ABSTRACT

While Green Revolution water-controlled swamp rice farming packages have been viewed by development agencies in Sierra Leone as a replacement for indigenous upland rice farming systems, many farmers prefer to combine wetland and upland rice cultivation. The aim of the following account of rice farming practices in Mogbuama, a medium-sized village in central Sierra Leone, is to show how and why this combination is so important to small-scale rice producers, and to explore ways in which existing integrated systems might be further developed. The chapter outlines village social structure and introduces some key socio-political issues: e.g. the importance of clientelism and factionalism in local politics, and the way in which development project inputs are channelled through patron—client networks. Most Mogbuama farmers believe that yields from rice farms in the river-terrace zone are generally better on average than yields from farms in the granite zone.