Modern and mobile

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Modern and mobile the future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands
International Institute for Environment and Development ( Author, Primary )
SOS Sahel International UK ( contributor )
De Jode, Helen ( Editor )
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International Institute for Environment and Development. Drylands Programme
SOS Sahel International UK. Shared Management of common Property Resources
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Subjects / Keywords:
أفريقيا -- الساحل
Afrique -- Sahel
Sahel ( LCSH )
SOS Sahel International UK
SOS Sahel (Organization : London, England) ( LCNAF )
Livestock ( LCSH )
Herders ( LCSH )
Ranchers ( LCSH )
Ranching ( LCSH )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Sahel
16.024646 x 13.321854


General Note:
This title was published jointly by IIED and SOS Sahel International UK
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : De Jode, Helen : URI
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : International Institute for Environment and Development : URI
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : SOS Sahel (Organization : London, England) : URI

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SOAS University of London
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Modern and mobile

The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Modern and mobile

The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands


For far too long, pastoralists in Africa have been viewed —
mistakenly — as living outside the mainstream of
national development, pursuing a way of life that is in
crisis and decline.
The reality is very different. Pastoralists manage
complex webs of profitable cross-border trade and draw
huge economic benefits from rangelands ill-suited to other
land use systems. Their livestock feed our families and grow
our economies. And mobility is what allows them to do this.
Pastoralism has the potential to make an even greater
contribution to the economic development of our nations,
which is why the Inter-Governmental Authority on
Development (IGAD) is in the process of establishing a
semi-autonomous livestock unit. Governments in Africa must
protect and invest in mobile livestock production if we are all

to realise pastoralism’s promise.

à D

Mahboub Maalim

Executive Secretary, IGAD

C’est le mouvement qui fait vivre le pasteur. Lors des
sécheresses de 1984-85, le président du Mali laissait entendre
que le nomadisme avait atteint ses limites. Cela refléte la
méconnaissance d’un fait : si lélevage sahélien a pu survivre
jusque là, c’est grâce à sa mobilité. Elle représente le seul
moyen de concilier l’eau et le pâturage, le besoin de protéger
les champs et celui de maximiser la productivité des animaux.
Et l'impératif de la mobilité a imposé une culture et des
règles qui ont permis à plusieurs systèmes de production

de coexister avec le minimum de conflits. L’urbanisation,

la poussée démographique, les conflits entre éleveurs et
agriculteurs accroissent certes les défis des sociétés pastorales.
Mais ils ne remettent en cause ni le principe de la mobilité,
ni la capacité de ces sociétés à se moderniser. D'ailleurs,

nos enfants vont de plus en plus à l’école, fréquentent les
cybercafés et utilisent le téléphone portable sans abandonner

leur bâton de berger, et tout en préservant l’essentiel.

Professeur Ali Nouhoun Diallo
Ancien président de l’Assemblée Nationale du Mali (1992-2002)

Ancien président du Parlement de là CÉDEAO (2000-2005)

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Published in 2010 by International Institute for Environment

& Development (ITED) and SOS Sahel International UK
© IIED and SOS Sahel UK 2010
ISBN 978-1-84369-752-7

Editor Helen de Jode
Picture editor Kelley Lynch —
Design Platform 1 Design —

Print Taylor Brothers —


Our thanks go firstly to the Howard G Buffett Foundation for its foresight in
commissioning and funding the one-year project Securing pastoralism in East and West
Africa. The International Institute for Environment and Development (ITED) and

SOS Sahel UK jointly implemented the project, of which this book is the final product.
Thank you to Irish Aid, Save the Children/US in Ethiopia and USAID East Africa
who provided additional funds to complete the book’s production. USAID support was
provided through the Pastoral Areas Coordination, Analysis and Policy Support project of the

Feinstein International Center, Tufts University.

Modern and mobile is the result of many individuals in East and West Africa, Europe and
the USA, determined to make the argument for mobile livestock keeping in Africa’s
drylands. Many of these people attended the regional conference on livestock mobility
held in Addis Ababa in November 2008, which was hosted by SOS Sahel Ethiopia and
to whom we are also very grateful. It is difficult to acknowledge everyone’s input, but
we are particularly indebted to the following people who played a direct role in the

design, writing and production of the book.

We are indebted to Saverio Kratli for submitting text for part 1, much of it based

on his own research, and for contributing to part 4. Equally, we are very grateful to
Magda Nassef and Izzy Birch who wrote much of part 4 and 5 respectively. Bernard
Bonnet, Boubacar Ba, Adrian Cullis, Cathy Watson, Michael Ochieng Odhiambo,
Mary Allen, Roy Behnke, Kariuki Gatarwa, Andy Catley, Salih Abdel Mageed Eldouma
and Su Fei Tan commented on earlier drafts and/or provided case study material for

the technical notes.

Much of the text was inspired by a series of country desk reviews produced by
numerous researchers contracted by the project Securing pastoralism in East and West
Africa. Details of these reports are listed in the endnotes. Many people, including Izzy
Birch, Andy Catley, Adrian Cullis, Mary Allen, Dawit Abebe, Boubacar Ba, Mohamadou
Ly, as well as many others interviewed at the Addis meeting, provided the testimonies

that bring the text alive.

The beautiful photos have been provided largely free of charge by Mary Allen, Steve
Anderson, Bernard Bonnet, Philip Bowen, Andy Catley, Sue Cavanna, Jonathan
Davies, Saverio Kratli, Ake Lindstorm, Mamadou Ly, Kelley Lynch, Andrei Marin,
Marie Monimart, Michele Nori, David Pluth, Lucy Polson, VSF (Germany) and
Michael Wadleigh. We offer many, many thanks to Kelley Lynch for all aspects of the

photography and for co-ordinating the excellent designers at Platform 1 Design.

Finally we are indebted to Helen de Jode who had the huge task of processing and
editing the vast amounts of original text, to produce a final content that is accessible and

coherent and so clearly makes the case for livestock mobility.

Ced Hesse and Sue Cavanna — January 2010

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

bout this book 7

he necessity of mobility 11

he obstacles to mobility 35

he opportunities for mobility 49

he global challenges and mobility 71

he way forward for mobility 83

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

About this book

“Pastoralism is mobility: mobility is pastoralism”

A Borana proverb

This book is about the critical role mobile livestock keeping
plays in the economic prosperity of Africa’s drylands. Across
East and West Africa an estimated 50 million livestock
producers support their families, their communities, and a
massive meat, skins and hides industry based on animals that
are fed solely on natural dryland pastures. Where other land
use systems are failing in the face of global climate change,
mobile livestock keeping, or pastoralism, is generating huge
national and regional economic benefits.

We live in an increasingly mobile world — fuelled by
international finance, global technology and multinational
business. Today’s pastoralists download the latest market
prices for cattle on their mobile phones, use cheap Chinese
motorbikes to reach distant herds or lost camels, and trek
their livestock thousands of kilometres by foot, truck or
ship to trade them nationally and internationally. Prevalent
perceptions about pastoralists are that they are a minority of
people who practice an archaic and outmoded lifestyle. But
even though pastoralists often inhabit harsh remote regions,
they are fully integrated with wider global processes.

The Livestock Revolution that has exploded across Asia
and South America has taken hold in Africa. Population
growth and rising urban incomes are fuelling an escalating
demand for meat and dairy products, and it is mainly

pastoralists who are meeting this demand.

Yet Africa’s pastoralists could do even better. Pastoralism relies
on unique production strategies, with the ability to move
being the most crucial. Moving is now becoming a serious
problem. Grazing lands are being taken over for other uses,
access to water and markets is increasingly difficult and the
economic profitability of livestock keeping is being critically
undermined. Animals are producing less meat, less milk and
are more susceptible to drought and disease. Poverty, resource
degradation and conflict are increasing.

