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Title:Hosts, strangers and the tenure politics of livestock corridors in Mali
Author:Brottem, Leif
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Mali
Subjects:livestock policy
soil management
land tenure
Abstract:In dryland West Africa, policy makers have come to acknowledge livestock mobility as a sound adaptation strategy for variable dryland climate regimes. In Mali, the national government is taking measures to support mobility in the form of grazing zones, conflict management mechanisms and, most notably, livestock passage corridors. These corridors are part of a long and contentious history of territorialization in agrarian West Africa. This article demonstrates through a comparative case study that livestock corridors can accomplish the agroecological objective of improving herd mobility but they also have unforeseen political impacts that depend on socio-spatial relations between farmers and herders. By historicizing corridors and contextualizing them within the host-stranger relationship that is found throughout the region, the article reveals the different meanings that boundary-making processes take on for autochthonous farmers and mobile herders. In an area where ethnic Fulani herders have settled independently from farming communities, the latter have rejected a proposed corridor. In contrast, farmers in areas where herders are seasonal guests have supported the same measure. These divergent outcomes do not depend simply on different levels of resource competition, but, instead, on the ways in which corridors and their boundaries become inscribed in perceived land claims and power relations between competing groups. Bibliogr., notes, ref., summary in English and French. [Journal abstract]