from any other plant.
- The children will know the importance of rice as a source of food and the food value it gives.
- To trace the origin of rice and the types so far grown in the area.

Apparatus
The rice plant, paddy rice, hulled rice and possible a near by rice farm, atlas.

General Context
Rice is grown in the Division. Some children participate in a rice extension programme with their parents.

Introduction
What food do you like best? Discussion of the type of food children like to eat. Why they like it and whether it is grown in their homes or Division. What rice is and how the plant looks like. How it is prepared for eating. Places of rice growing in the Division, Province and country.

Presentation
of botanical and geographical facts (origin, rice in Cameroon). (see volume 11, p. 103)

Conclusions
Filling blank spaces to form notes from the blackboard:

Rice is a food crop containing . . . It is a . . . and belongs to the . . .It has parallel veined . . . with . . .The stems are . . . with nodes. Many stems grow from the tiller.

Rice is of two varieties namely . . . and, . .The swamp rice is also known as . . . or flood rice. The proper growth of the two types depends on . . . and the nature of the soil.

They also vary in height. It is planted by . . . Rice is self . . . The seeds grow at the . . . or panicles.

The seeds are long with a hard . . . Rice growing started at . . . and . . .It is now grown all over Africa and the world.

Words to guide children: Asia, testa, head, pollinating, West Africa, Carbohydrate, cereal, leaves, grass, fibrous, irrigated, climate, upland rice, hollow, swamp rice, seeds.

Collecting and marking children's work.

Next lesson: Upland Rice.

2.2.2 Geography

Topic of Unit: Rice Growing Areas in North West Province of Cameroon
Class: Six
Time: 50 minutes

Aims and Objectives
- To locate and name rice growing districts in the province.
- To expand the geographical knowledge of children.
- To develop the skill of map drawing and revise drawing to scale.
- To teach the conditions under which rice grows - climate.
- To know the different types of rice grown in each district.

Apparatus
Atlas, Wall map, Blackboard map, pencils, Rice plant, Stencils.

Characteristics
Children are quite familiar with rice growing and they know the villages famous for rice in the division.

Introduction
The teacher finds out the chief products of the division. The villages which grow rice in the division and the type of rice. Other divisions which also grow rice.

Presentation
A map of North West Province of Cameroon is presented to the class on the blackboard. Show on the map the rice growing areas of your division. Where is rice produced in the other divisions?

Menchum
Wum Central (WADA): Upland rice
Bui: Swamp and Upland
Esimbi: Upland rice
Bazzi: Upland rice
Befang: Swamp and Upland rice
Esu: Swamp and Upland rice
Mezam
Tingo-Bafut: swamp and upland rice
Obang: swamp and upland rice
Ndop-(UNVDA): swamp rice
Bui
Mbaw Plain - Mbiame: swamp and upland rice
Donga Mantung
Nkambe Part of Mbaw Plain: swamp and upland rice
Mbembe: swamp and upland rice
Momo Division
Oshie: upland rice

The children are directed to shade the rice districts on the blackboard map.

Under what climatic conditions does rice grow best?
Sufficient warmth, sunshine and sufficient moisture for the upland.
Rainfall: 1000 - 1500 cm average.
Availability of water in case of the swamp rice.
Places with cold climate are not suitable for rice growing.
Soil: rich humus-(forest soil) for upland rice e.g. Esimbi, Befang, Obang and Bazzi.

Conclusion
- Drawing the map and establishing the concept of scale.
- Application of the skill of location.
- The use of board map and atlasses to confirm facts and places.

2.2.3 Mathematics

Topic of Unit: Averages based on Rice Production, Data of North West Province, Cameroon
Class: Six
Time: 30 minutes

General Context
Pupils have been doing addition and division of objects. They have to employ the knowledge in finding out average rice production in North West Province.

Aim
- To develop abstract thinking and to develop the skills of accuracy in addition and division.

Apparatus
Table of rice production.

Characteristics
Rice is also grown in the children's division. Some take part in the growing and harvesting of rice. They weigh rice and also measure plots.

Introduction
John has 8 cups of rice and Mary has 12 cups. How many cups have they? 8 cobs, 10 cobs and 6 cobs of maize are harvested on three ridges. How many cobs have been harvested altogether? How many cups of rice will John and Mary have if the rice is shared equally? How many cobs of maize would each ridge have produced had they all produced the same number of cobs?The average number of cups of rice owned by Mary and John and the average number of cobs of maize from each ridge is the mean of 8 and 12, and 8, 10 and 6 respectively. The children give answers to the questions.

