The agrarian system Analysis and Diagnosis is used for this study, the goal of which was to provide a corpus of basic knowledge and elements of reflection necessary for the understanding the Niayes
farming systems dynamics in Senegal, West Africa. Such holistic work has never been done before for this small region that provides the majority of vegetables in the area, thanks to its microclimate and access to fresh water in an arid country. Reading of the landscape and historical interviews coupled with fine-tuned household surveys were used to build a typology of agricultural production units (each type being represented by a production system). The main phases within the region’s history were distinguished. Before colonization, agriculture was based on gathering and shifting agriculture (millet and peanut) in the southern region and transhumant stockbreeding in the North. During colonization, market gardening became a source of income as a response to cities’ increasing demand. Two major droughts (in the 1970s and 1980s) have accelerated this movement. Extension of market gardening areas and intensification of activities were made possible by Sahelian migrants’ influx and the creation of mbeye seddo
, a contract that allows for sharing added value between the employer and seasonal workers, named sourghas
. Over the past 20 years, the “race for motorization” has created important social gaps (added value sharing deserves review) and a risk of overexploitation of groundwater.
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