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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Farming and Herding after the Drought: Fulbe Agro-Pastoralists in Dryland Central Mali
Author:Dijk, Han vanISNI
Periodical:Nomadic Peoples
Geographic term:Mali
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Drought and Desertification
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/43123451
Abstract:This paper focuses on the interaction of the cultivation of cereals and the keeping of livestock among the Fulbe in a dryland region in central Mali in the district of Douentza. This interaction is shown to be crucial for understanding the impact of variable ecological conditions, notably the Sahelian droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, on the land use strategies of the Fulbe and their former slaves, nowadays labelled Riimaybe. There are not only physical interactions between livestock keeping and cereal cultivation in the form of flows of manure and crop residues, but also institutional and social interactions. The institutional interactions take the form of land tenure arrangements which allow people to make efficient use of soil fertility and agricultural production and appropriate the manure produced by their own livestock, and which also permit the careful spacing and timing of herding and cultivation. In times of crisis the cultivation of cereals becomes the most important means of survival. In principle, temporary cultivation would allow people to rebuild their herds, and reenter the pastoral economy after some time. However, the combined effects of droughts and changes in resource tenure have had a disastrous effect on the productivity of the land use system. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French and Spanish.