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Sustainability Amidst Diversity: Options for rural households in Mali

T Hilhorst, C Toulmin

Issue paper, 37 pages

This research into sustainable rural livelihoods describes the complexities of local livelihood systems in two villages in Mali, with particular emphasis on the differences between those households whose livelihoods are seen as sustainable and those less able to make ends meet. The research methodology used is explained and discussed, as is the agricultural systems of the two villages. An overview of Mali's recent history is presented to show how this has affected the evolution of agriculture and rural livelihoods. Local institutions, agricultural intensification, livelihood diversification, and migration strategies are discussed in detail, and finally the implications of this research for several key policy areas is summarised.

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