Pastoralism

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Pastoralism is changing. Food crises and a lack of government support are fuelling concerns that pastoralist livelihoods are unviable, both as a way of life and a system of producing food.

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Yet new opportunities are opening up: better communications, transport and large shifts in trade are changing the commercial landscape. And some governments are embracing pastoralism more closely than before as part of their economic strategy.

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The Future Agricultures Consortium is investigating the changing landscape of pastoralism in the Horn of Africa. We are examining who wins and loses from the changes taking place, and why.? We are also looking at the new forms pastoralism is taking, and how pastoralists are responding to change in different ways.


Latest articles

Regional dialogue on Pastoralism and the ‘New Alliance’, June 2014
October 10, 2014 / Pastoralism
A regional dialogue in Addis Ababa on 10 June 2014 explored how the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition can be harnessed to strengthen food security and nutrition for populations living in pastoral areas. The event, organised by Future

Pastoralism, politics and violence
Pastoralism, politics and violence
July 2, 2014 / Pastoralism
Two new working papers present studies of conflict among pastoralists and other groups in two regions of the Horn of Africa and an area of Northern Namibia. Pastoralists are responding to social and economic changes in different ways. Understanding the

Pastoralism in Ethiopia: new briefings and paper
Pastoralism in Ethiopia: new briefings and paper
June 4, 2014 / Pastoralism
The pastoral areas of the Horn of Africa are some of the most dynamic economically on the continent, with a combined export and domestic livestock trade surpassing $1 billion per annum. Livestock marketing is driving urban and small town growth,

Opening ‘policy space’ for pastoralism in Kenya
Opening ‘policy space’ for pastoralism in Kenya
September 6, 2013 / Pastoralism
Pastoralism in Kenya has been neglected and understood. A new government Ministry was formed in 2008 aimed to create policy and institutional change. A new Working Paper by Izzy Birch and Mohamed Elmi tells the story of the Ministry. It

Pastoralist innovation in Kenya
Pastoralist innovation in Kenya
May 17, 2013 / Pastoralism
On 29th April 2013 the RVI hosted a seminar to discuss the book Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins, in collaboration with the Future Agricultures Consortium. The seminar brought together researchers, policy makers and practitioners to

Pastoralism book launch, Kenya: video & audio
Pastoralism book launch, Kenya: video & audio
February 18, 2013 / Pastoralism
The book Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins had its Kenya launch in Nairobi on 13 February 2013. The keynote speaker was Hon. Mohamed Elmi, Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid

Learning from pastoralists on climate change
Learning from pastoralists on climate change
January 7, 2013 / Pastoralism
Change is sweeping the Greater Horn of Africa and many of the other drylands of the world. New threats are appearing, as well as opportunities. In a new post on the ILRI blog, Susan MacMillan looks at the section on

Book: Pastoralism and Development in Africa
Book: Pastoralism and Development in Africa
July 9, 2012 / Pastoralism
This book gives a view of ‘development at the margins’ in the pastoral areas of the Horn of Africa. Edited by Andy Catley, Jeremy Lind and Ian Scoones, Pastoralism and Development In Africa highlights innovation and entrepreneurialism, cooperation, networking and

Studies on the economic contributions of livestock in North and East Africa
Studies on the economic contributions of livestock in North and East Africa
March 7, 2012 / Pastoralism
Livestock is important to the economies of countries in Northern and Eastern Africa, and there has been a need to demonstrate this contribution. The FAO IGAD Livestock Policy Initiative has published a series of studies by Roy Behnke (together with

Project: The politics of changing pastoral livelihoods in the Horn of Africa
Project: The politics of changing pastoral livelihoods in the Horn of Africa
February 29, 2012 / Pastoralism
This project explores how changes in social, economic and political systems in the Horn of Africa are changing the nature of pastoralism, and the new types of pastoralism that are emerging. Our research explores the following areas: The characteristics of

FAC and its partners host MPs meeting on pastoral livelihoods and policy
FAC and its partners host MPs meeting on pastoral livelihoods and policy
December 16, 2011 / Pastoralism
Securing land tenure for pastoralists in Kenya is one of the major concerns for policymakers from the pastoral community. A breakfast meeting hosted by Future Agricultures Consortium and its partners, Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE) and Pastoralists Development Network

Pastoral Seers of East Africa: Karamoja and Toposaland
March 31, 2011 / Posters
Darlington Akabwai & Khristopher CarlsonFeinstein International Center, Tufts University ? Seers Research In 2008-2009 a team from the Feinstein International Center carried out research and photo-documentation on pastoral seers or diviners in Karamoja, Uganda and Toposaland,South Sudan. The research sought

