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Tropical Agriculture is quite different from agriculture in the temperate zone. It is a temporary rather than stable and history. The general consensus of opinion that shifting agriculture which we abbreviate as shag for shifting agriculture is a very poor cropping system. Shipping agriculture is the clearing of forest cultivation of a crop and abandon it after which time the family unit or whatever social social unit may be involved moves to another area. Cuts the forest and clears land grows a crop for several years and then moves to another area. The speaker is Dr. Frank Woods who is beginning a study of the condition and the Oriente and Ecuador and the moment he talks about his research. Challenges in education presented by Duke University.
Here with today's feature is Charles Bronson shifting agriculture or shag is a problem in many different parts of the world. Natives abandoned their farm lands when the soil deteriorates and they move to another fertile area. The land they leave is no longer capable of supporting either agriculture or forests. Dr. Frank W. Woods associate professor of farmers to ecology at Duke University with the aid of a graduate student is beginning to look at these problems in Ecuador. We will be determining the rate at which soil matures and changes following abandonment and we will be determining what types of vegetation come back in. Following abandonment too so you have these two parallel processes a succession of plants following abandonment and also a succession of soil changes following abandonment.
Dr. Woods believes that the potentially fertile areas need to be reclaimed for use by the growing population. We're interested in finding out about the physical nature of the changes that take place. Just the fundamental scientific fact what happens when the land is abandoned. Under certain conditions we simply don't know this. If we did then perhaps we could find the key or some factor which would enable us to cultivate this land. Year after year after year as it has done in in the temperate zone and the tropic zone this is much more difficult simply because rates of biological decomposition are much faster and organic matter becomes depleted. Fertility is a completely different matter because of the nature of the soils. And we really don't know how to fertilize tropical soils effectively.
Dr. Wood says that he has received much assistance from the government of Ecuador and their ambassador to the United States. In addition he says the Forest Service of Ecuador has tried very hard to supply labor transportation and guides that are required to accomplish the research project. We would like to give them the kind of information that they will need to plant agriculture and agricultural practices which will permit the soil to remain fertile through fertilization the addition of mineral supplements and things over extended periods of time. This has been done in some other countries in the tropics but only on a comparatively small scale. Of course we can't make them put these practices into action. All that we can do is supply the information and this information to date. Has not generally been available.
This research project is expected to contribute to scientific knowledge of tropical soils and forest succession as it examines the agricultural potential of the Orient and Ecuador. This is Charles Russell with challenges in education from Duke University. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Challenges in education
Tropical agriculture
Producing Organization
Duke University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Program number 134 talks about agricultural in tropical climates.
Series Description
This series presents problems facing educators today.
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Host: Braswell, Charles
Interviewee: Woods, Frank W.
Producing Organization: Duke University
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35i-134 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:04:38
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Chicago: “Challenges in education; Tropical agriculture,” 1969-04-07, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024,
MLA: “Challenges in education; Tropical agriculture.” 1969-04-07. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <>.
APA: Challenges in education; Tropical agriculture. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from