New thinking, new policies and innovative practices for
pastoralist mobility are beginning to take root in many parts
of dryland Africa. The African Union and other regional
institutions such as the Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of
West African States (ECOWAS) and the Inter-Governmental
Authority on Development (IGAD) are recognising the huge
benefits to be reaped from supporting livestock mobility.
This is encouraging several African governments to develop
informed, progressive policies that reflect the needs of
modern pastoralism. These governments are likely to benefit
from the projected growth in demand for livestock products
as well as reduce their poverty and secure food supplies.

Livestock mobility is a modern approach to poverty
alleviation and accelerated development. Supporting mobility
does not require huge financial investment: it requires
refreshed thinking and clearer understanding. This book is a

starting point.

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Did you know that .…..?

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Specialized large-scale pastoralism had a
central role in the wealth producing strategies
of the elites of ancient Greece. The elites
took care to provide the necessary legal

infrastructure to protect and promote grazing

in their own communities.”

Almost all English words for money come from
the world of pastoral nomads. Cattle, chattel
and capital come from the same root. Pecuniary

comes from the Latin word for cattle, pecus.”

The necessity of mobility
“Mobility is key if pastoralists are to make best use of water and grazing in

these dryland areas. These strategies have evolved over hundreds of years and

are known to be highly efficient and adaptive.”

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands




Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Mobility is what enables producers to exploit the very top quality pasture.

Mobile herders and their livestock can leap, so to speak, from spike to spike
of nutritional content. In ordinary conditions and when left to their own
devises, the most specialised producers move over the range with their

selectively feeding animals hardly leaving any sign of their passage.!°

14 The necessity of mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

For production

Understanding mobile livestock production systems can
be a challenge, with most of the confusion being about
why pastoralists always seem to be on the move. Essentially
pastoralists move to take their animals to places where
they can find the best quality grazing. This is not as simple
as it sounds, and requires a great deal of preparation and
years of experience in an environment where errors can
be unforgiving.

It is commonly believed that pastoralists move in response
to pasture shortage. While this happens sometimes it is not
the main reason why they move. As a general rule pastoralists
are much more concerned with the quality of the diet
(grasses, shrubs, tree leaves and water), as measured by their
animals’ health and productivity. They usually move towards
higher quality rather than away from low quantity. The better
the diet of the livestock, the more milk there is of a better
taste and a higher fat content. Livestock on a good diet will
put on weight quicker, be healthier and reproduce faster.
Animals must be fed particularly well during the rainy season,
when the fresh grass is high in nutrients, so as to optimize
their weight gain so they can survive the inevitable weight
loss during the dry season.

In the dry rangelands the timing and distribution of the
nutrients is highly variable and unpredictable. This variability
is due not only to the erratic rainfall, but also different soil
types, different plant species and even the different stages of a

plants growth cycle.

The necessity of mobility

To an outsider the grasses, shrubs and trees of the drylands
may look much the same, but in fact pasture quality varies
on a daily, seasonal and annual basis, and most importantly
is not evenly spread across the landscape. It is this scattering
of different pastures over different places, at different times,
which makes mobile livestock keeping so productive in
what is otherwise a difficult environment. Because fresh
green pasture does not sprout in the same place at the same
time, it means it is available over a longer time period than
would be the case if it rained everywhere at the same time.
‘To sedentary livestock keepers who rely on uniformity

and economies of scale, randomly variable concentrations
of nutrients on the range would be a serious constraint to
productivity, but to pastoralists, who are mobile and
maintain populations of selectively feeding animals, it
represents a resource.

By being mobile with their livestock, pastoralists can take
advantage of the ever-changing diversity of dryland ecology.
They track the random concentrations of nutrients in space
and time. The result of this strategy, when unhindered, is that
their livestock are able to feed on a diet that is substantially
richer than the average nutritional value of the range they
live on. They can thus attain a much better level of nutrition
than livestock feeding off natural pastures that remain in one
place. And this means their livestock are more productive

— producing more milk and meat than sedentary animals

reared in the same environmental conditions.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

The skills behind mobility

Institutions, scouting and planning

Mobility is carefully managed and relies on large social
networks and the rapid gathering of information on the
concentrations of high quality pasture. When a movement is
planned scouts are sent out to assess the state of the rangeland
and negotiate with other groups. Pastoral Fulani like the
WoDaaBe use particularly expert herders as scouts (garsoo).
The scout must have a profound knowledge not only of the
bush but also of the population of cattle belonging to his
group. Intelligence collected by the scouts from other herders
and from direct inspection is discussed within the migration
group, but the final decision whether to move or not rests

with the individual households.

“In my community, because mobility was very important, the ‘sahan’
or scouting system was well established. The best boys; the strongest
and intelligent ones were selected and trained to do the job. Mobility

was well planned and executed with precision.”

ad WY bo

Mohamed Abdinoor

Technical Adviser, Pastoral and Livestock Programs, USAID Ethiopia


“Before they move, mobile people plan their movement based on
previous observations. People sit together, they discuss and plan their
movement. Even before movement is decided, they send surveillance
people who will check on the availability of water and pasture.
People do not just move because they want to move. From Merti,
Wasso, or Isiolo we can send a surveillance team as far as Moyale,
and when the surveillance team comes back and reports back that
there is enough pasture and water that is when the decision is made.”

Haji Diba Kiyana Merti, Kenya.’®

“When rain fell in another area we got information about it. Our ‘ola’
(camp) is composed of 28 households. Nine households wanted to
shift, 19 said shifting has consequences, let’s wait. We democratically
decided to separate. Every movement has a big impact on women
and animals so people are often reluctant to take a risk. The nine
households sent a delegation to go and scout for pastures and water
use rights, and meet with the communities where the rain was. We
have to ask them for rights to camp with them. This ‘scouting’ is
done by a very important person. They have to be truthful, observant,
accepted by the new community and trusted by their own community.
Once the community accepted for us to come they assisted us to settle.
For one and a half months they provided us with grain and provided
security, until our animals were lactating again. Later we heard that
rain had fallen in our area so we went back to our pastureland.”

Bor Bor Bule Borana elder, Ethiopia

The necessity of mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Selective breeding and selective eating”

The WoDaaBe of Niger are successful pastoralists because
they are highly skilled livestock managers and breeders. From
one generation to the next, they very carefully breed cattle
that are able to exploit the unpredictable environment in
which they live: animals that can reach and find the most
nutritious grasses available. Essential characteristics include
the capacity to travel great distances and to cope well with
little water and very high temperatures. But there is more to
these animals’ special capacity for drylands production.

The Bororo zebu kept by the WoDaaBe are bred and
trained to feed selectively in order to get the most nutritious
diet from the range. They pick and choose from over forty
different plant species, including not only grass, but also
shrubs and trees and even wild melons and water lilies.
Their selectivity applies to the parts of a plant, to different
plants of the same species and to combinations of species, as
well as to different seasons and even different times of the
day. Combined with mobility, these skills enable a herd to
efficiently track and exploit the unpredictable concentrations
(spikes) of nutrients on the drylands range.'*

The WoDaaBe compare the relationship between grass
and browse to the relation between their own staple food,
millet porridge (nyiiri) and its accompanying sauce (li’o).
Their cattle are stimulated to graze as much as possible. They
graze better and more when they find what they like — soft,
delicious grass — and when they are given the opportunity

to range any time during day and night. They graze badly

The necessity of mobility

when disturbed, for example by the bad smell of droppings,
by pasture infested with grasshoppers, by the smell of a
carcass, by grass that is brittle or spiky. During the wet

season when fodder is abundant and cattle are easily satisfied
expert herders deliberately expose individual animals to their

favoured ‘bites’ in order to keep their appetites high. °

“There are areas known to us with salty ground so people move there
to have their animals lick the salty soil. Another reason why people
move is that your livestock will just force you to move just because
they know there is better grass in another place.”

