Traditional Farming System in Africa
By tradition land in Luapula is not owned by individuals, but as in many other parts of Africa is allocated by the headman or headwoman of a village to people of either sex, according to need. Since land is generally prepared by hand, one ulupwa cannot take on a very large area; in this sense land has not been a limiting resource over large parts of the province. The situation has already changed near the main townships, and there has long been a scarcity of land for cultivation in the Valley. In these areas registered ownership patterns are becoming prevalent.
Most of the traditional cropping in Luapula, as in the Bemba area to the east, is based on citemene, a system whereby crops are grown on the ashes of tree branches. As a rule, entire trees are not felled, but are pollarded so that they can regenerate. Branches are cut over an area of varying size early in the dry season, and stacked to dry over a rough circle about a fifth to a tenth of the pollarded area. The wood is fired before the rains and in the first year planted with the African cereal finger millet (Eleusine coracana).
During the second season, and possibly for a few seasons more the area is planted to variously mixed combinations of annuals such as maize, pumpkins (Telfiria occidentalis) and other cucurbits, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, Phaseolus beans and various leafy vegetables, grown with a certain amount of rotation. The diverse sequence ends with vegetable cassava, which is often planted into the developing last-but-one crop as a relay.
Richards (1969) observed that the practice of citemene entails a definite division of labour between men and women. A man stakes out a plot in an unobtrusive manner, since it is considered provocative towards one's neighbours to mark boundaries in an explicit way. The dangerous work of felling branches is the men's province, and involves much pride. Branches are stacked by the women, and fired by the men. Formerly women and men cooperated in the planting work, but the harvesting was always done by the women. At the beginning of the cycle little weeding is necessary, since the firing of the branches effectively destroys weeds. As the cycle progresses weeds increase and nutrients eventually become depleted to a point where further effort with annual crops is judged to be not worthwhile: at this point the cassava is planted, since it can produce a crop on nearly exhausted soil. Thereafter the plot is abandoned, and a new area pollarded for the next citemene cycle.
When forest is not available – this is increasingly the case nowadays - various ridging systems (ibala) are built on small areas, to be planted with combinations of maize, beans, groundnuts and sweet potatoes, usually relayed with cassava. These plots are usually tended by women, and provide subsistence. Where their roots have year-round access to water tables mango, guava and oil-palm trees often grow around houses, forming a traditional agroforestry system. In season some of the fruit is sold by the roadside or in local markets.
The margins of dambos are sometimes planted to local varieties of rice during the rainy season, and areas adjacent to vegetables irrigated with water from the dambo during the dry season. The extent of cultivation is very limited, no doubt because the growing of crops under dambo conditions calls for a great deal of skill. Near towns some of the vegetable produce is sold in local markets.
Fishing has long provided a much needed protein supplement to the diet of Luapulans, as well as being the one substantial source of cash. Much fish is dried for sale to areas away from the main waterways. The Mweru and Bangweulu Lake Basins are the main areas of year-round fishing, but the Luapula River is also exploited during the latter part of the dry season. Several previously abundant and desirable species, such as the Luapula salmon or mpumbu (Labeo altivelis) and pale (Sarotherodon machochir) have all but disappeared from Lake Mweru, apparently due to mismanagement.
Fishing has always been a far more remunerative activity in Luapula that crop husbandry. A fisherman may earn more in a week than a bean or maize grower in a whole season. I sometimes heard claims that the relatively high earnings to be obtained from fishing induced an 'easy come, easy go' outlook among Luapulan men. On the other hand, someone who secures good but erratic earnings may feel that their investment in an economically productive activity is not worthwhile because Luapulans fail to cooperate well in such activities. Besides, a fisherman with spare cash will find little in the way of working equipment to spend his money on. Better spend one's money in the bars and have a good time!
Only small numbers of cattle or oxen are kept in the province owing to the prevalence of the tse-tse fly. For the few herds, the dambos provide subsistence grazing during the dry season. The absence of animal draft power greatly limits peoples' ability to plough and cultivate land: a married couple can rarely manage to prepare by hand-hoeing. Most people keep freely roaming chickens and goats. These act as a reserve for bartering, but may also be occasionally slaughtered for ceremonies or for entertaining important visitors. These animals are not a regular part of most peoples' diet.
