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A look at the Maize Text Book through my black eyes.
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Cedric Offline

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A look at the Maize Text Book through my black eyes.
The 1914 MAIZE text-book, by Joseph Britt-Davy, duly encouraged by the First Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa: Save this link, you will read it often.

I first read this book in July 2013, then, as I became more aware of the 1913 Land Act, I see this book differently. Today my mind sees South Africa's maize farming as an industry developed by the blacks, and I am looking for an understanding of what the world would have been like if we allowed this group to develop.

I have extracted a few pages to save the reader having to download the 750 page text-book.
.pdf  Maize Book.pdf (Size: 1.88 MB / Downloads: 2) Click on the .pdf link, move the tab, and follow my discussion:

This introduction to share-crop farmers led me to the book written by MAIZE, Joseph Burtt-Davy, ‘A text-book for farmers, students of agriculture, and teachers of nature study.’

This book the Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, Union of South Africa, General Louis Botha. P.C. initiative to assist the white farmers development into crop farming:

Note, in the following extracts from the book, I am referring to the pages in sequence on the pdf attached.

Pages 1-3,
An introduction to the Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, Union of South Africa, General Louis Botha. P.C.and the book.
Comment: The timing of this book, and the content as a textbook gives a reflection that the Government and Business were in the process of filling the gap that the 1913 Land Act achieved.

Page 4:
No other plant we grow will produce 3,172 lbs. of digestible food on one acre of land at so little expense. No other cereal crop yields the farmer so large a return for his labour as Indian Corn. It is the king of the cereals. - Director C.S. Plume.

Page 5.
Maize is one of the easiest crops to grow, standing more rough usage than perhaps any other; a favourite Kaffir method of planting is to scatter the seed broadcast over unbroken velf and the plough the ground; even with this crude treatment crops of 1,5 to 2 muids of grain per acre are obtained.

Page 6/7.
We still hear South African farmers say that maize is a Kaffir crop, and that maize-growing does not pay the more ambitious white farmer.
Comment: I have little doubt that this attitude, having been given status in the book, reflects on what was the typical attitude, letting the blacks plant as share-croppers, and in this book, we will convince the white farmer that he can succeed.

Page 8.
Maize is the Staple Crop of South Africa, -Maize is not only the staple food crop of the South African Kaffir, it has become an important item in the diet of the white people; but more than this, is it has also become the staple cash crop of the South African farmer.

Page 9.
Future Possibilities of Development in South Africa - European corn brokers have recently referred to South Africa as the future maize granary of Europe. Maize will always be the staple cash crop of South Africa. As its value for stock food becomes better appreciated, the local demand will increase, and in this connection Earl Grey’s recent prophecy of a coming shortage in the world’s beef supply is suggestive. The Traveller is impressed with the enormous areas of fertile land, suitable for growing maize, which are at present untouched by the plough, virgin sod like the American prairies.
Comment: This item indicates that we have a greater business interest in this crop and our lands to achieve wealth off.

Page 10.
The exact acreage under maize in South Africa is not known, but it is grown on practically every occupied farm in the Transvaal Province. Many farmers are growing 200 to 1000 acres each, and at least three have 6,000 acres under crop to maize. A good deal is also grown by Kaffirs, for their own use, both on native locations and on rented farms.

Page 11.
Owing to the dryness of the winter over the greater part of South Africa, the farmer is able to continue harvesting and shelling in the field up to the very day when he starts planting the new crop; in this respect he has an enormous advantage over the American farmer. The percentage of grain which which is damaged by the weather is exceedingly small. The moisture content of the grain exported is some 5 per cent lower that that of American-grown article. South Africa has, and is likely to have for many years, an excellent local market for a large part of her crop. Because she owns her own railroads, she can carry her surplus of her maize industry. There is good ground for the prophecy that South Africa is ti become the maize granary of Europe.

Page 15
Orange Free State - The Orange Free State, together with the adjoining native territory of Basutoland, is by far the largest producer and exporter of maize of any of the four Provinces of the South African Union. But of the total area of the Province less that 2,25 per cent is planted to this crop, and in the best producing Districts, only 5,5 per cent. The largest acreage and best crops are found in the north-eastern Districts where rainfall is about 11 inches during the three growing months of December, January, and February. A considerable part of the crop is grown by natives, and the average yield is estimated at only 3 muids, or 11 bushels, per acre.

Most of the Transvaal maize is produced on the High-veld, because the population is greater and more land is under cultivation. A good deal is also raised in the Upper and Lowe Bush-veld, but chiefly by natives.

This text-book was written between 1910 and 1914. All part of the preparation of taking the agricultural wealth away from the black farmer.

(This post was last modified: 01-21-2014 01:34 PM by Cedric.)
01-21-2014 01:19 PM
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