Shifting ground land competition and agricultural change in Northern cote d' ivoire

Thomas J. Bassett, Moussa Koné

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper examines changing land use patterns and heightened competition over land in northern Côte d'Ivoire between 1984 and 2004. Land use is diversifying from an earlier emphasis on cotton and food crops to one that now includes tree crops, notably cashews and mangoes. Rather than abandoning cotton, farmers are extensifying production by spreading costly agricultural inputs over a larger than recommended area. This shift from agricultural intensification to more extensive cotton growing and tree planting is changing the countryside. Land competition is manifest in the expansion of cotton fields and orchards at the expense of rangelands, in land disputes among customary land managers, and in the monetization of customary land lending practices and grazing rights. The paper situates these new land use and land competition dynamics in the context of (1) economic and political crises that have made cotton growing increasingly unattractive, and (2) impending changes in how land is held in Côte d'Ivoire following the passage of a new land law in 1998. The flurry of tree planting and competing land claims reveals how individuals and groups are positioning themselves in relation to the uncertainties ushered in by the new agrarian (dis)order. The case study of the Katiali region illustrates the social and economic dynamics of land use and land cover change at the local scale and how these are related to wider national and international processes linked to neoliberal economic reforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLand-Change Science in the Tropics
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Agricultural Landscapes
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780387788630
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Shifting ground land competition and agricultural change in Northern cote d' ivoire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this