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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:For Whom is the Rural Economy Resilient? Initial Effects of Drought in Western Sudan
Authors:Gray, LeslieISNI
Kevane, Michael
Periodical:Development and Change
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:rural economy
human rights
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Economics and Trade
Drought and Desertification
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7660.1993.tb00481.x
Abstract:This paper addresses two recent debates: entitlement theory and the resilience of rural systems. Fieldwork was conducted in a village in Kordofan, western Sudan, in 1989-1990. The research focused on the initial responses to drought. The authors conclude that, first of all, entitlement theory provides an appropriate framework for understanding how the drought affected the lives of rural people. Rising food prices and crop failure were the two basic elements of a classic crisis of entitlements. Limited local employment opportunities necessitated the selling of assets, borrowing and migration for employment. The position of labourers was extremely tenuous. Their livestock holdings were very low. Secondly, coping strategies can be effective in minimizing the short-term effects of drought. However, reliance on the internal and external resource base for mitigating short-term suffering may have negative consequences for the long term. Coping strategies, such as selling livestock at low prices, losing adapted seed stock, making charcoal and firewood, and clearing cultivated land of crop residues, hinder the long-term ability of households to recover from destitution. For the villagers in this area, the local economy was not resilient. From the point of view of households dependent upon wage labour or self-employment with limited capital, and in terms of their reduction in consumption, an already disastrous situation was only going to worsen. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.