Structural Adjustment and African Women Farmers

By Christina H. Gladwin; Center for African Studies University of Florida | Go to book overview

ily designated the Yoruba as a "male farming system." But the longest tradition seems to be for all adults to generate resources to meet their own ritual and social obligations. Short of a cultural revolution, women will continue to generate economic niches that allow them to do this, and indeed try to make the greater contributions that the high prices induced by SAP demand.


NOTES
1.
See Berry ( 1987) for the concept of the "disappearing peasantry" applied to the oil boom period. Colonial agricultural history contains cases of unanticipated responsiveness, for example the massive expansion of cassava production for starch during World War II that resulted in destruction of some of the commodity, and administrative plans for regional specialization to prevent the demise of the oil palm economy in favor of cassava. Nigerian produce pours over the borders into the franc zone under some conditions and pours in the other direction under others. During the present period, "camels ... [are] ... used to smuggle grains ... for Maradi and other towns in the Republic of Niger" ( Daily Times, January 22, 1988. For historical cases, see Watts 1987b).
2.
"Foreign Flour Floods Market--Mill Boss" ( Daily Times, March 17, 1988), but "Brewers and Bakers Grumble but Govt Insists on Ban on Wheat Importation" ( The Nigerian Economist, April 27-May 10, 1988).
3.
For example, "a friend involved in major agribusiness ... needed large local supplies of maize to replace the easy access to large-scale importation before the recent ban. A group of women had been worrying him as to what business they could do with his organization. He thought he had dismissed them when he retorted that if they could supply his organi with six lorry loads of grains every day, he would pay them cash down. They disappeared for a week or two. Indeed, he thought he had got rid of them. Then one day about ten days later the lorries started to roll in and neither side has looked back since then" ( Mabogunje 1989)
4.
"Food Crisis Looms. Poor Harvest All Over" ( Daily Times, January 18, 1988). "(A) Bag of Maize That Was Sold for N25 This Time Last Year, Now Sells for Over a Hundred Naira" ( Newswatch, February 29, 1988).
5.
Field work was undertaken in 1968-69, the summer of 1987, January to March 1988, and the summer of 1988. I worked from a basic sample of 66 farmers from the small town of Idere and three of its farming villages. In 1988, I reinterviewed the 35 farmers from the old sample who were still farming around Idere (33 men and 2 women) and 8 who were not, and added three new categories--a cohort of young men (17), women (38) and mid-scale farmers (9)--as well as carrying out interviews with landowners, a lawyer, tractor owners, chiefs, farm laborers, traders, transporters, market mediators (pàràkòyí) and others.

-277-

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