■PREFACE AND PROJECT OVERVIEW
This special volume of African Study Monographs is devoted to compiling our results from recent agro-environmental studies on the sustainability of indigenous agriculture in central and southern Africa. The project was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, Culture, and Technology of Japan from 1999 to 2001 through a Grant-in-Aid of Scientific Research (No. 11 6911 86), and subsequently through the 21st Century COE Program, which included support for this publication.
The goal of the project was to determine the dynamics among the environment, indigenous technology, and rural society in the woodland areas of Zambia and Tanzania through fieldwork in various disciplines. Of the seven research sites shown on the map where the project conducted studies, the results for five sites (Makete, Tukuyu, Mbozi, Mpika, and Kasempa) are presented in this volume. The results for the other sites have already been published in separate papers.
These articles clarify that farmers’ choice of crops, technologies, and coping strategies based on the natural and socioeconomic environment are as diverse as the geographic settings and history, which necessitates deeper understanding of the issues that local societies face. Agriculture and environmental conservation can only be promoted in the socio-historical milieu of the area, which requires further study.