Eregey Hosiah Ekiyeyes Turkana, Kenya”?

“What do camels and shoats live on? What do cattle feed on?
What forces them to move, to look for pasture? Even human beings,
when they eat pasta or rice for three days they need a change, they
need another diet. Animals also need this kind of change; different
types of pasture not only one species of grass.

The grass that is growing after a place has been burnt is sweeter
and more nutritious for cattle. Just as liver tastes sweet, so does the
grass that grows after an area is burnt. We usually manage our area
by keeping the animals in different grazing patterns. We burn an
area when we leave it so that there is fresh grass and good pasture
when we return to that land.”

Haji Kararsa Guracha Liban, Ethiopia!


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

The Baggara of Sudan”

The Baggara are cattle herding Arabs that live in the provinces of
Darfur and North and South Kordofan, Sudan. They also live in
Chad. The Baggara typically move along a north-south axis. As in
other parts of the Sahel, the rains tend to be stronger and to come
earlier to the southern regions, and then spread northwards as the
rainy season progresses. When the rains come, the Baggara are
forced out of their southern dry season areas by a combination of
annoying biting flies and heavy mud that severely bothers the cattle.
The pastoral herds follow the flush of fresh grass that accompanies
the northward progression of the rains. The pastures in the north,
despite receiving less rain, are far more nutritious than those in the
south, and the animals quickly put on weight and produce more milk.
Depending on the year, these movements can take them far north,
well beyond the town of Nyala in years of good rainfall.

At the end of the rains, the Baggara gradually move south driving
their animals to places where fresh new forage is sprouting along
the edges of seasonal water points that are now gradually drying up.
These ‘flood retreat’ grasses are also highly nutritious, enabling the
cattle to continue to thrive despite moving. The exact timing of the
return trip is very carefully planned to make sure the herds return to
their dry season areas with permanent water before the drying of
temporary water sources makes movement dangerous. By the dry
season, pastures in these southerly areas are rank and unpalatable,
and they are burned to induce fresh re-growth suitable for grazing,

Because rainfall levels are unpredictable, how intensively pastures
are grazed varies from year to year. If the rains are strong, more
pastoralists move further north and spend a longer time there,

before heading south. If the rains are weak and there is insufficient


northern pasture, herders reduce the extent of their northern
move, fewer enter the northern pastures, and they stay for a shorter
time. They can do this because the light rains that bring less grazing
to northern pastures also reduce the mud and insect problems in
the southern grazing areas. Thus, in drought years the herds enter
their southern dry-season grazing grounds earlier, stay longer, and
move further south. What they are pursuing Is not access to a
predetermined area, but its key resources — the green grass that

is to be found in different quantities at different latitudes in

different years.

The Baggara's system allows cattle to feed almost all year round
on fresh, green and highly nutritious grass. In the wet season herds
chase the green flush northward, in the early dry season they graze
the green margins at receding water lines, and in the late dry season
they survive on green re-growth following burning. This system
significantly outperforms in production terms the cattle reared
by the agro-pastoralists who permanently reside in the northern

pastures around Nyala town.

The necessity of mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Mobile versus sedentary
The unique production system of the Baggara Arabs of Western
Sudan allows their livestock to persistently outperform sedentary
herds across a range of indicators (table 1). 7?

In Niger, West Africa, a comparison between sedentary,
transhumant and truly nomadic cattle shows the same story
(table 2).*

Livestock reared in areas of Australia and the United States
with less than 500mm of rainfall, produced between 0.3kg and
0.5 kg of animal protein per hectare per year. * However in Mali
the transhumant livestock of the Fulani produced significantly more
meat — between 0.6kg to 3.2kg of protein per hectare. 6

Modern ranching is often believed to be an improvement over
traditional livestock management. Many governments in Africa
believe ranches will produce more and better quality beef and milk
than pastoralism. Ranches, which control stocking densities and invest
in high-yielding cattle breeds, water development and veterinary
inputs, are able to meet the international health standards required
for the export trade. But research in Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana
and Zimbabwe comparing the productivity of ranching against
pastoralism all came to the same conclusion: pastoralism consistently
outperforms ranching, and to a quite significant degree. Whether
measured in terms of meat production, generating energy (calories)
or providing cash, pastoralism gives a higher return per hectare
of land than ranching, Whereas commercial cattle ranching tends
to specialise in only one product — meat — pastoralism provides a
diverse range of outputs including meat, milk, blood, manure, traction,

which when added up ts of greater value than meat alone (table 3).

The necessity of mobility

Table | Mobile herds Sedentary herds
Calving rate 65 % 40%

Females | st calving under 4 years 65 % 29 %

Total herd mortality IS % 35 %

Calf mortality 11% 40%

Meat production per breeding female 0.057 kg 0.023 kg
Table 2 Sedentary Transhumant = Nomadic
Annual rate of reproduction 61% 65 % 69%
Mortality calves 11.1% 0% 59%
under | year

Calf weight at 300 days 98.1 ke 80.6 ke 88.3 ke
Average number of days 285 days 295 days 321 days

in lactation

Quantity of milk (per cow) for 575 litres

human consumption in one

lactation cycle

Table 3


Kenya (Maasai) 7°


Zimbabwe *°

Productivity of

pastoralism and ranching
157 % relative to

Kenyan ranches

185 % relative to

east African ranches

188 % relative to

Botswana ranches

150 % relative to

Zimbabwean ranches

615 litres 668 litres

Unit of measure

MJGE/Ha/yr (Calories)

Kg of protein production/

Kg of protein production/

US$ generated/ha/yr


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Cowbo seback round up the cattle and move them from one
fenced pasture to the next before the grazing runs out. “Those cows know.
When you go in there and start whoopin’ and hollerin’ they know it’s time

to move.”

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Mobile ranching in Arizona, USA’

In the US State of Arizona, Indian tribes used to practice nomadic
pastoralism on unfenced communal land until the Bureau of Indian
Affairs put an end to their system. In dryland Arizona these days the
livestock are fenced in, but mobility between the enclosed areas is
the essential element of the production system.

Don Glasgow Is the General Manager of Maughan Ranches,
which has |6 ranches across Arizona. Each of his ranches moves its
animals to a different schedule — some move every 20 days, others
in larger enclosures every 45-60 days. The cattle are kept moving
all year round: up to higher, cooler elevations (/000 feet) in the pine
trees during the heat of summer and down to warmer high desert
elevations (3000 feet) for the winter While they are up in the high
country, the grass in the low country — fed by the monsoon rains

—has a chance to recover Winter snowpack at higher elevations
waters the new pasture there with spring meltwater

In the US ranching Is an expensive business, and is now only
economically viable above 500 head of cattle. In Arizona many
smaller ranchers have gone out of business in recent years, leaving
the ranching business largely in the hands of a wealthy few. Rex
Maughan, owner of Maughan ranches, made his fortune elsewhere.
This means Don is not forced to make many of the more difficult
decisions his smaller counterparts must make. Expensive inputs

— employee salaries, fuel, veterinary costs, winter supplements,
upkeep of the land, fencing, herbicides, grazing permits, trucking
water — and even drastic measures such as moving 200+ animals
by truck 1 50 miles to and from their summer pasture — can all be

more easily absorbed.

