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Originally produced for the BBC 'World About Us' series the programme looks at the life of nomads and farmers who live on the Sahara desert margin in the Sudan.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: T273, Food production systems
Item code: T273; 08
First transmission date: 22-09-1978
Published: 1978
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:28
Note: Originally produced for the BBC 'World About Us' series
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Producer: Patricia McCurry
Narrator: Dick Morris
Contributors: Ali Darage; William Payne; Jeremy Swift; Abulgasim Seifeddin; Mohammed Kassas
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Desertification; Gum-arabic farmer; Nomad; Sahara
Footage description: Commentary by Dick Morris (v/o) introduces the programme. He points out the extent of the world's desert and semi-desert lands as well as the extent to which land is being lost to production because of desertification. Shots of Sudanese nomads, of an animated map and of the desert. Jeremy Swift joins in the discussion. Film of Kababish nomads skinning a goat, sitting around a fire and shots of their camels. Commentary describes the nomad way of life on the fringe of the Sahara. It emphasises the importance to the nomad of the camel herd. William Payne describes the "gizu", a sudden blossoming of vegetation in the desert after a rainfall. He explains how this is exploited by the Kababish nomads. Shots of nomads sitting around a fire. Shots of Sudanese farmers walking through grassland and of a gum-arabic farmer with his crop. Abulgasim Seifeddin explains how the farmers on the desert margin divide their plots for subsistence and cash crops. Shots of farmers cutting and sweeping crops. Commentary over shots of farmers picking gum-arabic, explains why this crop is particularly well suited to the poor arid soil of the desert margin. Commentary goes on to discuss the problem of soil depletion and gives some reasons why this has taken place. Shots of farmers and animated graphics help to illustrate points made. Commentary, over shots of a Sudanese city and its associated shanty town, discusses the pressures on the rural population in the Sudan to leave the land and move to the cities. Shots of civil servants at work. Jeremy Swift explains why, in his view, central bureaucracy cannot meet the needs of the people living on the desert margin. Over shots of a nomad buying various goods at a village market, commentary discusses the way in which the nomads in the Sudan have suffered through Government good intentions. Here the introduction of large reservoirs has led to such an expansion of the camel herds that the resulting overgrazing is rapidly turning the marginal lands to desert. Shots of camel herds of goats, of water being drawn from a well and of animal skeletons in the desert. Commentary goes on to discuss the sand dune fixation scheme at El Bashiri where local people themselves acted to stop desertification of their land. Shots of the area around El Bashiri and of the people there. Over shots of farmers, camels, nomads gathered around a fire and men riding camels, commentary sums up the programme.
Master spool number: 6HT/72818
Production number: 00525_5308
Videofinder number: 1060
Available to public: no