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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Agro-pastoral production systems and the problem of resource management
Author:Manger, L.ISNI
Book title:Adaptive strategies in African arid lands
Geographic term:Sudan
agricultural intensification
food production
Abstract:The African agricultural crisis relates to the inability of African farmers to produce enough food for an increasing population. Debates on this issue often lead to a discussion of agricultural intensification. One view of why African agriculture lacks such intensification is that it lacks technological development. Opposing this view is the thesis that the extensive techniques of shifting cultivation are a resource for development, and intensification should be sought by building on local practices and knowledge. The author of the present paper takes an 'in-between' position. Concentrating on agropastoral integration in the Sahel, particularly western Sudan, he discusses how environmentally sound practices develop and change in different economic and sociocultural contexts (change producing factors include population pressure and commercialization), and may not be viable any longer. Technologies that can help raise production are necessary, but the author does not believe that simple technology transfer is sufficient. The local dimension is crucial, not only local farmers' knowledge and practices, but also local institutions and local policies. Bibliogr.