Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 119–128 | Cite as

Crop–livestock interactions in agricultural and pastoral systems in West Africa

  • Mark MoritzEmail author


Driven by population pressures on natural resources, peri-urban pastoralists in the Far North Province of Cameroon have recently intensified livestock production in their traditional pastoral system by feeding their cattle cottonseed cakes and other agricultural byproducts to cope with the disappearance of rangelands typically available through the dry season. Although the crop–livestock interactions in this altered intensive pastoral system seem similar to alterations recently named in mixed-farming systems in West Africa, they are distinctly different and would require a different type of agricultural development support. I use Bourdieu’s theoretical constructs of “habitus” and “capital” to explain those differences.


Agricultural intensification Mixed-farming Pastoral systems Practice theory West Africa 



The National Science Foundation (BCS-9910557), the Wenner-Gren Foundation (Gr. 6661), the International Studies and Overseas Program (UCLA), the Anthropology Department at UCLA, and the James S. Coleman African Studies Center (UCLA) have supported this research. I thank the University of Ngaoundére, Cameroon for granting research permission and research affiliation during my study in 2000–2001. I also want to thank Parker Shipton and Mats Widgren for comments on an earlier version of this article presented at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington DC in 2007. I also would like to thank Jeffrey Cohen, Colin West, the editor Harvey James and three anonymous reviewers for their insightful and useful critiques.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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