Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Long-term change in African drylands: can recent history point towards development pathways?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Michael Mortimore
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The problem of poverty in Africa was often discussed in terms of the agro-ecological specifics and the internal social relations of societies, production systems and economies. It appeared necessary, therefore, for states and international organizations to intervene. Because poverty was identified with production constraints, such interventions took the form of technological transfer in agriculture. Later, as agro-ecological constraints became more widely perceived, and supposedly “fragile” ecosystems were believed to be under threat from population growth and other factors, emphasis shifted to “environmental sustainability”. As with the new technologies, so with sustainable natural resource management, it was often assumed that the new knowledge must come from outside, or from “science”, and must be promoted against the natural “conservatism” of smallholders by whatever means necessary—from coercion at one extreme to “participation” at the other. Recently there has been much movement away from such stereotypical positions towards more subtle and varied statements of the problem. However, I believe there is still a lacuna with respect to the autonomy of the smallholder in the “fight against poverty”. Intervention is still the name of the game, and receives far more attention than the resources or achievements of poor people themselves. Analyses of long-term trends in the management of resources at the village, regional and national levels in dryland Africa suggest that African farmers have made considerable achievements in the face of a trying environment. An understanding of this long-term trend may provide a better framework for the diagnosis of current problems and the formulation of future policy on poverty and livelihoods in the drylands.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1360081032000146654
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 503-518

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:31:y:2003:i:4:p:503-518

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CODS20

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CODS20

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:31:y:2003:i:4:p:503-518. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.