Presentation
Here is a table of rice production in some divisions of North West Province.1. From the table, find
- the total area of land in each division cultivated with rice;
- number of people in the project;
- area of swamp rice;
- area of upland rice;
- rice production in all the divisions.

2. What is the mean number of people employed in the rice production in each division? This mean is 'Total number of people: Number of Divisions'.

The knowledge and skill is established through the solution of the problems above. The answers in No. 1 above are filled in the table on the board.


Set Work - Conclusion
- What is the average rice production per division according to the table?
- Find the average area of Upland Rice per division.
- Find the average area of Swamp Rice per division.
- What is the mean area of Rice production in the 5 divisions of North West Province?
- What is the average number of hectare per rice farmer in the division?

Evaluation of pupils' work. Correction of mistakes.

Next Lesson: Rate of Rice Production Per Hectare.

2.2.4 History(Derived from Pamphlet on Rice - IPAR-BUEA)

Topic of Unit: The Origin of Rice and its Spread
Class: Six
Time: 50 minutes

General Context
Rice is a common crop in the area.

Aims and Objectives
- To trace the origin of rice.
- To teach the tradition of some tribes and the ceremonies attached to rice.
- To broaden children's knowledge of geography.
- To know some of the methods of rice farming in some parts of the world.

Apparatus
Atlas, Wall map of Africa, World.

Introduction
Leading questions such as: When did you first eat rice? Where did it come from? When do you think rice was first cultivated in your village, division? Who cultivated it? Which class of people eat rice in your tribe? Why? Why is rice regarded as the white man's food in most African homes?

Presentation
Origin of rice, historical facts taken from text on rice in volume II.

The areas of rice growing in Asia.

The ancient inhabitants of the continent lived mainly on rice especially China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh, and Thailand. Each country has her own tradition about the rice and their beliefs on the gods of the lands for the provision of water, sun and good yield, e.g. the belief in the River Indus.

Conditions: Suitable climate. Heavy rains as a result of the Himalaya Mountains. Availability of water from the Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra, Hwang-Ho, Yangtze-kiang and the Sin Kiang Rivers. The rivers and places are traced on the maps.

Facts about rice in West Africa: In about 1965-66 Taiwan, under the Taiwanese Technical Assistance, introduced Asian rice on a large scale in the former West Cameroon e.g. Tingo - Bafut and Obang in Bamenda - Mezam Division. They withdrew in 1971 leaving the work in the hand of Cameroonians.

The teacher finds out some traditional stories about rice from the children.
- Rice was regarded as white man's food.
- Only elderly people ate rice.
- Rice was mainly for important people masters, senior service officers.
- Rice was only eaten at Christmas.What has happened that everybody eats rice?

Conclusion
Revising the lesson through questions. Where did rice growing start? Which are the rice growing countries in Asia? How did rice spread in Africa? How did the Asian Rice reach Cameroon? How long is it since rice growing started in Asia? Who must have been the people to cultivate rice in West Africa? What factors influence the cultivation of rice?

2.3 Lesson notes on Land Tenure in Kake-Bakundu

Aims and Objectives
To provide basic information and knowledge about aspects of land tenure in Kake so that when children leave school and want to acquire land they will know the procedure.

Pupil's Characteristics
Class six (10-12 years). Most children are strangers whose parents are merely settlers in Kake, while a few are natives having more rights to the land of Kake.

Introductory Classroom Work
Our village is divided into two main parts, natives and strangers. Natives are the Bakundu of Kake origin while the strangers are Mettas, Ibos, Tiv, Ngolo's etc.
- Let the natives of the class stand. Count them.
- Let strangers also stand, count them too. Compare the results.

Questions: How does a stranger obtain a plot to farm or to build his house? (Allow a native child to respond).

Who has more right over the land of Kake - Native or Stranger?

Since there is no more forest but only farmland, what do people who have no farms normally do in order to have a farm to work on? ("Two Party" system, or an agreement on transfer of ownership of farm etc.).

Practical Work

- Children are divided into three groups with leaders (A, B, C).

- Group A to find out all information about acquiring a piece of "bush" (unfarmed land). This group is directed to the chief of the village and is given a small questionnaire by the teacher.

- Group B to find out all information about acquiring a farm on "pledge".

