and diversity of Sudano-Sahelian agriculture
Sahelian and Sudanese African countries are subject to difficult conditions: There is one single rainy season, with brief and irregular rains, and soils are poor and fragile.The cultivated plants, the technics used, and the combination of agriculture and cattle raising, testify to a great capacity for adaptation among these peasants. The quest for security is one of their main objectives.
Nevertheless local conditions are diverse. From north to south, rainfall increases, the diversity of possible crops is enhanced, and production yields rise. Social, historical, and political backgrounds, as well as demographic contrasts, also help to explain the great diversity of the farming systems used.
Today, the population is still growing faster than production yields. In some places the over-exploitation of soils is alarming.Nonetheless, some new forms of organisation and local farmer initiatives are emerging.