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No Condition Is Permanent

Author: Sara Berry
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Pres
ISBN: 9780299139308
Size: 63.93 MB
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“No condition is permanent,” a popular West African slogan, expresses Sara S. Berry’s theme: the obstacles to African agrarian development never stay the same. Her book explores the complex way African economy and society are tied to issues of land and labor, offering a comparative study of agrarian change in four rural economies in sub-Saharan Africa, including two that experienced long periods of expanding peasant production for export (southern Ghana and southwestern Nigeria), a settler economy (central Kenya), and a rural labor reserve (northeastern Zambia). The resources available to African farmers have changed dramatically over the course of the twentieth century. Berry asserts that the ways resources are acquired and used are shaped not only by the incorporation of a rural area into colonial (later national) and global political economies, but also by conflicts over culture, power, and property within and beyond rural communities. By tracing the various debates over rights to resources and their effects on agricultural production and farmers’ uses of income, Berry presents agrarian change as a series of on-going processes rather than a set of discrete “successes” and “failures.” No Condition Is Permanent enriches the discussion of agrarian development by showing how multidisciplinary studies of local agrarian history can constructively contribute to development policy. The book is a contribution both to African agrarian history and to debates over the role of agriculture in Africa’s recent economic crises.

No Condition Is Permanent

Author: Sara S. Berry
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299139346
Size: 53.10 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 5771
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“No condition is permanent,” a popular West African slogan, expresses Sara S. Berry’s theme: the obstacles to African agrarian development never stay the same. Her book explores the complex way African economy and society are tied to issues of land and labor, offering a comparative study of agrarian change in four rural economies in sub-Saharan Africa, including two that experienced long periods of expanding peasant production for export (southern Ghana and southwestern Nigeria), a settler economy (central Kenya), and a rural labor reserve (northeastern Zambia). The resources available to African farmers have changed dramatically over the course of the twentieth century. Berry asserts that the ways resources are acquired and used are shaped not only by the incorporation of a rural area into colonial (later national) and global political economies, but also by conflicts over culture, power, and property within and beyond rural communities. By tracing the various debates over rights to resources and their effects on agricultural production and farmers’ uses of income, Berry presents agrarian change as a series of on-going processes rather than a set of discrete “successes” and “failures.” No Condition Is Permanent enriches the discussion of agrarian development by showing how multidisciplinary studies of local agrarian history can constructively contribute to development policy. The book is a contribution both to African agrarian history and to debates over the role of agriculture in Africa’s recent economic crises.

Chiefs Know Their Boundaries

Author: Sara Berry
Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books
ISBN: 9780325070025
Size: 42.95 MB
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The essays in this volume explore changes and continuities in the ways people have made and exercised claims on land in Asante, Ghana.

Smallholders Householders

Author: Robert McC. Netting
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804721028
Size: 23.89 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Contrasting the prevailing theories of the evolution of agriculture, the author argues that the practice of smallholding is more efficient and less environmentally degrading than that of industrial agriculture which depends heavily on fossil fuel, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. He presents a convincing case for his argument with examples taken from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, and demonstrates that there are fundamental commonalities among smallholder cultures. "Smallholders, Householders" is a detailed and innovative analysis of the agricultural efficiency and conservation of resources practiced around the world by smallholders.

Class Dynamics Of Agrarian Change

Author: Henry Bernstein
Publisher: Kumarian Press
ISBN: 1565493567
Size: 56.84 MB
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Development processes are never neutral. They impact various groups and classes of people differently. A high food price may benefit some rich peasants who produce and sell food surplus, but it may disadvantage landless rural laborers. A project on irrigation may benefit those who own the land, but not the landless tenants. Nowadays, official documents by governments and development agencies tend to lump different groups of people into vague categories like rural poor. This might be useful in some cases, but in large part this thinking can harm the poorest of the poor. Using Marx’s theory of capitalism, Class Dynamics of Agrarian Change argues that class dynamics should be the starting point of any analysis of agrarian change. It provides an accessible introduction to agrarian political economy while showing clearly how the argument for bringing class back in provides an alternative to inherited conceptions of the agrarian question. It illustrates what is at stake in different ways of thinking about class dynamics and the effects of agrarian change in today’s globalized world.

Agrarian Change In Tropical Landscapes

Author: Liz Deakin
Publisher: CIFOR
ISBN: 6023870228
Size: 61.35 MB
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Agricultural expansion has transformed and fragmented forest habitats at alarming rates across the globe, but particularly so in tropical landscapes. The resulting land-use configurations encompass varying mosaics of tree cover, human settlements and agricultural land units. Meanwhile, global demand for agricultural commodities is at unprecedented levels. The need to feed nine billion people by 2050 in a world of changing food demands is causing increasing agricultural intensification. As such, market-orientated production systems are now increasingly replacing traditional farming practices, but at what cost? The Agrarian Change project, coordinated by the Center for International Forestry Research, explores the conservation, livelihood and food security implications of land-use and agrarian change processes at the landscape scale. This book provides detailed background information on seven multi-functional landscapes in Ethiopia, Cameroon, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Zambia and Burkina Faso. The focal landscapes were selected as they exhibit various scenarios of changing forest cover, agricultural modification and integration with local and global commodity markets. A standardized research protocol will allow for future comparative analyses between these sites. Each case study chapter provides a comprehensive description of the physical and socioeconomic context of each focal landscape and a structured account of the historical and political drivers of land-use change occurring in the area. Each case study also draws on contemporary information obtained from key informant interviews, focus group discussions and preliminary data collection regarding key topics of interest including: changes in forest cover and dependency on forest products, farming practices, tenure institutions, the role and presence of conservation initiatives, and major economic activities. The follow-on empirical study is already underway in the landscapes described in this book. It examines responses to agrarian change processes at household, farm, village and landscape levels with a focus on poverty levels, food security, dietary diversity and nutrition, agricultural yields, biodiversity, migration and land tenure. This research intends to provide much needed insights into how landscape-scale land-use trajectories manifest in local communities and advance understanding of multi-functional landscapes as socioecological systems.

