Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

pastoralism Related Abstracts

6 A Pathway to Sustainable Agriculture through Protection and Propagation of Indigenous Livestock Breeds of Pakistan-Cholistani Cattle as a Case Study

Authors: Umer Farooq


The present work is being presented with a general aim of highlighting the role of protection/propagation of indigenous breeds of livestock in an area as a sustainable tool for poverty alleviation. Specifically, the aim is to introduce a formerly neglected Cholistani breed of cattle being reared by the Cholistani desert nomads of Pakistan. The said work will present a detaile account of research work conducted during the last five years by the author. Furthermore, it will present the performance (productive and reproductive traits) of this breed as being reared under various nomadic systems of the desert. Results will be deducted on the basis of the research work conducted on Cholistani cattle and keeping abreast the latest reforms being provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Initiative to Support Pastoralism (WISP) of the UN. The timely attention towards the protection and propagation of this neglected breed of cattle will pave a smoother way towards poverty alleviation of rural/suburban areas and a successful sustainable agriculture in low input production systems such as Pakistan. The 15 recognized indigenous breeds of cattle constitute 43% of the total livestock population in Pakistan and belong to Zebu cattle. These precious breeds are currently under threat and might disappear even before proper documentation until and unless streamlined efforts are diverted towards them. This horrific state is due to many factors such as epidemic diseases, urbanization, indiscriminate crossing with native stock, misdirected cross breeding with exotic stock/semen, inclined livestock systems from extensive (subsistence) to intensive (commercial), lack of valuation of local breeds, decreasing natural resources, environmental degradation and global warming. Hefty work has been documented on many aspects of Sahiwal and Red Sindhi breeds of cattle in their respective local climates which have rightly gained them an international fame as being the vital tropical milk breeds of Pakistan. However, many other indigenous livestock breeds such as Cholistani cattle being reared under pastoral systems of Cholistan are yet unexplored. The productive and reproductive traits under their local climatic conditions need to be studied and the future researches may be streamlined to manipulate their indigenous potential. The timely attention will pave a smoother way towards poverty alleviation of rural/suburban areas and a successful sustainable agriculture in low input production systems.

Keywords: Pakistan, Cholistan desert, indigenous cattle, Sahiwal cattle, pastoralism

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5 Cattle Commodification and Pastoral Identity in the Horn of Africa

Authors: Chanda Burrage


The past half-century has revealed massive structural, geographic, and technological changes in livestock production. The move, for instance, toward expanding export markets, massive feedlots for the fattening of cattle and improved veterinary standards is a global trend in food animal agribusiness and is apparent in both developed and developing regions. In the Horn of Africa, various breeds of cattle that previously were not considered in economic terms are now treated as commodities and branded for numerous export markets. Formerly a culturally significant exchange good within the subsistence pastoral livelihoods, cattle are now identified as a key economic resource and fully connected to global markets. This study incorporates an ethnographic-commodity chain approach to examine critical issues surrounding regional trade, harmonization of standards, import & export legislation, the role of the private sector, and infrastructure development relative to the Boran cattle breed and Borana pastoralists. The specific sites assessed include the cattle production region of Moyale in southern Ethiopia, feedlots and export abattoirs in Adama, Ethiopia, and quarantines and ports in Djibouti and Somaliland. The goal is to evaluate innovation and modernization outcomes and narratives around Boran cattle production and development and the associate livelihood changes for cattle producers in southern Ethiopia and how the smallholder pastoralists are coping with the multitude of global changes. Inevitably, the inherent pressures related to such changes alter, and may even promote the reconfiguration of identity, while inadvertently contribute to the capacity of smallholder cattle producers to act independently and make their own free choices in sustainability. It is through these processes that local Borana groups may appropriate, bypass, or put to new use available and innovative material resources.

Keywords: Globalization, Global Change, Commodification, Vulnerability, Adaptive Capacity, pastoralism

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4 Gilgel Gibe III: Dam-Induced Displacement in Ethiopia and Kenya

Authors: Jonny Beirne


Hydropower developments have come to assume an important role within the Ethiopian government's overall development strategy for the country during the last ten years. The Gilgel Gibe III on the Omo river, due to become operational in September 2014, represents the most ambitious, and controversial, of these projects to date. Further aspects of the government's national development strategy include leasing vast areas of designated 'unused' land for large-scale commercial agricultural projects and 'voluntarily' villagizing scattered, semi-nomadic agro-pastoralist groups to centralized settlements so as to use land and water more efficiently and to better provide essential social services such as education and healthcare. The Lower Omo valley, along the Omo River, is one of the sites of this villagization programme as well as of these large-scale commercial agricultural projects which are made possible owing to the regulation of the river's flow by Gibe III. Though the Ethiopian government cite many positive aspects of these agricultural and hydropower developments there are still expected to be serious regional and transnational effects, including on migration flows, in an area already characterized by increasing climatic vulnerability with attendant population movements and conflicts over scarce resources. The following paper is an attempt to track actual and anticipated migration flows resulting from the construction of Gibe III in the immediate vicinity of the dam, downstream in the Lower Omo Valley and across the border in Kenya around Lake Turkana. In the case of those displaced in the Lower Omo Valley, this will be considered in view of the distinction between voluntary villagization and forced resettlement. The research presented is not primary-source material. Instead, it is drawn from the reports and assessments of the Ethiopian government, rights-based groups, and academic researchers as well as media articles. It is hoped that this will serve to draw greater attention to the issue and encourage further methodological research on the dynamics of dam constructions (and associated large-scale irrigation schemes) on migration flows and on the ultimate experience of displacement and resettlement for environmental migrants in the region.

