Prickly pear cactus and pastoralism in southwest Madagascar

Jeffrey C. Kaufmann, University of Southern Mississippi


Madagascar's Mahafale cattle raisers have adopted several species of the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) into their subsistence patterns. Their use of Opuntia has had the economic effects of both sedentary and transhumant intensification. It lengthens the stay of pastoralists at their villages and structures the timing of their seasonal migration to distant pastures.