- Group C to find out all information about working as a tenant on "two party".

These groups are given a guided questionnaire by the teacher, and directed to special persons for useful information relating to the subject of their topic.

Classroom-Follow-Up Lessons of Practical Work and Observation

- The different groups at teacher's request present their findings to the class, the other groups pay attention. Teacher records on the blackboard useful ideas supplied by the children.

- Teacher describes the trend of land tenure which was practiced in former times so that children can compare the past and the present and especially now that the only forest is "Government Reserve".

- Children see the importance of land like the swamps which are being wasted in those days but are now regarded as a source of land for rice farming etc.

- This topic presents many new words in English for children, like landlord, tenant, agreement, contract.

Evaluation Procedure

- The area of the community is mapped out - showing the area that is still forest but under the control of Government; the area occupied by swamps and good for rice growing; the areas that are farm land and people's property and which you can only get by very tough negotiation.

- Children draw this map in their exercise books including the short blackboard summaries which were written up by the teacher during group work.

- Children take note of the many words they came across in the course of the lesson - agreement, receipt, contract, landlord, tenant, reserve, tenure, pledge and rent.

2.4 The integration of agriculture and mathematics

(some more examples)

Another problem is taken from the observation of planting distances on a maize plot at a school farm. Two rows planted by different pupils according to the same standard planting distance - 25 cm - have been measured after germination. The results are as given in the next table.

Row A
Planting Distance in cm

Row B
Planting Distance in cm

27

24

27

26

28

23

35

27

29.

25

22

25

33

26

32

26

29

25

31

26

38

32

30

22

32

25

29

27

30

25

28

23

34

24

33

25

35

22

24

27

27

25.5

33

30


24.5


25


26.5


25


25.5


26


24


29

Average: 30.27 cm

Average: 25.5 cm

Range: 38-22=16cm

Range: 32-22 = 10cm

22

1

24

1

27

3

28

2

29

3

30

2

31

1

32

2

33

3

34

1

35

2

38

1

Total

22

If a measuring rod marked with centimeters is available measuring is quite fast. It shows how despite a standard planting distance (25 cm) obtained by using a stick cut to size, the actual distance can be consistently greater or smaller - ask for the reasons (fatigue, wish to get the work done quickly, planter being rushed, wrongly cut stick, insufficient routine), and that even where on average the standard distance is well approximated, there are variations due to some or all of the factors outlined above.

Problems:

1. Which planting distances occur several times? How often do they occur?

Group identical measurements and order them according to size. The second table shows how this would be done for row A.

Make a bar chart. You might group the measurements still further, e.g.
22-24 cm
25-27 cm
28-30 cm in order to have fewer bars in your chart and larger numbers for each bar.

2. Calculate the average planting distance in each row.

3. Using the range (highest planting distance - lowest planting distance in each row) determine which pupil has been the more accurate in his planting.

The third problem was formulated after a class had measured a farm plot that had just been tilled. Twelve ridges were ready for planting. On p. 136 is the table of measurements.

Problems:

1. Calculate

- the average length of the ridges,
- the average width of the ridges,
- the average height of the ridges,
- the average width of the furrows.

2. Make a scale drawing showing each ridge.

3. What is the length and the width of the total plot?

4. What is the average area per ridge? (average length x number of ridges)

5. What is the net planting area of the plot? (average area x number of ridges)

Ridge No.

Length

Width

Height

Furrow


m

cm

m

cm

m

cm

m

cm

1

5

56


90




65

2

5

30


90


21


65

3

5

60


74


35


61

4

4

60


65


20


40

5

5

56


90


12


65

6

5

30


90


21


65

7

4

60


90


23


64

8

5

35


85


30


60

9

4

34


80


20


65

10

4

60

1

17


21


65

11

4

34


80


20


64

12

3

-

1

-


21


65

3.1 Notes on Land Tenure in Kake

The First Settlers

The first settlers in this community were the "Bakundus" and today they are called the natives. When they came in the 1 8th century the whole area was forested.

At that time a man and his wife could only clear a small portion of land to plant something to eat. Since they had not got instruments like the present day engine-saw they felled the trees by constant burning until the trees fell. They knew of no cash crops' at that time until the coming of the Europeans who opened the CDC.

The Introduction of Cash Crops

As these early settlers had no source of money, many of them left their wives and joined the CDC so that they could buy wrappers as present for Christmas. Their wives remained behind to take care of the little plot.