Citemene has been an ingenious system for providing people with seasonal production of high quality cereals and vegetables in regions of acid, heavily leached soils. Nutritionally, the most serious deficiency was that of protein. This could at times be alleviated when fish was available, provided that cultivators lived near the Valley and could find the means of bartering for dried fish. The citemene/fishing system was well adapted to the ecology of the miombo regions and sustainable for long periods, but only as long as human population densities stayed at low levels. Although population densities arc still much lower than in several countries of South-East Asia, neither the fisheries nor the forests and woodlands of Luapula are capable, with unmodified traditional practices, of supporting the people in a sustainable manner.
Overall, people must learn to intensify and diversify their productive systems while yet ensuring that these systems will remain productive in the future, when even more people will need food. Increasing overall production of food, though a vast challenge in itself will not be enough, however. At the same time storage and distribution systems must allow everyone access to at least a moderate share of the total.
Complete the sentences below with words taken from Reading Passage1.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.
1 In Luapula land allocation is in accordance with ..........
2 The citemene system provides the land with ....... where crops are planted.
3 During the second season, the last planted crop is .........
4 Under suitable conditions, fruit trees are planted near ..........
Classify the following items with the correct description.
Write your answers in boxes 5-8 on your answer sheet.
5 be used in some unusual occasions, such as celebrations.
6 cannot thrive for being affected by the pests.
7 be the largest part of creating profit.
8 be sold beyond the local area.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 9-12 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
9 People rarely use animals to cultivate land.
10 When it is a busy time, children usually took part in the labor force.
11 The local residents eat goats on a regular time.
12 Though citemene has been a sophisticated system, it could not provide enough protein.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write the correct letter in the box 13 on your answer sheet.
What is the writer's opinion about the traditional ways of practices?
A They can supply the nutrition that people need.
B They are not capable of providing adequate support to the population.
C They are productive systems that need no more improving.
D They will be easily modified in the future.
1 need 2 (the) ashes 3 (vegetable) cassava
4 houses 5 C 6 B
7 A 8 A 9 TRUE
10 NOT GIVEN 11 FALSE 12 TRUE
Voyage of Going: beyond the blue line
One feels a certain sympathy for Captain James Cook on the day in 1778 that he "discovered" Hawaii. Then on his third expedition to the Pacific, the British navigator had explored scores of islands across the breadth of the sea, from lush New Zealand to the lonely wastes of Easter Island This latest voyage had taken him thousands of miles north from the Society Islands to an archipelago so remote that even the old Polynesians back on Tahiti knew nothing about it. Imagine Cook's surprise, then, when the natives of Hawaii came paddling out in their canoes and greeted him in a familiar tongue, one he had heard on virtually every mote of inhabited land he had visited Marveling at the ubiquity of this Pacific language and culture, he later wondered in his journal: "How shall we account for this Nation spreading itself so far over this Vast ocean?"
Answers have been slow in coming. But now a startling archaeological find on the island of Efate, in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu, has revealed an ancient seafaring people, the distant ancestors of today's Polynesians, taking their first steps into the unknown. The discoveries there have also opened a window into the shadowy world of those early voyagers. At the same time, other pieces of this human puzzle are turning up in unlikely places. Climate data gleaned from slow-growing corals around the Pacific and from sediments in alpine lakes in South America may help explain how, more than a thousand years later, a second wave of seafarers beat their way across the entire Pacific.
"What we have is a first- or second-generation site containing the graves of some of the Pacific's first explorers," says Spriggs, professor of archaeology at the Australian National University and co-leader of an international team excavating the site. It came to light only by luck. A backhoe operator, digging up topsoil on the grounds of a derelict coconut plantation, scraped open a grave—the first of dozens in a burial ground some 3,000 years old It is the oldest cemetery ever found in the Pacific islands, and it harbors the bones of an ancient people archaeologists call the Lapita, a label that derives from a beach in New Caledonia where a landmark cache of their pottery was found in the 1950s. They were daring blue-water adventurers who roved the sea not just as explorers but also as pioneers, bringing along everything they would need to build new lives—their families and livestock, taro seedlings and stone tools.
