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Title:Models for food security in the dry regions of Senegal
Author:Christiansen, Sofus
Book title:Security in African drylands: research, development and policy
Geographic term:Senegal
Subjects:food policy
agricultural policy
land use
agricultural land
food production
Abstract:This paper on models for food security in the dry regions of Senegal first examines the potential plant productivity of the dry areas of Africa. Potential plant productivity sets the final limit for population density under subsistence conditions and thus helps to understand the relationship performance/stability or level of yields/security in food production. Four basic types of strategies for the utilization of arid areas are then distinguished: 1) vegetal gathering; 2) herding; 3) agriculture; and 4) animal rearing (on feed), and their effectiveness with respect to food security and ecology is assessed. All four strategies have been used in semiarid Senegal, though there have been some changes. Thus at the beginning of this century, the French colonial regime introduced the growing of groundnuts for the market, with quite a few resulting problems. Some of these, such as the underutilization of pastures, were remedied in the 1970s, when a great number of wells were drilled, leading in turn to settlement of herders. The idea underlying Senegalese development has mostly been one of applying market forces. In this context, the SODESP plan (SODESP is an organization for development of livestock in the Senegalese Sahel) for developing the Ferlo region is examined. The author concludes that if a transition to a market economy is underway, it seems to be in the form of a subsistence plus cash economy. A consequent problem will be food security. Bibliogr.