Pastoralism, Power and Choice: Darfur, Sudan
March 31, 2011 / Posters
Helen Young, Abdalmonim Osman, Ahmed Abusin, Michael Asher and Omer Egemi Introduction Livelihoods in the Darfur region of Sudan are closely linked to conflict, especially the pastoralist livelihoods of the camel-herding nomads – the Northern Rizaygat. Since 2004 they have

Camels and Commerce: Trends in Ethiopia
March 31, 2011 / Posters
Yacob AkliluFeinstein International Center, Tufts University, Addis Ababa Background: Camel production and marketing is an under-researched aspect of livestock development in Ethiopia. This study was aimed to examine changing attitudes, ownership and uses of camels in Ethiopia, and track camel

Economics of Small-Scale Pump Irrigation, Somali Region, Ethiopia
March 31, 2011 / Posters
Gezu Bekele, Alison Napier, Andy CatleyFeinstein International Center, Tufts University, Addis Ababa Impact AssessmentIn 2010 an assessment was conducted to assess the impact of an NGO project that provided water pumps, fuel and other assistance to ‘Asset Building Groups’ (ABGs)

Livelihoods and Environment: Pastoralism and Pastoralist Livelihoods
March 31, 2011 / Posters
Helen Young and Afaf RahimTufts University Pastoralism in SudanSudan is home to one of the largest pastoralist populations in Africa. More than 45 pastoralist groups share a culture of pastoralism and transhumance and have long co-existed with each other and

Milk Matters: improving the health and nutritional status of children in pastoralist communities
March 31, 2011 / Posters
K. Sadler, A. Catley & E. Mitchard Feinstein International Center, Tufts University Background Children that live in pastoralist areas of Africa are increasingly referred to as some of the most nutritionally vulnerable in the world. Yet, from work going back

Livelihood Impacts of Disarmament in Karamoja, Uganda
March 31, 2011 / Posters
Elizabeth Stites & Darlington Akabwai Feinstein International Center, Tufts University Background: The Karamoja region of Uganda is the most remote and least developed region of the country and has long experienced insecurity from armed livestock raiding and thefts. Disarmament operations

Researchers discuss pastoralist innovation: Video
Researchers discuss pastoralist innovation: Video
January 12, 2011 / Pastoralism
FAC Researchers?speak about pastoral innovation after presenting five research findings at FAC's University of the Bush in November 2010. ?

University of the Bush: Seminar 2
University of the Bush: Seminar 2
January 4, 2011 / Pastoralism
The second in the series of seminars known as the ‘University of the Bush’ took place at Malka Bisan Adi near Kinna, Kenya, on 22-24 November 2010. Around 50 pastoralists attended from across Kenya and southern Ethiopia. They were joined

The Future of Pastoralism in Africa
The Future of Pastoralism in Africa
October 18, 2010 / Pastoralism
An international conference to debate the future of pastoralists in Africa, 21-23 March 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia The future of pastoralism in Africa is uncertain and radical changes are affecting Pastoralist areas in terms of access to resources, options for

Innovations in peace and security
May 18, 2010 / Pastoralism
In recent years in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia violent incidents have claimed increasing numbers of lives. Incidents of political intimidation, cattle rustling, smuggling and other kinds of crime have spread fear, disrupted trade, hampered livestock production and impeded mobility.

Pastoralist Innovation Systems
Pastoralist Innovation Systems
April 12, 2010 / Pastoralism
The research focus of this project has been to explore and critically assess pastoralist innovation systems. There has been very little literature on innovation in the livestock sector and a particular lack of knowledge on innovation involving pastoralists. Existing formal

Publication: Pastoral Innovation Systems
Publication: Pastoral Innovation Systems
January 22, 2010 / Pastoralism
While there has been much discussion of the importance of innovation in African agriculture, remarkably little has focused on mobile pastoral systems. Everyone agrees that science, technology and innovation must be at the centre of economic growth, livelihood improvement and

E-debate: Pastoralism in Crisis?
E-debate: Pastoralism in Crisis?
November 15, 2009 / Pastoralism
Drought in the Horn of Africa – again. With the region's worst drought in over a decade, pastoral households around the Ethiopian, Kenyan and Somali borders have been hard hit. Alongside the humanitarian response, a re-emerging debate on the future