When cocoa was first introduced by the CDC most of these men did funny things. In order to have cocoa growing in Kake, a man would swallow the seeds of about three to four pods of cocoa, and would not go to the toilet until he had reached his home at Kake. His toilet was a special area which would be termed a nursery today. When these seeds germinated he transplanted them. The wife took good care of them while he himself went back to the job site. That is how the first cocoa trees appeared in Kake, through smuggling.

The Arrival of Strangers

The first strangers to come to Kake were from the North West, the Metas. They were hard-working, obeying the natives and doing everything for them. After a period of eight years these strangers wanted land to plant their own food crops. This was given them after all the natives in the village had sat down to see whether they could grant this request of the strangers. The strangers were given a strong warning that only food crops were to be planted and no cash crops like cocoa. No money was demanded from them. The land was given as a compensation for their work to their native masters over eight years.

Strangers Begin to Buy Land

These strangers worked according to directives from the natives for a long time. What brought the rift between these strangers and the natives was the digging out of palm trees from the strangers' land by natives every Christmas in order to have palm wine. The strangers felt they were toiling for the natives and so sent a delegation to the natives asking if they could buy the areas of land that they had received.

The natives thus received from the strangers sums ranging from 40 marks in German money and after some time L5-L10 in English money and in addition a jug of palm wine, a goat or pig, a basin of porridge plantain, a bag of salt, a head of tobacco, a packet of cigarettes, a bottle of cognac (or whisky), a shirt, a hat, a loin-cloth. All this had to be given for an already cultivated piece of land. After this process the strangers had permanent rights over the land they had bought. At a stranger's death, the rights passed to his next of kin.

The natives could say or do nothing, as they had officially given out that portion of land.

Present-day Trends: Pledging a Farm of Cocoa

The owner demands a certain amount of money for pledging his land for a number of years, depending on the productivity of the farm. A person who works on the farm, whether stranger of native, hands over the amount, and the time he may work on the farm is settled by a written agreement specifying the terms. Immediately he hands over the amount of money to the owner the said farm becomes his until the stipulated time. The owner or his family is not allowed to enter the farm until the end of that period. This is the most common form of land tenure in this community now. Normally the money is not refunded after the said period. If the owner needs more money he can extend the time to the person pledging it. If the person who gave out the money dies a relative takes over until their time expires.

The "Two Party " System

On the other hand the majority of the young people are now working under a system of "two party". That is to say, the owner of the farm gives out his farm to a man he feels is capable of working on it. The person gives him a small compensation of about 5000- 8000 frs, and an agreement is written between them. The produce if that farm is shared equally between the two persons. The worker buys all the chemicals needed for the farm. If he has no money the owner pays, but at the time of the sales he subtracts the money before the general division is made. If the owner is not satisfied with his work he must wait until the end of the season to dismiss him. If he really wishes to dismiss him before the end of the season, he must compensate him for the work done from the beginning of the year until the time of the dismissal. The owner of the farm and his family have full rights to enter the farm and take whatever things they like Nobody can challenge them since they have not given up the farm by selling it.

3.2 Yam growing in Banyang area

(by M.A. Nchong)

In the Banyang area of Manyu Division, it is believed that there are "respected persons" well versed in the knowledge and traditions of the Banyang. These persons are believed to have power over the fertility of the soil. They can take the power of the soil to produce a good harvest from neighbouring villages and transfer it to their own community.

They are thought to do this by changing into different shapes and going out at night to the land of neighbouring villages with a basket in each hand. They pick a number of green leaves and put them into the baskets. On returning to their own village, they go to its centre and scatter the leaves in every direction. In this way, the good harvests of the surrounding villages are thought to have been brought to the home village. These same "respected persons" could go to the neighbouring land in another form, this time in broad daylight. This form is a whirlwind. The wind sweeps through the neighbouring villages and picks up leaves as it goes. Many people are afraid to use this method because of the risk involved. The risk is that any person who understands what is happening can easily move into the path of the wind, catch a leaf, and smash it until the wind dies down. If this is successful, then the person responsible for the whirlwind will fall ill, and may die.

Should these "respected persons" return from their missions and restrict the good harvest to their personal farms, the ''jujus'' of the village like "Nfam", "Monjoh" or others will inflict punishment on them until they confess to members of the village and until sacrifices are offered to the "jujus". The cost of such sacrifices is borne by the punished persons.

