Niger is characterized by political instability, which has led to conflicts and food security crises. The country is one of the poorest in the world, and in 2003 agriculture accounted for 17% of the total GDP. Approximately 83% of the population is rural, and 60% of it does not have access to safe drinking water.
The farmer and the cowman, the musical Oklahoma tells us, should be friends. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, a remarkable young African woman who campaigns for land rights for her pastoralist Mbororo people, would agree.
She believes grazing and cultivating communities can benefit each other, in a traditional seasonal synergy. “It starts with cowshit,” she explains disarmingly. The dung dropped by the Mbororo’s cattle, roaming vast areas across Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and the Central African Republic, is an essential source of fertility for crops after they have moved on.
This research focuses on the livelihoods of pastoralists who reside in Abalak, Niger. It analyses the method of pastoralism practised by pastoralists in Abalak and the impact of regional, national and local policies on their livelihoods. (Written by Oussouby Touré).
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