Many pastoralists are finding it increasingly difficult to access pastoral resources in the Sudanian savannahs of West Africa as more and more pastures are put under cultivation. When pressure on land increases they move to the remaining areas where grazing is still abundant – a strategy that works for the time being, but which may not be sustainable in the long term given the pace of land clearance for agricultural activities. This situation raises a question that is explored in this paper: why are pastoralists unable to protect pastures in these regions from agricultural expansion?
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