Agriculture, poverty, and policy reform in Sub-Saharan by Kevin M. Cleaver

By Kevin M. Cleaver

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Often, the-well connected have used their influence to wrest land from its customary owner-occupants. The result has been reduced, rather than improved, tenurial security. In most cases, this has accelerated the breakdown in customary land management and the creation of open access conditions, especially in forest and range areas. In open access conditions, settlement and exploitation by anyone are permitted and environmental degradation is invariably rapid. Where governments allocated individual land titles as in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Cote d'Ivoire this generally ignored the prior existence of customary tenure attangements, and more often than not, the actual results have differed considerably from the stated intent.

With increasing deforestation, combined with growing populations requiring more fuelwood, fuelwood has become scarcer. Women must walk further to fetch it. Increasing populations put greater pressure on available water resources, while environmental degradation reduces the availability and accessibility of water. Women must walk further to fetch water. Time constraints, and inhibited access by women to agricultural credit, land, and extension, give women little choice but to continue practicing traditional low-input, low-productivity fanning which, with sharply shortened fallow periods, is neither environmentally sustainable nor viable in terms of longer-term agricultural productivity.

208 Bindlish and Evenson, Evaluation of the Performance of T&V Extension in Kenya No. 209 Keith, Property Tax: A Practical Manual for Anglophone Africa No. 214 Bonfiglioli, Agro-pastoralism in Chad as a Strategy for Survival: An Essay on the Relationship between Anthropology and Statistics No. 218 Mohan, editor, Bibliography of Publications: Technical Department, Africa RegionJuly 1987 to December 1992 No. 225 Dia, A Governance Approach to Civil Service Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa No. 226 Bindlish, Evenson, and Gbetibouo, Evaluation of T&V-Based Extension in Burkina Faso No.

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