‘Things fall apart? Management, environment and Taungya farming in Edo State, Southern Nigeria’

von Hellermann, Pauline. 2007. ‘Things fall apart? Management, environment and Taungya farming in Edo State, Southern Nigeria’. Africa, 77(3), pp. 371-392. ISSN 0001-9720 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Environmental degradation in Africa is often linked to management failure and political decline. One example of this is the dominant understanding of the unfolding of Taungya farming in Southern Nigeria in recent decades. An agro-forestry method of afforestation introduced by the colonial Forest Department in the 1920s and widespread by the 1960s, it is now perceived as a means of destroying the forest. Indeed, whilst reserve land continues to be allocated for Taungya farming, today, due to the Forest Department's political and economic difficulties, no more trees are planted. But this does not necessarily constitute a political and environmental crisis. Through an ethnographic and historical study of Taungya farming in the Okomu Reserve in Edo State, this article shows not only that there were always problems with Taungya as a method of afforestation, but also that its recent transformation may be seen as quite successful, both socially and environmentally. In this way, the article challenges both the ‘crisis’ perception of Taungya farming today and conventional ideas about what constitutes proper management and mismanagement.

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August 2007Published

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30 Jun 2015 14:26

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17 Jul 2020 11:40

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