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Beyond controversy, putting a livestock footprint on the map of the Senegal River delta

Bourgoin J., Diop D., Touré L., Grislain Q., Interdonato R., Dieye M., Corniaux C., Meunier J., Dia D., Seck S.M.. 2022. Land Use Policy, 120 : 13 p..

DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2022.106232

The Senegalese delta, like many other agricultural territories in the Global South, is experiencing changes in agricultural trajectory. These changes are related to the promotion of competitive and performance-based forms of agriculture. In a context of tense relations between farmers and herders, the quest for equitable access to land, which is a guarantee of peace, stability, and balanced economic and social development, is being called into question by the arrival of capital investors and new actors that are highly supported by the State. This situation raises questions about two important issues: (i) the challenge of the sustainable management of natural resources, especially land; and (ii) the socio-political stakes related to the fact that land is a sensitive resource, both politically and socially. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that dominant discourses are being built around representation of unused and available lands. The aim of this article is to address this controversy by questioning land-use planning processes and tools and underlining the reality depicted. We demonstrate that discourses around land availability are built upon sectoral visions that tend to overshadow the realities of land use. Indeed, livestock farming and particularly its mobile form (i.e., pastoralism) is rendered invisible by not being considered in the majority of land-use and agricultural policies. Through a participatory survey of campsites, we show that gathering basic information on livestock farming should not to be reduced to technical issues. Beyond that, we acknowledge that these land-use issues are rooted in sector-based and neoliberal visions of development. We conclude by discussing the importance of effective decentralization in financial and technical means and the development of systemic proficiency that goes beyond normative sectoral views to acknowledge and act on territorial development.

Mots-clés : utilisation des terres; accès à la terre; politique agricole; politique foncière; changement dans l'usage des terrres; aménagement du territoire; développement agricole; développement économique; gestion des ressources naturelles; sénégal; politique d'élevage; développement territorial

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