Deforestation in the Western and Central African Forest: The Agricultural and Demographic Causes, and some Solutions

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Washington, DC: The World Bank


The author refers to gender-based farming systems, in a rapid population growth situation, as a contributing factor to agricultural stagnation and environmental degradation. Traditionally women cultivate food crops on separate parcels, gather water and fuelwood. As population increases, fuelwood and water become scarce, forcing women to walk farther and for longer periods of time. Consequently, there are more pressures on women's time and ability to carry their farming roles. Women are also restricted in terms of land and capital access as well as extension advice. The author recommends that the role of women be addressed on both education and agricultural investment. The other recommendation include an environmental action plan-creating changes in agricultural research, extension, and investment policy for governments, donors and communities-focusing on small families and developed specifically for each African country.


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Traditional farming, Women, Gender, Gender-based farming


In: Cleaver, K., M. Munasinghe, M. Dyson, N. Egli, A. Peuker and F. Wencelius. Conservation of West and Central African Rainforests (1), 65-78