Revealing gendered landscapes: Female knowledge and agroforestry of African shea

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Canadian Association of African Studies

This article discusses how local gendered knowledge and practices in the shea agroforestry production in West Africa shape landscapes over time and space. Using political ecology, the article also discusses how shea nut production has been influenced and controlled by regional and global markets throughout pre-colonial, colonial, and contemporary histories. Using fieldwork studies in West Africa from 2001 to 2004, these authors specifically explore local indigenous knowledge, and the role of women's knowledge, conservation, and control over shea butter and oil production. In shea agroforestry, women cultivate and conserve the trees through seed selection, fire, processing, and protection. Emphasis is centered on the need to recognize local men and women's knowledge of the butter tree and the landscape for sustainable resource management and development.

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Commodity crops, Agrobiodiversity, Family, Conservation, Economic impacts, Traditional farming, Tree crops, Ethnicity/race, Environmental impacts, Empowerment, Community development, Fire, Women, Indigenous community, Government policy, Gender, Agroforestry, Local knowledge, Government, Men, Forests, Agricultural ecosystems, Indigenous knowledge, Gender, Agroforestry, Africa, Mali, Guinea, Farming, Local knowledge, Fire, Conservation, Colonialization, Global markets, Trees, Farm/Enterprise Scale Field Scale Governance
Canadian Journal of African Studies 40(2): 235-267