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Title:Agro-pastoralists response to agricultural policies: the predicament of the Baggara, western Sudan
Author:Salih, M.A. MohamedISNI
Book title:Adaptive strategies in African arid lands
Geographic term:Sudan
agricultural policy
Abstract:This paper examines the case of the Hawazma, one of the Baggara groups living in central and western Sudan. This pastoral people is being marginalized through environmental as well as politicoeconomic processes. The pattern of migration routes for the Hawazma in this century has been one of rather regular movements from the areas of northern Kordofan, where they spend the rainy seasons, through South Kordofan towards the Upper Nile Province and the White Nile, where they spend the dry season. Through the expansion of large-scale mechanized agricultural schemes in South Kordofan the Hawazma have lost grazing land and experience constraints in their migration routes. Such factors have forced the Hawazma into settlement in villages and towns, and into becoming wage labourers of different sorts. Changes can also be seen on the level of social organization: the camps are becoming smaller, cattle ownership among women has declined, and solidarity expressed in sharing food during famine is giving way to new individualistic values. The State and its planning ideology play a crucial role in this development. Pastoralists are politically marginal and they cannot make themselves heard in competition with big traders and administrators, who are the main benefactors from the expansion of mechanized agriculture. Although Hawazma adaptive strategies reveal a tremendous resilience and resolve in countering hardships, it is obvious that the ability of the Hawazma social organization to withstand the shocks exerted upon it is in doubt. Bibliogr., note.