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Colonialism and environmental perception in Northern Nigeria

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  • Abdul Raufu Mustapha
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    Abstract

    Concern about the environment in colonial northern Nigeria developed out of a series of controversies and practices, particularly those relating to agriculture. Increasingly, local practices that have sustained the population and the environment for centuries are subjected to “scientific” scrutiny. Though many of these practices were either misunderstood or not understood at all, this did not stop the subjugation of local practices to “science”. However, this “scientific” enterprise was often conflict-ridden, with important questions being resolved only after the intervention of political authorities. The resulting colonial practices in the fields of irrigation, forest management and the application of chemical fertilizer continue to dominate the thinking of state officials in post-colonial Nigeria, leading to unsustainable policies. An earlier colonial tradition of investigating the practices of local farmers and the constraints therein would have been a more appropriate basis for post-colonial policy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 405-425

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:31:y:2003:i:4:p:405-425

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