The process which led to this book was sparked by the discovery in a seminar at the institute of development studies at the university of Sussex that in both Northern Nigeria and a part in Bangladesh there was a peak in births in the late wet season. This led organizers and participants to examine the ramifications of tropical seasonality, paying particular attention to inter-relationships among various disciplines – geography, economics, sociology, medicine, nutrition and demography, to mention some. The conference on seasonal dimensions to rural poverty which followed was organized jointly by Robert Chambers and Richard Longhurst of IDS and by David Bradley and Richard Feachem of the Ross institute of Tropical Hygiene, London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Conference was financed by IDS, and held from 4-7 July 1978.
This book is based on the conference papers and discussions, but is not a conventional conference volume. Arnold Pacey worked out a logical framework, reflected in his schematic diagram (p. 7). With the generous consent of contributors, he did the major work of shortening, editing, and organizing the papers into coherent chapters, with the other two editors undertaking the larger stages. The Final Chapter includes practical implications contributed by the editors and by many others who have corresponded from different parts of the world. Elsewhere in the book, sections for which no author is cited are the joint responsibility of the editors.