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Social Networks and the Dynamics of Soil and Water Conservation in the Sahel

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Mazzucato, Valentina; Niemeijer, David; Stroosnijder, Leo; Röling, Niels
Date: 2001
Agency: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London
Series: Gatekeeper Series, no. 101
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6168
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Subject(s): soil
water supply
land degradation
Abstract: "Soil and water conservation projects in Africa have, at best, a patchy record. New policies and practice are needed. This paper presents the results of an integrated approach to the study of soil and water conservation and discusses the validity of some of the major assumptions that continue to shape soil and water conservation policies and interventions. The paper analyses quantitative and qualitative data collected at both the national and village level in Burkina Faso between 1994 to 1998. Contrary to the dominant degradation narrative that depicts African farmers as miners of their soil nutrients, this study found no evidence that soil fertility is declining, despite increasing population pressure and declining rainfall. Farmers were found to be well aware of land degradation processes and how to halt these, making use of a wide range of soil and water conservation technologies applied in a flexible and adaptive way."

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