How social organization shapes crop diversity: an ecological anthropology approach among Tharaka farmers of Mount Kenya

Labeyrie Vanesse, Rono Bernard, Leclerc Christian. 2014. How social organization shapes crop diversity: an ecological anthropology approach among Tharaka farmers of Mount Kenya. Agriculture and Human Values, 31 (1) : pp. 97-107.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Quartile : Outlier, Sujet : HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (Science) / Quartile : Outlier, Sujet : HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (Social Sciences) / Quartile : Q1, Sujet : SOCIOLOGY / Quartile : Q1, Sujet : AGRICULTURE, MULTIDISCIPLINARY

Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Economie-gestion

Abstract : The conservation of in situ crop diversity is a key issue to ensure food security. Understanding the processes that shape it is crucial for efficiently managing such diversity. In most rural societies, crop diversity patterns are affected by farmers' practices of seed exchange, transmission, and selection, but the role of social organization in shaping those practices has been overlooked. This study proposes an ecological anthropology approach to investigate the relation between crop diversity patterns and the social organization of Tharaka farmers in Kenya. The Tharaka are organized in neighborhood-groups, clans, and age-sets. We quantified the influence of these three major social institutions on crop diversity patterns, for both crop species and sorghum landraces. General linear models were used to test the relations between crop species richness and each social factor, while the crop species and sorghum landraces compositions of cropping systems were compared separately through a between-class correspondence analysis. Crop species and sorghum landraces are not randomly distributed among farms, and neighborhood-groups constitute a significant factor organizing crop diversity at both specific and infraspecific levels. Adjacent neighborhood-groups present significantly different crop richness and composition. The results for species were consistent with those obtained for sorghum landraces, confirming that crop diversity was socially structured. The influence of social organization on seed networks and selection processes is discussed. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Plante de culture, Sorghum

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Kenya

Classification Agris : F08 - Cropping patterns and systems
E50 - Rural sociology

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2014-2018) - Agriculture écologiquement intensive

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Labeyrie Vanesse, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR AGAP (FRA)
  • Rono Bernard, KARI (KEN)
  • Leclerc Christian, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR AGAP (FRA)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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