PaulineB

PaulineB

The term “smallholder” really is not accurate for subsistence farmers in Africa, where land is often not “held” by farmers themselves but they are allowed to use it. It is rather “held” communally, with no legal tenure, just culturally accepted norms upheld by the group. That makes it difficult to introduce new technology or farming method. In many cases, farming is merely sticking a root into the ground among other growth, especially in tropical or semi-tropical climes. It is hard to distinguish where the farm boundaries begin and end, though the farmer knows. Another problem is farmer/herder clashes In Nigeria, these conflicts are causing more deaths than terrorist attacks from Boko Haram. Herders have traditionally been nomadic and expect freedom of movement but climate change has expanded the Sahara, forcing herders to seek grazing land in areas traditionally harvested for crops. The “smallholder” terminology does not apply here either.