The necessity of mobility

But there is one commodity that even the richest man in Arizona
cannot come by without some assistance: sufficient grazing land.
There are many grants and subsidies that make ranching possible. But
the largest and most valuable by far are the permits various state
and federal agencies sell to ranchers that allow them to graze their
animals on public land. It's $3.79 per cow per month,’ Don says.

“That's pretty cheap really. You can't feed a cow for $3.79 a month.
But when you have a lease you're also responsible for maintaining
the fences and taking care of the water and the land — so there are
other expenses.’

472% of Arizona is ‘public land”. The land remains public and
anyone can drive, walk, camp or hunt on it — but only the paying
ranch can graze cattle there. The vast majority of ranches are
made up of attached to state and government owned land. Each
agency has its own rules, and its personnel work with ranchers to
set rotation schedules and stocking rates. These are based on their
assessment of weather terrain and pasture conditions.

As in Africa, in Arizona the key to success in the arid lands is to
have access to different types of productive land in different seasons
so that the cattle can keep moving and accessing nutritional pasture.
Without access to these rich areas — and without mobility — neither
livelihood can exist. But, the big difference is that while Arizona's
ranchers depend heavily on subsidies to produce meat, pastoralists
in Africa don't. Through hard work and skills honed through
experience, they not only meet most of their country's meat
requirements but also export thousands and thousands of tonnes to

neighbouring countries and all without any help from subsidies.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Markets matter for pastoralists: In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger pastoralists

regularly cover up to 40-60 kilometres in order to go to their nearest or
preferred weekly market, where they know the mediator, where they know
the prices are higher and where they expect to be able to share information
on the conditions of the range. Pastoralists will buy all of their food, clothes,
blankets, tobacco, veterinary drugs, feed supplements and salt for the

herd, cooking utensils, torches, radios, batteries, beads for making jewellery,
collapsible beds, tarpaulins for the camp and sometimes even their herders’

sticks, from a market.

22 The necessity of mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

For trade

The livestock trade is crucial to the national economies of
dryland Africa. In East Africa the intra-regional livestock
trade is a major and growing industry, with an annual value
in excess of US$65m (exceeding officially recorded live
animal exports from the region by a factor of at least 10).*
The profitability of this trade is dependent on livestock

being mobile, particularly across borders. The livestock and
the livestock products produced by pastoralists are based
considerable distances from the sources of demand, and need
to be trekked from dryland zones to border markets. From
there they can be trucked on to urban centres. The safety of
livestock on the move, and a lack of roads is often a major
stumbling block to increased trade.

Livestock sales are also critical for pastoralists themselves
who need to sell the milk, dairy products and meat they
produce from their animals. Pastoralists cannot live on their
animals alone and need cash to buy grain to eat, and for all
their other requirements. The distance that pastoralists travel
to a local market will depend on their immediate needs, as
well as the season. Deciding to sell or consume the day’s milk,
for example, may depend on their current distance from a
market. In pastoralist society women tend to control the sale
of dairy products (milk, butter, ghee) and the small stock
trade (sheep and goats). Men tend to be involved in the sale
of cattle, camels and long distance trading. The sale of hides

and skins is linked to the sale of livestock for meat.

The necessity of mobility

Large livestock are usually sold at regional and border
markets where the price is better, with herders trekking them
for hundreds of kilometres and often into neighbouring
countries. Traders with pastoralist backgrounds play a major
role in the industry. In West Africa cross-border livestock
movement is fairly organized, but in East Africa official
customs posts and border crossings are very few, and herders
and traders have to divert their animals massive distances in
order to use them. As a result most East African cross-border
trade remains hidden and unofficial, with governments failing
to recognise its importance. In West Africa the official cross-
border livestock trade is worth in excess of $150m and the
potential for expansion is even greater. A 250% growth in
demand for livestock products is anticipated for the Sahel and
West Africa region by 2025 due largely to a growing urban
population particularly in the coastal countries.â„¢

Livestock herders and traders face many challenges and
inefficiencies — high marketing transaction costs, the loss of
weight by animals on long treks, and the threat of animals
being stolen on route due to insecurity in the borderlands.
But despite this the livestock trade is a profitable business.
Recognising the potential for profit, many civil servants and
businessmen are now also buying livestock and employing
pastoralists to herd them. This is changing ownership patterns,

but it doesn’t change the fundamental need for mobility.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Tanzania's nyama choma industry (roast meat businesses) Is an
important player in the national economy. In Arusha, there are 601
nyama choma outlets, employing 5,600 people, with an estimated
25,000 dependents. An estimated 2.4 jobs are supported for each
nyama choma worker — people involved with ancillary services

in butchery, middlemen, traders and primary meat production. It

is estimated 6.6% of the population of Arusha receive livelihood
support through the meat supply chain for nyama choma from
livestock reared in the pastoral system. Assuming these data are
applicable to the entire country, 2.2 million people obtain some of
their income from the pastoral meat supply chain through | 5,600

nyama choma businesses with an annual turnover of USD 22million.°*

24 The necessity of mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

The benefits of trade

In many countries of the Sahel livestock’s contribution to
total agricultural GDP is above 40%.* In the majority of
cases pastoralists own the livestock that makes up the national
herds. These figures are sizable, and yet they still fail to
capture the full contribution of pastoral production systems
to national economies. National accounts are based only on
the value of final products such as meat and hides, and leave
out the many social, security and ecological benefits mobile
livestock production adds to economies.

Livestock trading is hugely important for food security in
dryland areas. Revenues earned from cross-border livestock
trading are used primarily to finance imports of grain. The
trucks taking the livestock to Nairobi/Mombasa for example
will return with cereals and other foodstuffs to sell on the
markets in the grain deficient dry pastoral areas, in what
is known as back-loading. As well as grain, cross-border
livestock trading also provides many people with imported
food items that cannot be supplied officially or cheaply by
domestic markets. Rice, wheat flour, pasta, vegetable oil, and
sugar are some of the major food items imported across the
Djibouti and Somaliland borders and sold in many places
in eastern Ethiopia. The value and importance of this back
trading is such that when cross-border livestock sales are

banned governments often discover that they have to bring

in food aid.

The necessity of mobility

Trade networks also support a huge number of livelihoods.
Middlemen provide a valuable link between pastoralists
and buyers. They keep pastoralists up to date with market
information, and assure buyers that the pastoralists are the
true owners of the livestock. Surrounding each market is a
huge network of additional buyers and suppliers - butchers,
abattoirs, vets, people supplying forage and water. A large
number of government officials are supported too. Herders,
traders and wholesalers pay a series of fees and taxes from
the border to the terminal market, with the whole activity
contributing substantially to employment and public revenues.

Underpinning all the trading benefits is livestock mobility.

“We value the livestock industry as contributing about 12% of
[Kenya’s] GDP. about 50-60 billion KShs every year, but the
government, planners and lawmakers have not been very sensitive
to what the livestock industry contributes. But one fact remains: it
employs about 7 million people directly, yet the livestock industry is

still given a raw deal.”

Mohamed Abbas

Executive Director, Kenya Livestock Marketing Council *


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Modern livestock marketing

in eastern Niger”

Livestock-export Is on the rise in eastern Niger According to
national statistics, Nigeria is absorbing 95% of Niger's animal-
production, but in Diffa the demand for camels from North African
markets — predominantly Libyan — has grown markedly in recent
decades. The camels are convoyed on the hoof from N'Guigmi to
Dirkou (540 kilometres to the north), and from there generally are
loaded on trucks for the remainder of the trip. The value of this
trade is not captured by official statistics.

