Conflicts and alliances between farmers and herders: The case of Goll in Fandène, Senegal

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London, UK: IIED

Co-existence between farmers and herders in the same area is often thought to be a source of potential conflict so far as access to and uses of available resources are concerned. As in most of rural Senegal, the association between agriculture and animal husbandry has always been the rule rather than the exception. In western Senegal, the traditional production system was agro-pastoral, but pressure on land as a result of groundnut cultivation has accelerated the increasing specialization of the production system, thus diminishing the area available for grazing. The paper is an account of the experience of a village in the western groundnut-growing basin of Senegal, Fandène. The paper describes the trend towards sedentarization that the herder families experienced, resulting in the loss of ownership rights to the Goll. Previous conflicts between Peuhl and Wolof are now avoided through the organization of transhumance. The decision to build a major canal through the Goll region has further complicated an already difficult situation. It has brought different interests into play around the ownership and use of the land, which are briefly described in the paper. It examines various alliances against external forces, and the ways in which internal conflicts can be resolved through dialogue. The case study demonstrates that communities are able not only to effectively manage internal conflicts over access to natural resources, but to go further and allow the various sub-groups to forge alliances against outside interests which could endanger their rights of access and use in respect of natural resources. (CAB Abstract)

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Rural development, Tenure system, Conflict, Land use management, Pastoralism, Community development, Social change, Land ownership, Farmers, Herders, Ecosystem Farm/Enterprise Scale Field Scale Governance
Drylands Issue Paper No. 49