Within the span of a few centuries the Lapita stretched the boundaries of their world from the jungle-clad volcanoes of Papua New Guinea to the loneliest coral outliers of Tonga, at least 2,000 miles eastward in the Pacific. Along the way they explored millions of square miles of unknown sea, discovering and colonizing scores of tropical islands never before seen by human eyes: Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa.
What little is known or surmised about them has been pieced together from fragments of pottery, animal bones, obsidian flakes, and such oblique sources as comparative linguistics and geochemistry. Although their voyages can be traced back to the northern islands of Papua New Guinea, their language—variants of which are still spoken across the Pacific—came from Taiwan. And their peculiar style of pottery decoration, created by pressing a carved stamp into the clay, probably had its roots in the northern Philippines. With the discovery of the Lapita cemetery on Éfaté, the volume of data available to researchers has expanded dramatically. The bones of at least 62 individuals have been uncovered so far—including old men, young women, even babies—and more skeletons are known to be in the ground Archaeologists were also thrilled to discover six complete Lapita pots. It's an important find, Spriggs says, for it conclusively identifies the remains as Lapita. "It would be hard for anyone to argue that these aren’t Lapita when you have human bones enshrined inside what is unmistakably a Lapita urn."
Several lines of evidence also undergird Spriggs's conclusion that this was a community of pioneers making their first voyages into the remote reaches of Oceania. For one thing, the radiocarbon dating of bones and charcoal places them early in the Lapita expansion. For another, the chemical makeup of the obsidian flakes littering the site indicates that the rock wasn't local; instead it was imported from a large island in Papua New Guinea's Bismarck Archipelago, the springboard for the Lapita's thrust into the Pacific. A particularly intriguing clue comes from chemical tests on the teeth of several skeletons. DNA teased from these ancient bones may also help answer one of the most puzzling questions in Pacific anthropology: Did all Pacific islanders spring from one source or many? Was there only one outward migration from a single point in Asia, or several from different points? "This represents the best opportunity we've had yet," says Spriggs, "to find out who the Lapita actually were, where they came from, and who their closest descendants are today.
“There is one stubborn question for which archaeology has yet to provide any answers: How did the Lapita accomplish the ancient equivalent of a moon landing, many times over? No one has found one of their canoes or any rigging, which could reveal how the canoes were sailed. Nor do the oral histories and traditions of later Polynesians offer any insights, for they segue into myth long before they reach as far back in time as the Lapita." All we can say for certain is that the Lapita had canoes that were capable of ocean voyages, and they had the ability to sail them," says Geoff Irwin, a professor of archaeology at the University of Auckland and an avid yachtsman. Those sailing skills, he says, were developed and passed down over thousands of years by earlier mariners who worked their way through the archipelagoes of the western Pacific making short crossings to islands within sight of each other. Reaching Fiji, as they did a century or so later, meant crossing more than 500 miles of ocean, pressing on day after day into the great blue void of the Pacific. What gave them the courage to launch out on such a risky voyage?
The Lapita's thrust into the Pacific was eastward, against the prevailing trade winds, Irwin notes. Those nagging headwinds, he argues, may have been the key to their success. "They could sail out for days into the unknown and reconnoiter, secure in the knowledge that if they didn't find anything, they could turn about and catch a swift ride home on the trade winds. It's what made the whole thing work." Once out there, skilled seafarers would detect abundant leads to follow to land: seabirds and turtles, coconuts and twigs carried out to sea by the tides, and the afternoon pileup of clouds on the horizon that often betokens an island in the distance. Some islands may have broadcast their presence with far less subtlety than a cloud bank. Some of the most violent eruptions anywhere on the planet during the past 10,000 years occurred in Melanesia, which sits nervously in one of the most explosive volcanic regions on Earth. Even less spectacular eruptions would have sent plumes of smoke billowing into the stratosphere and rained ash for hundreds of miles. It's possible that the Lapita saw these signs of distant islands and later sailed off in their direction, knowing they would find land for returning explorers, successful or not, the geography of their own archipelagoes provided a safety net to keep them from overshooting their home ports and sailing off into eternity.