The modern pastoralist in Diffa region has a cell phone. Ensuring
rapid access to commodity prices on the region's markets Is critical.
It is not only information exchange that has improved. Pastoralists
are also investing in motorcycles, rented or purchased, driven by
young men in order to move around quickly. The wealthier urban-
based families are buying 4-wheel drive vehicles. Well-informed
on livestock and grain prices in different regional markets, these
pastoralists are able to sell their camels in a northern market (where
demand and thus prices are high) and to buy their grains and other
provisions more than 100 kilometres away (where prices are lower)
in a southern market,

The most savvy, forward-looking of Diffa's pastoralists have honed
a highly efficient sales strategy. Io sell at a profit the proprietor must
weigh different factors so that he is able to present the right type
of animal to the right market at the right time period. The effective
seller also possesses sufficiently diversified stock—in the case of
camels, the north-bound animals are generally young (5 to 7 years
old), consisting of males and females suitable for reproductive

purposes, and strong enough to make the trans-Saharan trek; south-


bound camels are generally aged or for some other reason

are undesirable for anything but slaughter Where group
coordination is well organised, extended families include well-
informed and commercially astute town-dwellers who assist their
rural cousins in obtaining the most advantageous sale conditions

possible for their livestock.

The necessity of mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

The cross-border livestock trade
in the Horn of Africa”

To supply the Kenyan markets of Nairobi and Mombasa, herders
from Somalia trek to the border market at Garissa, a trek that can
be 400-600 km and take 9-10 days. From there the cattle are
taken onwards by truck. Research initiated in 1998 made the first
systematic effort to document the extent and nature of the cross-
border trade in the Horn of Africa. Based on interviews with 84
traders it was possible to calculate the costs and returns to traders
at different levels in the market chain, and to determine where the
risks are. The highest risks in the cattle trade were shown to be the
initial purchase and transport of the animal.

The herder who sells his cow at Afmadow market (the first bush
market) receives US$128. The trader who then moves the cow
to Garissa Is able to sell it for $176, but after accounting for costs

makes only $20 or 15% profit. On this journey the risk of loss of

the cow through theft and drought Is calculated to be $8 (or 6% of

its value). The second trader who moves the cow from Garissa to
Nairobi is able to sell it for $233, but again after costs his profit is
only 16%, with at least $20 (or 12% of the value) having been spent
on transport.

The original herder's share of the final price (Nairobi sale price),
in the Somalia cross-border trade it is about 46 percent, or less than
half of the final price in the market chain. Yet without this commerce
the prices that herders would receive for their commodities would
be considerably lower. Despite the seemingly small returns the cross-
border trade in the Horn of Africa is extremely profitable, with a

huge number of people benefiting from the supply chain.

The necessity of mobility


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Elema Khana, 47 walking home during the drought in 2008. Before the

drought she had 15 cattle at home. Ten of those have died. She is returning

from visiting a further two cows she has with a relative two full days

(ie 48 hours) walk away. On the way back home she has checked on two

of her cattle that she had taken to a Save the Children feeding centre

here in Bor Bor. Elema lives two hours away from Bor Bor in Safar village.
There is very little grass around. What Elema carries on her back is

what she collected piece by piece walking for two days and two nights.

She is bringing the grass home for the three cows at home that are too

weak to stand.

28 The necessity of mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Por survival

During periods of drought or disaster mobility becomes
absolutely essential for pastoralists, when they are forced to
move in order to survive. Drought is a normal occurrence in
drylands, and is a key reason why mobile livestock keeping,
rather than crops, is the production strategy of choice. When
rains fail in one area completely, livestock need to be moved
to find water and grazing elsewhere, often across borders. The
movement may be short or long depending on where the
alternative grazing is, and may be temporary or permanent
depending on the period of the drought.

During drought large numbers of animals will die. Unable
to save all their animals, pastoralists focus instead on saving a
core stock of breeding animals that together will be capable
of reconstituting the herd after a drought. In the absence of
any alternative ‘insurance’ the nucleus of their breeding herd
is their main capital base. In times of drought pastoralists have
to make harsh choices so that they can recover quickly. It is
not uncommon to see pastoralists take their children out of
school, or not eat themselves, in order to buy fodder to save
the breeding nucleus. The more efficient way of conserving it
however is to move it to another area away from drought.

In Africa drought is often closely, and very visibly,
associated with famine. In many places, where long distance
opportunistic movement is no longer possible, droughts cause
significant localized environmental degradation with large
numbers of animals converging on certain pastures, especially

round wells. Weakened animals are more susceptible to disease,

The necessity of mobility

and more deaths occur. Well meaning efforts to deliver relief
supplies to the affected pastoralists (food aid), not only fail to
help pastoralists preserve their core breeding herd, but often
have the additional effect of keeping populations in place
who might otherwise have moved. The combined effect is
the excessive loss of animals and livelihoods and a breakdown
of the traditional coping strategy — mobility.

Pastoralists exist along a gradient of willingness and
capacity to move, with those that shift rapidly in response
to a coming drought being more likely to conserve their
herds.” When the disaster facing pastoralists is due to conflict
they also have to move at considerable speed. The capacity to
flee requires an effective combination of open access across
the rangeland, wide social networks and disciplined livestock
capable of rapidly covering long distances without falling

prey to exhaustion or thieves.

“If the market is facilitated and our lifestyle is supported we don’t
need famine relief: We don’t need anyone supporting us. In fact we

would be paying taxes and supporting the government.”

Mogolle Haibor Rendille*®


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands


The impact of the 1984 drought in Niger*

Research carried out in 1987 in eastern Niger following the
catastrophic drought of 1984, contrasted the herd structures of 350
Fulani families. It found that during the 1984 drought those that had
moved quickly with their animals to Nigeria, and even Cameroon,
not only had on average much larger herd sizes, but also had more
viable herd structures. wo years after the drought Fulani families
who had not managed to move long distances during the drought
had on average between two and seven cattle per family, compared
to the more highly mobile WoDaaBe who had on average 44 cattle
per family.

Equally importantly, the VWwoDaaBe herd structures were also
better balanced with a more even spread of male and female
animals of different ages. This allowed them to sell (to buy food)
just a few adult male cattle after the drought when prices were
high, thereby preserving their female breeding stock. The Fulani
were unable to use this strategy due to imbalanced herd structures

dominated by females.

“Droughts don’t stop and the world has existed
for a long time: droughts will continue...”

Ardo Manzo

The elderly leader of the Weltouma Fulani in eastern Niger who has lived

through the droughts of 1957, 1973-4, 1984-5 and 2005.7?



Owners share their rations with livestock, Chad.”

Some of the refugees from Darfur who managed to reach camps

in eastern Chad brought their livestock with them but found little
water and pasture available. In interviews, some refugees explained
that they were using some of the food ration they received in order
to keep their animals alive as a vital source of milk and cash.
SPANA (2007)

Press release, Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad, London.


Escape mobility among the Boranaâ„¢

‘Twenty days ago we had a fight with the Gabra. We knew that there
would then be a revenge attack on us and that we must move. We
checked which luggage it was essential to take, and as we had no
time to rent pack animals [camels], we left the rest. We also decided
which of the cows could not move fast — those lactating or too

old — and left them also. The movement was very fast, travelling in
one day and one night a distance that would normally take three
days. We left the old cows and the small lambs for the wild animals.
After some days we went back to collect any luggage or animals
that hadn't been taken. Because it was an ‘escape move the people
In the new area have a duty to do ‘an emergency programme’ for
us. There is a religious and moral responsibility to help. If you don't
help someone [in this situation] you are cursed. The problem with
escape movement Is never at the receiving end. If you refuse to help
someone you can be put under sanction and the message sent out
to other areas so they won't help you [in the future].

