This handbook offers a quick and easy reference guide for individuals and organisations that are involved with the production of food, from both agriculture and horticulture. It is designed to be used as a reference book that answers basic questions about how food is produced from plants, and aims to demystify the subject of growing food. The focus is firmly on the technical aspects of food crops; animal husbandry, agrochemicals and genetic engineering are only briefly mentioned.
The book is divided into three sections:
- Principles and Practices used in Agriculture and Horticulture
- Description and Characteristics of the Main Food Crops
- Naming and Classification of Plants, Seed Purchase Procedures, Conversion Tables and Statistics, Planning and Assessing Agricultural Projects
With its strong international flavour, the manual is designed to accessible for those who normally speak or read English as their second language, using simple English terminology and phrasing, with thorough explanations and numerous cross references to the terminology, acronyms and technologies used.
From the reviews: From a review of "Growing Food" by Dr Douglas Saltmarshe: "I know Tony Winch to be an internationally experienced agricultural specialist. He is widely respected and has worked for some of the top development agencies in this capacity. Although I now work internationally with governance and social development issues, the first 20 years of my working life were involved in agriculture. I therefore have some technical knowledge about which Tony Winch is writing. Coming from this background, I am of the view that the work he has undertaken is scientifically sound and gives a useful range of information, which is clearly presented. I feel that the way it is written is simple and straightforward and will be easily understood by a wide range of people for whom English is not a first language. The book will be used as a source of reference for many agricultural advisors and practitioners to assist development understanding about appropriate crops and their methods of cultivation. To my knowledge there is nothing similar which has been developed that comprehensively provides easily understood information covering all significant food crops. It will thus form an important reference work to development practitioners working in the sphere of agriculture. The market for this work should be extensive. It would include a wide range of development agencies, agricultural colleges and institutes and government extension agencies across the world. The market for this type of work is therefore huge. More importantly, the contents of the book are likely to significantly contribute to assisting the reduction of poverty in many parts of the world." "Demystifying crop production for non-experts is the aim of this new handbook. As a reference book it succeeds quite well, covering the principles and practices used in agriculture and horticulture, from plant and soil characteristics, farming systems and crop types, to tools and storage." (New Agriculturist, Issue 3, 2007)
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