Nelly Bassily | May 10, 2010
Pastoralists often make their living on “marginal lands;” dry or semi-arid lands where it would be difficult to cultivate crops. Because of this, pastoralist livelihoods can be very susceptible to climate change. As we read in this week’s story, pastoralist communities are discovering new ways to maintain their incomes in the face of change. At the same time, advocacy organizations are working to raise awareness of the value of pastoralism and generate support for traditional pastoralist lifestyles.
These stories from past editions of FRW look at the value of pastoralism and how pastoralists are adapting to climatic changes:
-“East Africa: ‘Devil tree’ forces pastoralists to consider new livelihoods” (FRW# 90, November 2009)
-“West Africa: Pastoralists meet new challenges – in the field and the market” (FRW# 52, January 2009)
-“Kenya: Livestock insurance will protect livelihoods from drought and floods” (FRW# 89, November 2009)
-“East Africa: The hidden value of pastoralism” (FRW# 74, July 2009)
Here are some Farm Radio International scripts on the subject of pastoralism:
–Camels provide farmers in drylands with milk and income (Package 76, Script 4, October 2005)
–The role of native breeds in maintaining livestock health: Story ideas for the radio (Package 63, Script 3, April 2002)
–Livestock management practices to cope with climate change (Package 84, Script 7, August 2008)
–A mystery at the dairy: The importance of proper sanitation when working with animals (Package 63, Script 6, April 2002)
Finally, here are some questions to begin a local discussion or debate on the importance of livestock rearing and pastoralism to ensuring food security:
-What types of investments does your national government make in livestock rearing?
-Are there pastoralist networks in your region? What sort of services do they offer to herders?
-What access do pastoralists have to livestock markets? Can they obtain information on market prices to empower them in sales negotiations?
-What sort of income-generating activities do pastoralist women engage in?
-How do pastoralists in your region ensure adequate access to water and pasture during dry periods?
-How are conflicts between herders and farmers resolved? What are the best mediation strategies to assure food security for both groups?