Bor bor Bule Eder Ethiopia

The necessity of mobility

The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Africa along with the rest of the developing
world now demands more and better food.
The consumption of meat and dairy products is
escalating in urban centres and mega cities,
tuelled by rising incomes. Africa’s pastoralists,
whose livestock graze solely on natural pastures
without the benefits of subsidies, are meeting
this demand. But because the nutritional quality
of grazing in the drylands is highly variable and
unpredictable, livestock have to be mobile.

By being mobile livestock feed better, produce
more meat and milk, are healthier and have

more calves than sedentary animals.

To meet the demands of cities in Africa, the
Middle East and elsewhere, pastoralists have

to trade their livestock products and trade also
requires mobility. The huge and often hidden
livestock trade provides benefits for many
additional livelihoods and is extremely important

for food security.

Mobility is also absolutely essential during times
of crisis, particularly drought and conflict. Drought
is a natural occurrence in drylands and as long

as they can move pastoralists will be in a better

position to survive it.

The necessity of mobility

“Pastoralists contribute significantly to domestic
and export livestock markets. Cross-border
livestock trade is critical to regional economies as
well as important for the national economies of
different countries, and ensures food security and
poverty reduction to the local community.”

Cris Muyunda

Agricultural Advisor, COMESA Secretariat


The obstacles to mobility

“There is a proverb in our language. Life is in mobility. I want people to

understand one thing, if the animals don’t move, that’s the end of the animals.”

Drought exacerbating

conflict among pastoralists


ISIOLO, 2 2009 (IRIN). Clashes

over water and pasture have significantly
increased in the drought-affected pastoralist
areas of north-eastern Kenya, officials said.
“The conflicts surround access to water
and pasture,” Titus Mung’ou, acting Kenya
Red C Society (KR:

manager, told IRIN. Dozens people, he said,

) communications

had died in clashes over water in Mandera

since September 2 The traditional conflict

resolution mechani: were failing to rein
in warring communities as competition fe

resources intensified.

Clashes blamed on militias

Southern Kordofan
JUBA, 16 January 2009 (IRIN). Cl

week in Southern Kordofan, reportedly killing

es this

at least 16 people, followed attacks by militias

1 joint armed units deployed in acc

with the North-South peace agreement,

a southern Sudanese military spokesman

id. Wi cifying ar iliti
said, Without specifying the armed mili

rnyang i y were mere noma
Parnyang denied they we

“We call them militias because these people

. ouate
are well armed.” he added. Southern Kordofan

is mainly occupied by the Nuba, va

central highland communities and pastoralist

E rising isseriya and

Baggara Arabs comprising the Misseriy

Widespread insecuri

ccess to services and employment, and the

ty, grievances about lack


kage of pastoralis rement towards the
blockage of pastoralist moven
South had led a number of Mis

resort to armed violence.

Violence between nomads
and farmers kills fifteen

Burkina Faso
10 June 2008 (IRIN). Clashes between nomads
and farmers in Poni and Bougouriba provinces
in southwestern Burkina Faso have left fifteen
dead since 25 Ma

village of Perkoura in Poni province when

‘he clashes started in the

aadic herders brought their animals to graze

farmers’ land and spread across the regi
reaching Tinakoura last week. In August 2007 a
similar clash at Gogo, a village in Zoumweogo
province left four dead, 70 wounded, and

displaced 3,000 others.

Farms that supply Europe
accused of stealing from
depleted river


The Guardian 21 October .The great river
Ngiro was just ankle deep yesterday as nomadic
farmers walked through waters which have
become the focus of conflict. Kenya’s second
largest river is a life-sustaining resource fo
these farmers, butit also sustains big business for
flower farms supplying UK supermarkets. The
greatest impact is being felt on the nomadic
pastoralists, says John Ole Tingoi of Hope, a
Maasai human rights group. “The flower farms
have taken over land that the pastoralists used

and there is now less water.”

armers herde
. ers herded atound 1,000 che
and other farm anj rea


° are in the hands


that as {
hat as Populations be

a as 3
nd pastoral farming

come more sedentar

dies out, doe; Ne
S > SO doe tl
ln d, causing deser titi i a. ; à |
s 1Cation 2 nd dw ind ins

food supplies,

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

More and more prime grazing land is falling under the plough due to

rising population levels and declining crop yields combined with a policy
environment favouring farming over pastoralism.The loss of rich pastures is
restricting mobility and making pastoralism less viable thus pushing poorer
pastoral communities to raise crops to feed their families which only further

undermines the wider pastoral system.

38 The obstacles to mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

1 Loss of grazing to agriculture and

Farming is one of the biggest challenges to pastoral mobility.
The slow but inexorable advance of family farms, combined
in places with the establishment of large-scale commercial
farming, is swallowing up vast areas of grazing lands. The
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has called
for a moratorium on the expansion of large mechanised
farms in Sudan’s central semi-arid regions, sounding a
warning that it was a ‘future flashpoint’ for conflict between
farmers and pastoralists.

As rains become increasingly erratic through climate
change, subsistence farmers across the Sahel experiment
with different techniques to ensure a minimum harvest.

To hedge their bets against a bad rainy season farmers scatter
fields over a wide area, in the hope that some will produce

a harvest. This fragments the open grazing land and makes
livestock mobility a much harder task. Animals now have

to be supervised at all times to prevent them from entering
fields and destroying the crops. Sowing late-maturing
varieties of crops and flood-retreat sorghum in low-lying
areas or along seasonal riverbeds also seriously delays and
disrupts the movement of herds, who now cannot move
until they are harvested.

Particularly in East Africa, the loss of land to national parks,
game reserves, hunting blocks and conservation severely
restricts pastoral mobility, as much of this land either consists
of critical dry or wet season grazing or cuts across seasonal

migration routes. The creation of Uganda’s Kidepo Valley

The obstacles to mobility

National Park in the 1980s, on the border with Sudan

and Kenya, severely restricts the movement of the Toposa
from Southern Sudan to dry season grazing in Uganda's
Kaabong district. Within Kaabong District, Dodoth
pastoralists have also lost critical wet season grazing in

the Timu forest when it was declared a Forest Reserve in
2000.8 Yet a lot of evidence suggests that pastoralism is far
more compatible with wildlife than other forms of land use,

particularly crop farming.”

2 Fencing off the rangeland

Both non-pastoralists and pastoralists are enclosing the
rangelands. From the Boran in southern Ethiopia, to the
Fulani in Niger and Burkina Faso, and Somali groups in
Somaliland, pastoral families are fencing grazing land. Poverty,
due to shrinking herd sizes, is driving thousands of pastoral
families throughout East and West Africa to fence off the
rangelands to practice rain-fed agriculture and, where water
is available, dry season gardening. In Somaliland it was

a common choice of returnees after the war. Others are
enclosing land from a fear of losing out as more and more
land is taken, or are seeking to protect the rangeland from
farming or the cutting of trees for charcoal.

Charcoal production is a significant driver of rangeland
enclosure as is the growing trend of urban-based business
interests investing in livestock for commercial reasons. In
Niger, Nigerian, Arab and Libyan businessmen invest in

thousands of head of livestock for relatively short-term gains.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

It is not known how much former pastoralist grazing land
has been lost overall, but much of it is in the form of wheat
farms, sugar farms, irrigated tobacco, cotton and sorghum
schemes, flower and vegetable farms, game and cattle ranches,
national parks and forest reserves.

