Defining the poor by the rural communities of Burkina Faso: implications for the development of sustainable parkland management

Belem, M. and Bayala, J. and Kalinganire, A. (2011) Defining the poor by the rural communities of Burkina Faso: implications for the development of sustainable parkland management. Agroforestry Systems, 83 (3). pp. 287-302.

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Parklands are mixtures of trees and shrubs that farmers select for certain functions. In the Sahel, parklands are cultivated together with staple food crops, such as millet and sorghum. Parkland trees are sources of foods, including fruits, fats, oils, leafy vegetables, nuts and condiments that complement food crops in the local diet. Despite their socio-economic and ecological role, many studies have shown that the parklands are degrading very rapidly. Therefore, there is a need to undertake restoration actions that are based on a clear understanding of the livelihood context, such as the wealth status of the farmers, in which these agroecosystems are evolving. Thus, we conducted a wealth survey with rural communities in two different farming systems of Burkina Faso that are the cereal-based system in the “Plateau Central” and the cotton-based system in the “Boucle du Mouhoun”. A total of twelve villages were sampled, six villages for each system. The Participatory Analysis of Poverty and Livelihood Dynamics (PAPoLD) method was used by rural farmers to rank farmer households of their communities according to their wealth status. The results revealed that 70% of households in the Plateau Central and 56% in the “Boucle du Mouhoun” managed to escape poverty, and became wealthy. However, 2% of households of the villages in the Plateau Central and 6% in “Boucle du Mouhoun” fell into poverty in the same period whereas 9 and 12% remained poor in these zones, respectively. The main causes associated with households getting out of poverty are subsidies for cotton, external revenues from relatives working in towns and gardening activities. Death of spouse, illness, high number of people in the household and indebtedness are the main causes that lead into poverty. The implications of these findings in designing appropriate policies and management options for a sustainable management of agroforestry parklands under different land use systems were finally discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We are grateful to the collaboration provided by farmers of the 12 villages during data collection. We thank Abbeg Christoph, Sampougdou Alexis, Bado Olivier, Koura Paulin and Ouedraogo Abdoul Karim for field assistance. The International Research Development Centre (IRDC) is thanked for funding the Tree Biodiversity Project, and the Government of Burkina Faso through the ‘Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)’ for their contribution to the implementation of this collaborative initiative. Finally, anonymous reviewers have helped to improve the quality of this article.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Farming system, PAPoLD, Parklands, Poverty, Wealth status
Author Affiliation: INERA(Burkina Faso); World Agroforestry Centre(Bamako, Mali)
Subjects: Plant Production > Farming Systems
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2012 05:31
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2012 05:31
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