Image Database Export Citations


What if Commonly Managed Resources Are Privatised? Bio-Economic Models to Explore Resource Use Change in Rural Niger

Show full item record

Type: Conference Paper
Author: La Rovere, R.; Hiernaux, Pierre; Szonyi, J. A.; Van Keulen, H.
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Global Transition: Challenges, Risks and Opportunities, the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Conf. Date: August 9-13
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2222
Sector: Grazing
Region: Africa
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
Abstract: "In the semi-arid systems of the Sahel, agricultural production centres on pastoralism and crop-livestock integration. Animals mobilize soil fertility through manure production, graze crop by-products, and transfer nutrients from pastures to cropped areas. Yet various interacting factors (climatic variability, poverty, institutional constraints) limit the capacity of agricultural production to keep pace with the mounting needs of rising human and animal populations. Major local trends associated with population growth and intensification are: increasing cropping intensities which, with the expansion of cropland at the expense of rangelands, and the resulting breakdown of the fallow system, lead to declining soil fertility and low crop yields; seasonal migration of labourers and traditional transhumance of herds; and reduced access to and availability of good quality open-access grazing resources. The latter could, in the future, cause the socio-economic and agro-ecological spheres of current farming systems to evolve towards an increased privatisation of common property grazing resources (CPR). The study examines the potential implications of this evolution, by exploring the impact that the integrated management of livestock and crops in rural communities of southwestern Niger has upon the performance and livelihoods of differently endowed farms, and upon agro-ecosystem functions. "Different scenarios compare three sub-sites 2 that differ in terms of their farming pressure, and to simulate the different future outcomes that would occur when more intensive forms of management would prevail. We use an innovative analytical approach based on explorative bio-economic non-linear optimisation models to compare selected farm type performance indicators to reveal key socio-economic and ecological trade-offs and simulate the dynamic effects of reaching critical natural resource use and social thresholds, recursively projected to 2020 futures. It reveals that, if current agro-ecosystems evolve toward an increased privatisation of grazing resource use, soil fertility is likely to deteriorate on the lands managed by the semi-nomadic agro-pastoral groups and improve on those managed by the livestock-scarce villagers, though at the cost of declining farm incomes. The agro-pastoral groups are likely to resort increasingly to more distant pastures for feed, while the village- based, livestock-endowed farms to on-farm crop residues. Intensification, though associated with relative decreases in real incomes, will enhance food security, except for the poorer residing in villages. The study shows that soil fertility does not irreversibly deteriorate with intensification. Owning livestock can allow some farms to achieve food security and maintain soil fertility by capturing and mobilising soil nutrients. Intensification will bring socio-economic gains but its benefits will be unevenly distributed. The poor village people above all will face hardship or be forced to migrate."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
LaRovere_What_040427_Paper121.pdf 327.1Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record