Farms for the cultivation of yams are cleared either by members of the family or by cooperative work groups. There are several such groups. One is called "njangi" in Pidgin English and "ntem" in Kenyang. Another group is known as "ekan". Before people start clearing the farm, the owner goes and demonstrates the way he wants his helpers to continue the work. After that he plants a symbol of one of the above-mentioned "jujus" on the farm to prevent passers-by and even those coming to work on the farm from stealing the fertility of the soil. On a newly cleared farm, the grass, shrubs, and big trees are burned. After burning, mounds are made with the help of the "ntem" group. Again, the farm owner goes to work on the farm earlier than his work group. In the centre of the farm, he usually makes a very big mound. It is planted with the best seed yams and the various crops to be intercropped with yams. He also plants the symbol of a certain "juju" called "Nkatti-Nyor", or he may make a mound of stones with yellow palm leaves on it. Then the group comes to do its work.

When planting yams the left hand makes a hole in the mound, and with the right hand the yam is thrust into the mound. As the right hand comes out, the fingers make a circle of the size one would want one's yam to grow. The knife used to cut the setts or the seed yams should not touch salt or pepper. This is thought to prevent the yams from going rotten.

Staking and weeding can be carried out by the members of the family or by the work group.

Before the harvest season starts, a small calabash containing a certain native medicine is hung over the fire-place of each home. Each family member or visitor about to eat the new yams must take some of this medicine. Failure to do so is believed to result in illness: one's body will be covered with scabies. This rule applies especially to twins and their mothers.

Women who hold their husband in high esteem will prepare a special meal from the first newly harvested yams. They prepare a big bundle of egusi pudding and boil yams to go with it. It is a big feast for the husband who usually invites a few close friends to participate in the meal. At the end of the meal some palm wine will be served.

When harvested the yams are placed in barns exposed to the open air under a shade, or they are kept in bush huts. There are no traditional rules about marketing surplus yams. A family head is free to do as he likes.

3.3 Traditional rites associated with the planting of maize in Bali(by V. Kette)

Land in Bali is inherited. If the head of a family has sold all his farmland, a son who wants to start farming would go to any other family head who has land to spare. If he is unable to obtain land from anybody he can go to the Fon. If there is land available, the Fon sends his messengers to measure out a plot for the applicant. The young man can now start preparing to plant his maize. In Bali, there are two planting seasons for maize in a year, one in March for early maize, and one in August or September for late maize.

There is really no ceremony at the start of planting in March. At the planting of late maize there is what is called "Keti Nikoh". At this ceremony, corn beer, and beer made from corn and groundnuts is taken to the country's sacrificing ground, - Gola - Gola, which is near a small stream in Bali. There, a goat or a cock is sacrificed. If the sacrifice is accepted, then it is known that all is well and that the harvest will be great. How is the sacrifice accepted? A magic spider comes out of the sky and sips the corn and groundnut drink. If this happens, the Fon is happy and announces that everybody should go to the farms because the harvest will be great. If the spider doesn't sip the drink, it is a sad affair. The Fon calls his closest advisers and soothsayers to find out where the country has erred. It is believed that a sacrifice is not accepted if an important ancestor, a god or a spirit feels offended. If the offence is found out, the Fon makes a sacrifice to the annoyed party. Then he can announce that farm work should start. According to tradition the men are in charge of clearing the farm. Maize is the main dish of the Bali people. This was not always so. In former times guinea corn was the main food. If you look into the Queen Mother's compound, you will still find a few guinea corn plants near the entrance.

The farms are always very large. They therefore cannot be cleared properly by one man on his own, so the men always formed mutual groups, clearing one member's farm in a day.

The women are in charge of hoeing, planting, weeding and harvesting. The women too used to do their work in mutual groups, but nowadays the system has changed. Women pay for their farms to be cleared, and the hoeing too is done by paid labour. When the grass has been cut, it is put in rows and covered with soil. Planting is done by putting three grains in each hole. No regular distances are observed. Weeding starts when the plant is about 30 cm high. After about three months the maize is ready, and the women themselves carry it home, with the help of their mutual groups.

Formerly the harvest used to be put into a small storage house called 'Ntab'. This Ntab was always in the farm. When all the maize had been put into the Ntab, the Pa of the compound (compound head) puts a traditional lock on the door two raffia sticks crossed. This house was never opened except when the compound head gave the order. If there was a lot of corn, some of it was taken to the market by the women. After selling it, they would buy oil, kerosene and crayfish, and bring the rest of the money to the compound head.

