, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 131-136

Live fences in Ségou, Mali : an evaluation by their early users

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Market-oriented production of gardening crops and cassava (Manihot utilissima) in the dry season is an increasingly frequent practice in Ségou, Mali. Traditionally, these crops are protected from roaming livestock with the help of dead fences. In order to provide a sustainable alternative to dead fences, the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) began promoting the use of live fences, living trees planted closely together around a field plot. This study was conducted with the first farmers to use these live fences. These farmers expressed satisfaction with the protection offered by the trees and their ability to provide a variety of medicinal, economic, and food products. The form of land tenure, the social status of farmers within their families, and the availability of labour seem to be important factors in the decision to test the live fence. This raises questions about the accessibility of this technique and its possible contribution to the social and economic differentiation of its users.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.