And it is not just the sheer extent of the lost land that
is so important; it is the nature of that lost land that is so
critical. Much of the alienation concerns strategic areas such
as wetlands or riverine forests. Here, because of higher and
more stable moisture, pastures of higher nutritional content
can be found, particularly in the dry season when the
surrounding range is dry and poor.

These areas represent ‘islands’ of high quality pasture
where livestock feed until the arrival of new fresh grass with
the next rainy season. The loss of these areas undermines the
profitability and resilience of the whole pastoral system.

Little research has been carried out to calculate the
economic and environmental impacts the loss of these areas
have had on national economies, and whether the expected
benefits from the new land use systems are greater than the

benefits lost as a result of displacing pastoralism.

“In the past, there were many places where you could take your
animals without going so far away. There were fewer people so there
was a lot of space. The other problem today is that some people are
fencing off land so there is less space to roam with animals. People
are fencing off land because they want to burn it and use it for

charcoal burning.” ®


Land loss in numbers

© In Ethiopia the Afar have lost over 408,000 hectares
of prime dry season grazing along the Awash river to
irrigated farming and the Awash National Park, whilst
in the Somali Region over 417,000 hectares of prime
grazing land have been converted to rain-fed and
irrigated agriculture in the last 60 years.

© In Senegal thousands of hectares of riverside land
were converted to commercial irrigated farming
1950s, seriously disrupting the seasonal movements of
livestock and denying them access to highly nutritious
dry season grazing.

© In Mali the state run cotton company (CMDT)
expanded into the region of Kita in 1991. Thousands
of agricultural migrants flocked to the area occupying
former pastoral lands and investing their profits in

ivestock that now compete with pastoral owned

animals for access to pasture and water.

© In Chad it is estimated that in 20 to 30 years about

2 million hectares, 5% of the total land area, will

have been lost to pastoralism because of agricultural


© In Tanzania over 30% of land is classified as national

parks, game reserves, hunting blocks, protected forests
from which pastoralists are either excluded or have

restricted rights of access.

The obstacles to mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

3 Encroachment onto cattle corridors
Cattle corridors are essential for maintaining effective and
orderly mobility when livestock need to move through
other land. Historically pastoralists used stock routes or
livestock corridors to facilitate access to markets and the
seasonal movement of their animals between dry and wet
season grazing. The dina, the theological state ruled by
Cheikhou Amadou in the 19th century in the central Niger
delta of Mali, established one of the best known and most
sophisticated networks of stock routes allowing the peaceful
movement of animals in and out of the delta according
to seasons. In Chad and Sudan stock routes referred to as
muraahil (or murhal in the singular), cover hundreds and
hundreds of kilometres, allowing animals to be driven from
the fringes of the Sahara desert to the deep south, crossing
international borders into Cameroon and the Central
African Republic. The Wadid Howar to Dar Ta’isha route, for
example, is 673 kilometres.

Corridors always used to be well managed by customary
institutions, but over the last 50 years they have fallen
into disrepair, or been encroached upon. This causes huge
problems as herders seek alternative routes — often through
fields — causing conflict. In recent years countries that have
recognised the importance of livestock corridors have begun
passing legislation to protect them, and so regulate livestock

The closing of corridors is not just a problem being faced
in Africa. In Madrid an annual protest calls for the protection

of Spain’s traditional grazing routes. Spanish law supposedly

The obstacles to mobility

protects thousands of miles of ancient paths, including some
that traverse the capital, so farmers can move their livestock
from summer to winter grazing land. But, just as the coastline
has been devoured by property speculation, so have these

grazing routes.

“Paths do not belong to us anymore. They have become risky, because
at any moment herders can find themselves hemmed in, without
being able to move, because all the land is privatised.”

Bouréima Dodo Executive-Secretary of Billital Maroobe in Niger”


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Animals waiting to drink at the borehole in Lehey, Somali Region, Ethiopia.

Thousands of livestock come to the borehole every day. The Aba Hirega
is responsible for the timetable which allocates different days for different
villages — olas — to bring their livestock to drink. He also determines whose

turn it is to take their queuing animals to the trough. Because so many


animals use the borehole during the dry season, local elders have set up a
restricted area that extends in a 12 km radius around the town. Only during
the wet season, when ground water is more plentiful and need for the

borehole is less, are pastoralists and their animals allowed to be inside the

restricted area.

The obstacles to mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

4 Poor water point management

Across pastoral Africa the development of inappropriate
water points creates very visible flash points for conflict, and
often constrains mobility. In pastoral areas access to water is a
critical factor, particularly in the dry season. Animals have to
be watered on a regular basis and so if the distance between
water points is too far, or access to the water is too difficult,
pastoralists cannot take the risk of moving to alternative
grazing areas constraining livestock movements.

‘Water point development in dryland Africa has often been
driven by a well-meaning desire to increase the area available
for dry season grazing. But developers have frequently
failed to recognise that areas used as wet season grazing
areas do not need permanent water points. Developers’
water points are also offered as public access, either for
free or for some form of payment. This severely disrupts
the traditional pastoralist systems, which strongly control
access to water and consequently the pasture that surrounds
it. Providing uncontrolled public access to water results in
large concentrations of livestock, the settlement of people
around water points and environmental degradation. Somali
pastoralists in Wajir District in northern Kenya, claim they
lost of 75% of the most palatable pastures as a result of the
proliferation of mechanised boreholes. Milk yields in their
community declined between 66% and 75% since
the 1940s.5°

In other areas the privatisation of water points, and
surrounding pastures, also severely limits pastoral mobility

and fuels conflict. In Mali and Niger wealthy livestock

The obstacles to mobility

traders, customary chiefs and well-placed civil servants are
increasingly investing in water development as a

way of controlling the surrounding pastures thereby
ensuring priority, and in many cases exclusive access, for

their own livestock.

Traditional water management

in Ethiopia

Pastoralists traditionally control stocking rates by controlling the
number of animals that can drink from a permanent dry season
water point. This water management ensures sustainable use of the
rangeland in dryland areas.

Among the Boran in southern Ethiopia, the Abba Herrega, an
elected water manager, controls the clan's traditional deep wells
that provide permanent water in the dry season. [he Abba Herrega
ensures that strict watering regimes are followed. The livestock of
the well's owner are watered first, followed by the most senior
member of the clan responsible for traditional administrative issues,
and then others according to the membership of the given Borana
clan. Setting the watering rotation Is the responsibility of the well
council. All those who graze in the same grazing circumference as
the well have access rights to the water point. People who come
from other grazing areas are not denied water, but they will need to

negotiate the conditions of access.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

5 Borders and boundaries

National borders are a huge obstacle to pastoralist mobility
and effective trading, and are often a source of conflict.
Official concern about cross-border pastoral mobility places a
lot of emphasis on security, theft and the spread of epidemics,
and attempts to regulate cross-border mobility tends to focus
more on checking arms traffic than on enhancing pastoral
production systems. Many of Africa’s national borders

were arbitrarily created under colonialisation and took no
account of existing populations and their needs. At the Berlin
Conference in 1885 the European powers split pastoral
communities apart, dividing their seasonal grazing lands, and
cutting through trading routes. This weakened pastoralists
politically and economically. Pastoral groups that try to
maintain their mobility, to access pastures or visit members
of their family or clan across the border, are seen as threats to
political or military security.

National borders are not the only problem. In-country
administrative boundaries, such as districts, can also be a
hindrance. Newly established local government authorities
in Mali and Niger — created through decentralisation — are
heavily taxing transhumant pastoralists that pass through
their territories as a way of raising funds. In this way, local
government authorities are using non-resident, and thus
non-voting, transhumant pastoralists to subsidise the costs of
local development among their constituents. When poorly
applied, village-based land use planning approaches, such
as that implemented in Tanzania through the Village Land

Act, can also create artificial borders. When the planning


process is limited to the area of land under village control it
fails to accommodate the fact that pastoralists need to move
with their livestock to and from different ecological zones
in different seasons, if their animals are to remain productive
and healthy. The danger of village land use planning is that
it boxes pastoralists into ‘islands’. This was a major problem
in Burkina Faso when it implemented its gestion de terroir

approach in the 1980s.

