Food production and consumption representations, in Bafatá e Gabu regions from Guinea-Bissau
Sonia Frias (ISCSP and CEsA/ISEG)
Paper short abstract:
A project on agriculture and food production in Guinea-Bissau aimed to intensify agriculture system and create conditions of resistance to food insecurity. Locally, rice is valued over crops from family gardens wish are consumed only if for some reason women cannot sell it in traditional markets.
Paper long abstract:
We visited the interior of Guinea Bissau as part of a cooperation project on agriculture and food production intensification. The project aimed the induction of changes in the production system and in the food consumption of local populations by introducing new species and new cultivation techniques. Among the objectives of the project (implemented in villages in the Gabu and Bafatá regions) were the encouragement of the transition from traditional family-based agriculture to an income agriculture system and the strengthening of production capacity with the aim of creating conditions of local resistance to food insecurity. Locally, rice is not only the base of the populations diet, it is the income culture par excellence, being considered "months of hunger" those in which there is lack of rice. With the introduction of a tractor and some simple technologies rice production has increased substantially. On the other hand, the implementation of orchards and more efficient irrigation techniques were considered less interesting, thus less attractive. In general peasants from the visited areas do not attribute to the production of orchards or family gardens (where traditionally women plant manioc, peanuts, chili peppers, peppers, tomato, etc.) the value or nobility of rice or corn. The devaluation of these products to the diet is expressive. They are not considered as part of a good diet and they are consumed only if for some reason women cannot sell it in traditional markets.
Food cultures in Africa: food production, consumption, and prestige ranking in the age of development