Now, under the new system, when these women harvest and sell their maize, they can do anything they like with their money. They may give some to their jobless husbands, if they like.

3.4 Some corn dishes in Bali

Koki Corn

Ingredients

- Fresh corn
- Palm Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Cocoyam leaves

Method
Grind the fresh maize. Warm the oil. Mix the corn with enough water to form a dropping consistency and add salt and pepper. Add the warm oil and stir. Add the cocoyam leaves and mix well. Tie in plantain leaves and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the bundles and the intensity of the fire.

Corn and Groundnut Pudding

Ingredients

- Dry corn
- Groundnuts
- Salt and pepper
- Crayfish - (Optional)

Method

Grind the corn and groundnuts. Mix them with salt and pepper. Add some water to enable the corn and groundnut to mix well Add crayfish and tie in bundles. Cook for 30 minutes or more depending on the size of the bundles and the intensity of the heat.

Corn Chaff

Ingredients

- Corn
- Beans
- Salt and pepper
- Onions
- Crayfish or fish
- Palm Oil

Method

Fry the corn. Boil it, and when it is half-done, wash the beans and add them to the corn. Cook until the beans and corn are soft. Drain, and add clean water. Put in oil, salt, pepper, and onions. Add crayfish. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Drinks

Corn Beer (Nkang)

Soak the corn for at least one whole day. Spread it on plantain leaves on a cool floor and cover with leaves. Sprinkle tepid water on it to encourage quick germination. After four days, the corn will have germinated. Remove it. Grind the germinated corn well. Put in a big pot and boil for over two hours until the liquid in the pot is sweet and sticky.

Separate the liquid from the chaff. Reboil until it is golden brown in colour. Remove from fire and put in basins to cool. Some germinated corn which has been dried and ground to powder is added to the liquid to make it sweet and frothy like beer. This again is covered for one night to ensure a smooth, blend. Before you add the powder to the liquid you must make sure that the basin is not too full, otherwise it will overflow during the night.

Kwacha

Soak the corn for two days. Remove it, drain and grind it. Allow it to get cool. Fry it until it is light brown. Allow it to get cool. Put this in a big pot of water, with 3 cm water above the corn.

Keep for 4 days. On the third day, add malt. Malt is germinated corn which has been dried and ground into a powder. On the fourth day, sift the mixture to remove the chaff. If it is too thick, add a bit of water.

4. Record sheets

1. Form Used in an Experiment with Pineapples

Fruit Development on Pineapple Plants

Date of Observation:............
Hour of Observation:............

Row No.

No. of Plants Harvested

No. of Plants with Unripe Fruit

No. of Plants without any Fruit

Total No. of Plants in Row





















2. Form Used for Observation of Yams

The Growth of Yams on Our School Farm
Present State for Plant Development

Date of Observation:............
Hour of Observation:............

Row No.



No. of Germinated Yams:



No. of Germinated Yams



without Leaves:



No. of Yams with Spotted



Yams:



No. of Yams with



Folded Leaves:



No. of Yams with



Dead Vines:



No. of Yams with



Damaged Vines



No. of Yams with Vines



not Trained



No. of Yams well Mulched



No. of Yams Poorly Mulched



3. Form Used for the Observation of Maize

Date of Observation:............
Hour of Observation:............

Row No.........................

Stand No.

Plant No.

Height in cm.

Colour of Leaves

Tassels

General State of Plant



















Remarks:

- Observe up to three plants per stand,
- measure the height from the soil up to the node of the uppermost leaf,
- with reference to colours, distinguish between dark green, green, pale,
- with reference to tassels, write yes or no,
- with reference to "general state of plant" write down whether you think it is: "healthy" or "poor".

4. Form Used to Observe an Experiment on Weed Control before the Harvest

Maize Growth with Different Methods of Weed Control

Date of Observation:............
Hour of Observation:............
No. of Week after Planting:............

Experimental Block No.

Height of Maize Plants1

No. of Cobs2

Weed Growth3

General Remarks on Maize Growth
















Remarks:

1 Sample 20 maize plants in each block and measure them
2 count all the cobs growing in each block,
3 indicate whether the weeds are dense, high, healthy.

Each team should observe at least two of the four experimental blocks that make up the experiment.