Questioning desertification in dryland sub–Saharan Africa

$48.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Download / Buy Article:


Signs of desertification in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s were closely linked to rainfall fluctuations. There may now be an upward trend in the Sahel, but climate change models do not yet provide reliable predictions of rainfall. As family farms become smaller under conditions of population growth, some people move to new areas or new occupations (urban population is growing much faster than rural) and farmers attempt to raise the value of output (crops or livestock) per hectare. Long–term data for selected countries and areas provide some evidence of positive trends. Case studies show that adaptive strategies of small farmers include techniques to improve fertility, conserve water, manage trees, increase livestock, and take advantage of changing markets. However, their investments in improving land and productivity are constrained by poverty. Governments can best help by improving market access and opportunities for non–farm activities. The region’s climate is characterized by variable rainfall, which means that droughts will continue to occur unpredictably.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Crewkerne, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2002

Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more