However they did it, the Lapita spread themselves a third of the way across the Pacific, then called it quits for reasons known only to them. Ahead lay the vast emptiness of the central Pacific, and perhaps they were too thinly stretched to venture farther. They probably never numbered more than a few thousand in total and in their rapid migration eastward they encountered hundreds of islands—more than 300 in Fiji alone. Still more than a millennium would pass before the Lapita's descendants, a people we now call the Polynesians, struck out in search of new territory.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage I?
In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement is true
NO if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
1 Captain cook once expected the Hawaii might speak another language of people from other pacific islands.
2 Captain cook depicted number of cultural aspects of Polynesians in his journal.
3 Professor Spriggs and his research team went to the Efate to try to find the site of ancient cemetery.
4 The Lapita completed a journey of around 2,000 miles in a period less than a centenary.
5 The Lapita were the first inhabitants in many pacific islands.
6 The unknown pots discovered in Efate had once been used for cooking.
7 The um buried in Efate site was plain as it was without any decoration.
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 8-10 on your answer sheet.
Scientific Evident found in Efate site
Tests show the human remains and the charcoal found in the buried um are from the start of the Lapita period Yet The 8................. covering many of the Efate site did not come from that area.
Then examinations carried out on the 9................. discovered at Efate site reveal that not everyone buried there was a native living in the area. In fact, DNA could identify the Lapita's nearest 10.................... present-days.
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
11 What did the Lapita travel in when they crossed the oceans?
12 In Irwins's view, what would the Latipa have relied on to bring them fast back to the base?
13 Which sea creatures would have been an indication to the Lapita of where to find land?
1 YES 2 NO 3 NO
4 NOT GIVEN 5 YES 6 NOT GIVEN
7 NO 8 rock 9 teeth
10 descendants 11 canoes 12 trade winds
13 seabirds and turtles
With quarter of the world’s plants set to vanish within the next 50 years, Dough Alexander reports on the scientists working against the clock the preserve the Earth’s botanical heritage. They travel the fourth corners of the globe, scouring jungles, forests and savannas. But they’re not looking for ancient artefacts, lost treasure or undiscovered tombs. Just pods. It may lack the romantic allure of archaeology, or the whiff of danger that accompanies going after big game, but seed hunting is an increasingly serious business. Some seek seeds for profit-hunters in the employ of biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies and private corporations on the lookout for species that will yield the drugs or crops of the future. Others collect to conserve, working to halt the sad slide into extinction facing so many plant species.
Among the pioneers of this botanical treasure hunt was John Tradescant, an English royal gardener who brought back plants and seeds from his journeys abroad in the early 1600s. Later, the English botanist Sir Joseph Banks-who was the first director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and travelled with Captain James Cook on his voyages near the end of the 18th century — was so driven to expand his collections that he sent botanists around the world at his own expense.
Those heady days of exploration and discovery may be over, but they have been replaced by a pressing need to preserve our natural history for the future. This modem mission drives hunters such as Dr Michiel van Slageren, a good-natured Dutchman who often sports a wide-brimmed hat in the field—he could easily be mistaken for the cinematic hero Indiana Jones. He and three other seed hunters work at the Millennium Seed Bank, an 80 million [pounds sterling] international conservation project that aims to protect the world's most endangered wild plant species.
The group's headquarters are in a modem glass-and-concrete structure on a 200-hectare Estate at Wakehurst Place in the West Sussex countryside. Within its underground vaults are 260 million dried seeds from 122 countries, all stored at - 20 Celsius to survive for centuries. Among the 5.100 species represented are virtually all of Britain's 1,400 native seed-bearing plants, the most complete such collection of any country's flora.
