ABSTRACT

The most important category of farm in Mogbuama (as in any Mende village) is the kpaa wa, the household rice farm. A few wealthier or older people -merchants, office holders and independent-minded old women - support themselves from business or savings, but the great majority of the population has an active involvement in a household rice farm. The kpaa wa is invariably an intercropped upland rice farm cultivated according to bush fallowing techniques. Rice farming requires both regular inputs of household labour for routine activities and periodic inputs of hired labour to cover the most urgent and demanding tasks. A typical household unit comprises one or two adult men, one or two adult women, and two to four children in the age range 8-15 years old. There is, however, considerable variation over the 98 farm households in Mogbuama in 1983.