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Title:Growing cotton: Household negotiations in export-oriented agriculture in Africa, Burkina Faso
Author(s):Somé, Batamaka
Director of Research:Saul, Mahir
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Saul, Mahir
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bunzl, Matti; Bassett, Thomas J.; Torres, Arlene
Department / Program:Anthropology
Discipline:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):gender
household
commercial farming
women
agriculture
labor
West Africa
Burkina Faso
cotton
food crops
cash crops
development
globalization
intrahousehold
farmers
rural
gender negotiations
bargaining
head of household
land
social capital
researcher's identity
native anthropology
development anthropology
export agriculture
African agriculture.
Abstract:Conventional knowledge assumes that production of cash/export crops jeopardizes household food crop production in developing economies, and above all, mars women’s potential for economic autonomy. In Southwest Burkina Faso, observations in cotton-producing households appear to challenge such assumptions. Cotton is the driver of food crop production; and members of cotton farming households operate within a framework of negotiations and bargaining to attain production objectives. Still more, some developments in the cotton sector opened unexpected avenues for some women, in Southwest Burkina, to produce cotton independently from the conventional cotton farms owned by the male head of household. This dissertation asks why some smallholder farmers in Southwest Burkina choose to grow cotton in addition to commonly grown food-crops, and how this impacts relations between spouses, and parents and children within the household. It reaches the conclusion that a host of complex factors influence smallholder farmers’ decision to produce cotton, which requires looking beyond the need for greater cash incomes. The research methodology combines participant observations, informal interviews, conversations, focus groups, life histories, and social interactions, with formal surveying methods. This study contributes to ongoing theoretical debates on intrahousehold relations, and women’s access to resources in a growing cash crop economy in Africa, and the Global South. It also revisits the discussions phrased in terms of agency and rationality in actions among farming households. More broadly, it can contribute to reconcile cash and food cropping, and suggest tools for the economic empowerment of rural women through their full integration in cash farming.
Issue Date:2010-08-31
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16957
Rights Information:Copyright Batamaka Somé
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-31
2012-09-07
Date Deposited:2010-08


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