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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Drought, Agriculture and Environment: A Case Study from the Gambia, West Africa
Author:Baker, Kathleen M.ISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic term:Gambia
food production
Drought and Desertification
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/723914
Abstract:The economy of The Gambia grew at 5.5 percent per annum from 1986 to 1988, and growth has continued in subsequent years. Although this growth was attributed largely to the agricultural sector, the country's import of foodstuffs remained high, suggesting that domestic agriculture was not meeting food needs. This paper, based on fieldwork carried out in 1990/1991 in seven selected villages, four in the Western Division and three in the North Bank Division, examines what was happening at 'ground' level. The protracted drought which began in 1968/69 was cited by every farmer interviewed as the cause of their most pressing problems. The paper examines the ways in which protracted drought has brought about change, not only to men's and women's farming systems, but to the physical environment as well. Drought has hit rice production, the most important aspect of women's farming. As a substitute, vegetable gardening has been promoted by aid agencies. Drought has also affected men's farming on rainfed land, adding to problems of environmental degradation and contributing to labour migration. Farmers on dryland fields have responded to the pressures caused by drought by increased mechanization, the planting of fruit trees and by growing cassava. Ref.