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Swidden Agriculture and Conservation in Eastern Madagascar: Stakeholder Perspectives and Cultural Belief Systems

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Hume, Douglas William
Journal: Conservation and Society
Volume: 4
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2636
Sector: Agriculture
Region: Africa
Subject(s): agriculture
indigenous institutions
Abstract: "This paper describes and discusses several stakeholders' perspectives of agricultural change in eastern Madagascar. The historic and current government-sponsored attempts to facilitate the end of swidden agriculture in eastern Madagascar have largely failed due to particular cultural beliefs held by the rural farmers. The Malagasy government is implementing several agricultural and social policies designed to promote biodiversity conservation and increase crop yields to meet the increased needs of the rising human population. One key aspect of planned agricultural change ignored by the Malagasy government is the impact this change will have on the rural farmers' belief system connected with their traditional agriculture, tavy (swidden agriculture as termed and practised by the Malagasy). As the current plan of the Malagasy government stands, only the political, agricultural, ecological, and economic problems of the agricultural change are part of policymaking. In addition to perspectives from government-sponsored programmes, economic and cultural viewpoints from local rice sellers and rural farmers are presented."

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