By Anthony E. Hall

The semi-arid zones of the area are fragile ecosystems that are being sub­ stantially transformed through the actions of mankind. expanding human populations have ended in better calls for on semi-arid zones for supplying human susten­ ance and the chance that this can improve desertification is a grave quandary. those zones are harsh habitats for people. The famines that resulted from drought through the overdue 1960's and the 1970's within the African Sahel illustrated the unreliability of current agricultural structures during this area. huge fluctuations in ag­ ricultural creation have happened in semi-arid zones of Australia, North Ameri­ ca, and the Soviet Union because of periodic droughts, even if massive ag­ ricultural expertise has been dedicated to agricultural improvement in those zones. The problem to mankind is to control those diversified semi-arid zones in order that seasoned­ ductivity is elevated and stabilized, and environmental deterioration is diminished. Irrigation can be utilized to extend and stabilize agricultural construction in semi-arid zones as mentioned in quantity five of this sequence, Arid quarter Irrigation. the current quantity, Agriculture in Semi-Arid Environments, specializes in dryland farming in semi-arid zones, and is suitable to the massive components of the area the place rainfall is proscribing and the place water isn't really on hand for irrigation. This quantity is designed to help agricultural improvement in those parts and includes studies and analyses of obtainable details through scientists operating in Africa, Australia, and on the U ni­ versity of California.

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Extra resources for Agriculture in Semi-Arid Environments

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J. Wilke was employed in growing crops by the Harrapan culture of the Indus Valley. In the Indus Valley, he suggested that spring crops (wheat and barley) were sown at the end of the annual inundation of the Indus River (June-September) and the crops harvested in March and April. Autumn crops were sown at the beginning of the river's inundation and reaped near the end of it. On the other hand, Baharadwaj (1961) stated that the highly evolved Harrapan culture, characterized by welldeveloped urbanization, architecture, town-planning, trade, currency, and vast granaries, was probably dependent on large-scale irrigation works.

Hamdan (1961) and more recently Butzer (1976) have shown conclusively that it was rather a naturally draining floodplain. It was inundated by overflow of the natural levees of the Nile in late summer filling large flood basins on the plain, and when the floodwaters subsided the basins drained unaided by man through gathering channels into the river from whence they had come. It was simply a matter of waiting until the floodwaters subsided and planting on the wet ground. No further irrigation was needed and a single crop could thus be grown annually on about twothirds of the entire alluvial surface of the valley.

The Pima are considered to be the descendants of the Hohokam and farm the immediate area today. By analogy with their subsistence practices, and in consideration of the plant remains found, Bohrer believes both irrigation agriculture and gathering of wild plants were important to the Hohokam. The Pima generally raise two crops a year. The first planting occurs in March after the killing frosts, and winter rains and snow melt furnish water for irrigation. Wild plants and stored foods carry the Pima through until harvest in July, when they also gather saguaro seeds.

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