Overseen by the Royal botanic gardens, the Millennium Seed Bank is the world's largest wild-plant depository. It aims to collect 24.000 species by 2010. The reason is simple: thanks to humanity's efforts, an estimated 25 per cent of the world's plants are on the verge of extinction and may vanish within 50 years. We're currently responsible for habitat destruction on an unprecedented scale, and during the past 400 years, plant species extinction rates have been about 70 times greater than those indicated by the geological record as being 'normal'. Experts predict that during the next 50 years a further one billion hectares of wilderness will be converted to farmland in developing countries alone.
The implications of this loss are enormous. Besides providing staple food crops, plants are a source of many machines and the principal supply of fuel and building materials in many parts of the world. They also protect soil and help regulate the climate. Yet, across the globe, plant species are being driven to extinction before their potential benefits arc discovered.
The world Conservation Union has listed 5,714 threatened species is sure to be much higher. In the UK alone, 300 wild plant species are classified as endangered. The Millennium Seed Bank aims to ensure that even if a plant becomes extinct in the wild, it won’t be lost forever. Stored seeds can be used the help restore damaged or destroyed environment or in scientific research to find new benefits for society – in medicine, agriculture or local industry – that would otherwise be lost.
Seed banks are an insurance policy to protect the world's plant heritage for the future, explains Dr Paul Smith, another Kew seed hunter. "Seed conservation techniques were originally developed by fanners." he says. "Storage is the basis what we do, conserving seeds until you can use them-just as in farming." Smith says there's no reason why any plant species should become extinct, given today's technology. But he admits that the biggest challenge is finding, naming and categorising all the world's plants. And someone has to gather these seeds before it's too late. "There aren't a lot of people out there doing this," he says." The key is to know the flora from a particular area, and that knowledge takes years to acquire."
There are about 1,470 seed banks scattered around the globe, with a combined total of 5.4 million samples, of which perhaps two million are distinct non-duplicates. Most preserve genetic material for agriculture use in order to ensure crop diversity; others aim to conserve wild species, although only 15 per cent of all banked plants are wild.
Many seed banks are themselves under threat due to a lack of funds. Last year, Imperial College, London, examined crop collections from 151 countries and found that while the number of plant samples had increased in two thirds of the countries, budget had been cut in a quarter and remained static in another 35 per cent. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research has since set up the Global Conservation Trust, which aims to raise US S260 million to protect seed banks in perpetuity.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?
In boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
14 The purpose of collecting seeds now is different from the past.
15 The millennium seed bank is the earliest seed bank.
16 One of major threats for plant species extinction is farmland expansion into wildness.
17 The approach that scientists apply to store seeds is similar to that used by farmers.
18 Technological development is the only hope to save plant species.
19 The works of seed conservation are often limited by financial problems.
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage 2.
Using no more than three words from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 20-24 on your answer sheet.
Some people collect seeds for the purpose of protecting certain species from 20________; others collect seeds for their ability to produce 21________. They are called seed hunters. The 22________ of them included both gardeners and botanists, such as 23________, who financially supported collectors out of his own pocket. The seeds collected are usually stored in seed banks, one of which is the famous millennium seed bank, where seeds are all stored in the 24________ at a low temperature.
Choose the correct letter, A-E.
Write your answers in boxes 25.26 on your answer sheet.
Which TWO of the followings are provided by plants to the human?
E commercial products
14 TRUE 15 NOT GIVEN 16 TRUE
17 TRUE 18 FALSE 19 TRUE
20 extinction 21 drugs, crops 22 pioneers
23 Sir Joseph Banks 24 underground vaults 25 A
The evolutional mystery: Crocodile survives
Crocodiles have been around for 200 million years, but they're certainly not primitive. The early forms of crocodiles are known as Crocodilia. Since they spent most of their life beneath water, accordingly their body adapted to aquatic lifestyle. Due to the changes formed within their body shape and tendency to adapt according to the climate they were able to survive when most of the reptiles of their period are just a part of history. In their tenure on Earth, they've endured the impacts of meteors, planetary refrigeration, extreme upheavals of the Earth's tectonic surface and profound climate change. They were around for the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, and even 65 million years of supposed mammalian dominance has failed to loosen their grip on the environments they inhabit.
The first crocodile-like ancestors appeared about 230 million years ago, with many of the features that make crocs such successful stealth hunters already in place: str