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Livelihood Transitions and the Changing Nature of Farmer-Herder Conflict in Sahelian West Africa


  • Matthew Turner
  • Augustine Ayantunde
  • Kristen Patterson
  • E. Daniel Patterson


The accommodation of livestock husbandry with crop agriculture is crucial for the future of the West African Sahel. Present trends are leading to greater restrictions on livestock husbandry and a growing convergence of livelihood practices among groups whose identities are tied to herding and farming. Using the cases of four rural communities in Niger, this study adopts an 'access to resources' framework to analyse the causal connections among: rural peoples' livelihood strategies, everyday social relations of production, perceptions of social groups' identities, and the potential for farmer-herder conflict. While the convergence of livelihoods arguably increases the frequency of conflict triggers, it has also, through the expansion of shared common interests and cross-group, production-related relationships, improved the ability of communities to effectively manage these incipient conflicts.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Turner & Augustine Ayantunde & Kristen Patterson & E. Daniel Patterson, 2011. "Livelihood Transitions and the Changing Nature of Farmer-Herder Conflict in Sahelian West Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 183-206.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:2:p:183-206
    DOI: 10.1080/00220381003599352

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    Cited by:

    1. Camille Laville, 2021. "Keep Off the Grass : Grassland Scarcity and the Security Implications of Cross-Border Transhumance Between Niger and Nigeria," Working Papers hal-03350202, HAL.
    2. Turner, Matthew D. & Ayantunde, Augustine A. & Patterson, Kristen P. & Patterson, E. Daniel, 2012. "Conflict Management, Decentralization and Agropastoralism in Dryland West Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 745-757.
    3. Bougouna Sogoba & Bouba Traoré & Abdelmounaime Safia & Oumar Baba Samaké & Gilbert Dembélé & Sory Diallo & Roger Kaboré & Goze Bertin Benié & Robert B. Zougmoré & Kalifa Goïta, 2020. "On-Farm Evaluation on Yield and Economic Performance of Cereal-Cowpea Intercropping to Support the Smallholder Farming System in the Soudano-Sahelian Zone of Mali," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-15, June.
    4. Fekadu Beyene, 2015. "Determinants of food security under changing land-use systems among pastoral and agro-pastoral households in eastern Ethiopia," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 1163-1182, October.
    5. Feldt, Tobias & Karg, Hanna & Kadaouré, Ibrahima & Bessert, Leon & Schlecht, Eva, 2020. "Growing struggle over rising demand: How land use change and complex farmer-grazier conflicts impact grazing management in the Western Highlands of Cameroon," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).
    6. Chen Wang & Guoqing Shi & Yongping Wei & Andrew William Western & Hang Zheng & Yan Zhao, 2017. "Balancing Rural Household Livelihood and Regional Ecological Footprint in Water Source Areas of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-20, August.
    7. Ollenburger, Mary H. & Descheemaeker, Katrien & Crane, Todd A. & Sanogo, Ousmane M. & Giller, Ken E., 2016. "Waking the Sleeping Giant: Agricultural intensification, extensification or stagnation in Mali's Guinea Savannah," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 58-70.

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