Keywords: Migration, Development, human security, Human Rights, Dams, livelihoods, pastoralism, forced displacement, voluntary resettlement, land grabs, commercial agriculture, ecosystem modification, natural resource conflict

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3 Eco-Survivalism and Nomadic Pastoralism: An Exploratory Study on the Dialectics of Herder-Farmer Conflict in Nigeria

Authors: Francis N. Okpaleke


The threat of Fulani herder militancy in Nigeria has led to a volatile security situation characterized by communal strife, arms proliferation, rural banditry, and insurgency. The exigency of this situation resonates in the eco-survivalist theory of farmer-herder conflict which holds that the herder deems the farmers’ unwarranted incursions into his grazing terrain as an effrontery that must reprised and a call to war. In spite of the rising incidence of Fulani militancy in Nigeria, only little is known concerning the phenomenon. The bulk of prevailing ideas on the subject has been largely and unnecessarily journalistic and anecdotal, lacking in intellectual depth, fecundity and rigour. The issue has remained scarcely documented by way of organized research. There is therefore a need for a systematic investigation that would leverage scholarly and policy insights on the subject which is the purpose of this study. The study will therefore, seek to examine the nexus between nomadic pastoralism and the incidence of herder-farmer conflicts in Nigeria with particular reference to the central region of the country. By means of qualitative descriptive analysis predicated on the theory of eco-violence, the paper explores the contemporary historical and structural drivers of this conflict, its relationship with the dynamics of climate change in Nigeria and its implication of human security in Nigeria. The paper also proffers theoretical and policy recommendations to mitigate the onto ward conflict.

Keywords: Conflict, pastoralism, eco-survivalism, nomads

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2 Determinants of Pastoral Women's Demand for Credit: Evidence from Northern Kenya

Authors: Anne Gesare Timu, Megan Sheahan, Andrew Gache Mude, Rupsha Banerjee


Women headed households are among the most vulnerable to negative climatic shocks and are often left poorer as a result. Credit provision has been recognized as one way of alleviating rural poverty and developing poor rural households’ resilience to shocks. Much has been documented about credit demand in small-holder agriculture settings in Kenya. However, little is known about demand for credit among pastoral women. This paper analyzes the determinants of demand for credit in the pastoral regions of Marsabit District of Northern Kenya. Using a five wave balanced panel data set of 820 households, a double hurdle model is employed to analyze if shocks, financial literacy and risk aversion affect credit demand among female and male headed households differently. The results show that borrowing goods on credit and monetary credit from informal market segments are the most common sources of credit in the study area. The impact of livestock loss and financial literacy on the decision to borrow and how much to borrow vary with gender. While the paper suggests that provision of credit is particularly valuable in the aftermath of a negative shock and more so for female-headed households, it also explores alternatives to the provision of credit where credit access is a constraint. It recommends further understanding of systems and institutions which could enhance access to credit, and particularly during times of stress, to enable households in the study area in particular and Northern Kenya in general to invest, engage in meaningful development and growth, and be resilient to persistent shocks.

Keywords: pastoralism, female headed households, rural financing, double hurdle model

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1 Weaving Social Development: An Exploratory Study of Adapting Traditional Textiles Using Indigenous Organic Wool for the Modern Interior Textiles Market

Authors: Seema Singh, Puja Anand, Alok Bhasin


The interior design profession aims to create aesthetically pleasing design solutions for human habitats but of late, growing awareness about depleting environmental resources, both tangible and intangible, and damages to the eco-system led to the quest for creating healthy and sustainable interior environments. The paper proposes adapting traditionally produced organic wool textiles for the mainstream interior design industry. This can create sustainable livelihoods whereby eco-friendly bridges can be built between Interior designers and consumers and pastoral communities. This study focuses on traditional textiles produced by two pastoral communities from India that use organic wool from indigenous sheep varieties. The Gaddi communities of Himachal Pradesh use wool from the Gaddi sheep breed to create Pattu (a multi-purpose textile). The Kurumas of Telangana weave a blanket called the Gongadi, using wool from the Black Deccani variety of sheep. These communities have traditionally reared indigenous sheep breeds for their wool and produce hand-spun and hand-woven textiles for their own consumption, using traditional processes that are chemical free. Based on data collected personally from field visits and documentation of traditional crafts of these pastoral communities, and using traditionally produced indigenous organic wool, the authors have developed innovative textile samples by including design interventions and exploring dyeing and weaving techniques. As part of the secondary research, the role of pastoralism in sustaining the eco-systems of Himachal Pradesh and Telangana was studied, and also the role of organic wool in creating healthy interior environments. The authors found that natural wool from indigenous sheep breeds can be used to create interior textiles that have the potential to be marketed to an urban audience, and this will help create earnings for pastoral communities. Literature studies have shown that organic & sustainable wool can reduce indoor pollution & toxicity levels in interiors and further help in creating healthier interior environments. Revival of indigenous breeds of sheep can further help in rejuvenating dying crafts, and promotion of these indigenous textiles can help in sustaining traditional eco-systems and the pastoral communities whose way of life is endangered today. Based on research and findings, the authors propose that adapting traditional textiles can have potential for application in Interiors, creating eco-friendly spaces. Interior textiles produced through such sustainable processes can help reduce indoor pollution, give livelihood opportunities to traditional economies, and leave almost zero carbon foot-print while being in sync with available natural resources, hence ultimately benefiting the society. The win-win situation for all the stakeholders in this eco-friendly model makes it pertinent to re-think how we design lifestyle textiles for interiors. This study illustrates a specific example from the two pastoral communities and can be used as a model that can work equally well in any community, regardless of geography.

Keywords: Sustainability, Indigenous, pastoralism, design intervention, eco- friendly, healthy interiors, organic wool

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