Agriculture Diversification And Gender In Rural Africa

Author: Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198799284
Size: 27.28 MB
Format: PDF
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Agriculture, Diversification, and Gender in Rural Africa uses a longitudinal cross-country comparative approach to contribute to the understanding of smallholder agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Relying on unique household level data collected in six African countries since 2002, it addresses the dynamics of intensification and diversification within and outside agriculture in contexts where women have much poorer access to agrarian resources than men. Despite a growing interest in smallholder agriculture in Africa, this interest has not been matched by the research on the subject. While recent policies focus on reducing poverty through encouraging smallholder agriculture, there are few studies showing how livelihoods have changed since this time, and especially how such changes may have affected male and female headed households differently. Moreover, agriculture is often viewed in isolation from other types of income generating opportunities, like small scale trading. Agriculture, Diversification, and Gender in Rural Africa looks at how livelihoods have changed over time and how this has affected the relationship between agricultural and non-agricultural sources of livelihoods. In general, women have much poorer access to agricultural sources of income, and for this reason the interplay between farm and non-farm sources of income is especially important to analyse. Providing suggestions for more inclusive policies related to rural development, this edited volume outlines current weaknesses and illustrates potential opportunities for change. It offers a nuanced alternative to the current dominance of structural transformation narratives of agricultural change through adding insights from gender studies as well as village-level studies of agrarian development. It positions change in relation to broader livelihood dynamics outside the farm sector and contextualises them nationally and regionally to provide a necessary analytical adaption to the unfolding empirical realities of rural Africa.

Reclaiming The Land

Author: Sam Moyo
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
ISBN: 1848137656
Size: 47.96 MB
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Rural movements have recently emerged to become some of the most important social forces in opposition to neoliberalism. From Brazil and Mexico to Zimbabwe and the Philippines, rural movements of diverse political character, but all sharing the same social basis of dispossessed peasants and unemployed workers, have used land occupations and other tactics to confront the neoliberal state. This volume brings together for the first time across three continents - Africa, Latin America and Asia - an intellectually consistent set of original investigations into this new generation of rural social movements. These country studies seek to identify their social composition, strategies, tactics, and ideologies; to assess their relations with other social actors, including political parties, urban social movements, and international aid agencies and other institutions; and to examine their most common tactic, the land occupation, its origins, pace and patterns, as well as the responses of governments and landowners. At a more fundamental level, this volume explores the ways in which two decades of neoliberal policy - including new land tenure arrangements intended to hasten the commodification of land, and new land uses linked to global markets -- have undermined the social reproduction of the rural labour force and created the conditions for popular resistance. The volume demonstrates the longer-term potential impact of these movements. In economic terms, they raise the possibility of tackling immiseration by means of the redistribution of land and the reorganisation of production on a more efficient and socially responsible basis. And in political terms, breaking the power of landowners and transnational capital with interests in land could ultimately open the way to an alternative pattern of capital accumulation and development.

Conjugal Rights

Author: Rachel Jean-Baptiste
Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 0821445030
Size: 71.22 MB
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Conjugal Rights is a history of the role of marriage and other arrangements between men and women in Libreville, Gabon, during the French colonial era, from the mid–nineteenth century through 1960. Conventional historiography has depicted women as few in number and of limited influence in African colonial towns, but this book demonstrates that a sexual economy of emotional, social, legal, and physical relationships between men and women indelibly shaped urban life. Bridewealth became a motor of African economic activity, as men and women promised, earned, borrowed, transferred, and absconded with money to facilitate interpersonal relationships. Colonial rule increased the fluidity of customary marriage law, as chiefs and colonial civil servants presided over multiple courts, and city residents strategically chose the legal arena in which to arbitrate a conjugal-sexual conflict. Sexual and domestic relationships with European men allowed some African women to achieve a greater degree of economic and social mobility. An eventual decline of marriage rates resulted in new sexual mores, as women and men sought to rebalance the roles of pleasure, respectability, and legality in having sex outside of kin-sanctioned marriage. Rachel Jean-Baptiste expands the discourse on sexuality in Africa and challenges conventional understandings of urban history beyond the study of the built environment. Marriage and sexual relations determined how people defined themselves as urbanites and shaped the shifting physical landscape of Libreville. Conjugal Rights takes a fresh look at questions of the historical construction of race and ethnicity. Despite the efforts of the French colonial government and society to enforce boundaries between black and white, interracial sexual and domestic relationships persisted. Black and métisse women gained economic and social capital from these relationships, allowing some measure of freedom in the colonial capital city.