6 Conflict

Conflicts are also a major block to mobility, altering grazing
patterns, reducing productivity and increasing environmental
degradation. The enduring conflicts in Chad and Sudan
mean pastoralists move together in larger groups for security
but have subsequently found it more difficult to access

high quality pasture and water. Sudan’s conflict with Egypt
also reduced access to key grazing areas for Beja pastoralists
in Red Sea state. Where grazing areas cannot be accessed
the underutilisation of pasture leads to bush encroachment.
Where pastoralists become squeezed into smaller grazing
areas, competition for a dwindling resource increases and
conflict becomes inevitable and self-perpetuating.

In the Karamoja region of Uganda armed violence is now
endemic. Most reports explain the violence as traditional
cattle raiding coupled with recent widespread access to semi-
automatic weapons, but the violence is strongly rooted in
diminished access to rangelands.*! The Karimojong have lost

40 per cent of their grazing land since colonial times, forcing

The obstacles to mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

them to change their movements and graze their animals
in areas where they do not have historically developed
access rights. New tensions have arisen with other groups
and the traditional dispute mediation mechanisms
(controls on violence previously exercised by clan elders)
have broken down with warriors now distanced from
their home communities. Military commanders have also
become sandwiched between groups, demanding
permission for cattle to be moved between new, artificially

demarcated, districts.

7 Social change
Pastoral mobility is also being affected by changing
aspirations and economic need. Rural communities are
altering with an increasing number of farmers owning
livestock themselves, whilst an increasing number of
pastoralists are to turning to agriculture or trade after losing
their animals and being unable to reconstitute a herd.
Pastoralists have always had reciprocal arrangements with
farmers to obtain access to crop residues and to sell their
dairy products, with farmers relying on pastoralists to buy
their grain and provide manure. The new trend is for farmers
themselves to invest in livestock. In Mali, for example Dogon
and Soniké ‘farmers’ now have large herds and are learning
the skills of animal husbandry with the help of paid Fulani
herders. In many areas local farmers now carefully guard crop
residues for their own animals and have less need for manure.

A further problem is that as many of these farmers’ herds

The obstacles to mobility

are relatively sedentary, local pastures are being continuously
grazed throughout the year. With reduced exchanges
between groups, there is less dialogue and negotiation and
thus less understanding and compromise. This increases
mistrust and allows minor clashes to escalate in violence.

Changing personal aspirations are also affecting mobility
and creating a trend for more sedentary livelihoods. Women
in Laaye, Somaliland, say that girls are now more reluctant
to repeat the hard lives of their mothers and grandmothers
and prefer a life in town. For younger men, activities such
as charcoal burning provide a more immediate source of
income than livestock.”

The Mohamid Arabs in eastern Niger still see a future in a
mobile way of life, and hope that their children will follow it
too, but they recognise that some of the younger generation
have other ambitions such as setting up a business in town
trading. Some youth want an easier life: to have access to
running water, a nearby clinic and good mobile phone
networks. But it is also because they no longer want to be
under the control of their parents. Young women generally
don't dream of moving to town. Rather, their ideal is to fulfil
their role as wives and mothers in a pastoral setting. The
older generation are pragmatic. They know that while some
of their children will follow their lives and gain fulfilment
and freedom from living a mobile lifestyle in the bush, others

will see their future and freedom in town.”



When livestock are unable to access grazing or
cross borders, the whole pastoral system
becomes less efficient and the economy suffers.
When livestock are forced to remain in one
place, pressure on natural resources increases,
particularly around water points. Faced with
the threat of destitution, pastoralists make every
effort to remain mobile, and this can result in

conflict if their way is blocked.

Across the drylands inappropriate policies are
blocking livestock mobility. Enduring
perceptions of pastoralism as an outdated,
economically inefficient and environmentally
destructive land use system continue to drive
rangeland and livestock policy in much of
Africa. Yet, none of these perceptions are
evidence-based, informed by past failure or
reflect current scientific knowledge of the
dynamics in dry land environments and
livelihood systems. Nor are they designed with
the participation of pastoral communities.
These persistent beliefs must be left behind in
the 20th century.

The obstacles to mobility

and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

“Mobility is the backbone of pastoralism. Pastoral

mobility is now being undermined because many
of the decision makers and policy makers from

governments, donors, international and local

agencies do not understand the importance of
mobility in the pastoral livelihoods. They design,
implement or fund ‘projects, that do not take
into consideration the importance of mobility

in pastoral livelihoods. While ‘development’ is
necessary and important in pastoral areas, such
developments should not undermine or destroy
the pastoral livelihoods rather it should be

planned and implemented in a context that is

desirable and suitable to pastoral livelihoods.”

Mohamed Abdinoor
Technical Advisor, Pastoral and Livestock Programs

USAID Ethiopia.


Part 3
The opportunities for mobility

“Pastoralists are like guinea fowl: if you surround them they all fly off.
The challenge is to find ways of supporting them whilst allowing them

to keep moving.”


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

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The opportunities for mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Progressive regional integration

Recognising that pastoralism frequently needs to cross
international borders, and that regional trade needs support,
several international institutions are formalising cross-
border pastoral mobility. This provides nation states with a
benchmark to design their own policy and legislation. The
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
has led the way, providing an institutional framework to
facilitate cross-border livestock mobility.

The ECOWAS International Transhumance Certificate
(ITC) facilitates cross-border livestock mobility between its
fifteen member states in West Africa. Cross-border movement
is authorised by granting a certificate that controls the
departure of pastoralists from their home countries, assures
the health of local herds, and informs the populations of
‘welcoming areas’ of pastoralists’ arrival in a timely manner.
In theory herders can obtain the certificates from their local
authorities without great difficulty. The challenge is to make
this work in practice.

East Africa COMESA (Common Market for East
and Southern Africa) now has a livestock trade initiative
aimed at addressing the constraints to development in the
livestock sector, and improving livestock trade in its region.
There are plans to introduce a livestock ‘green card’ to

ease cross-border movement of livestock, modeled on the

ECOWAS cattle certificate.

“The wind is now blowing towards the pastoralists, but it has

not yet rained.”

The opportunities for mobility

The African Union is developing a Pastoral Policy
Framework for Africa. It is supported by a Specialist

‘Task Force comprised of representatives of pastoral civil
society and pastoral policy actors from different regions

of Africa. The task force is hosting regional and national
consultations to help design the policy framework. The Inter-
Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) also has

a Livestock Policy Initiative that is addressing the policy and
institutional changes needed for the poor to benefit from
enhanced livestock production. It has established in country

‘policy hubs’ to coordinate national level processes.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

The pastoral code of Mauritania
“\.. Pastoral mobility is protected under all circumstances and can only be
limited temporarily and for reasons of safety of animals and crops, and

this in accordance with the provision of the law." (Article 10).

Tanzanian National Strategy for Growth
and Reduction of Poverty 2005

“Achievement of sustainable and broad-based growth will incorporate the
following strategic actions: Promoting efficient utilization of rangeland,
empowering pastoralists to improve livestock productivity through
improved access to veterinary services, reliable water supply, recognizing

pastoralism as sustainable livelihood ...”

The Malian Pastoral Charter

“Throughout the country, livestock may be moved for sedentary livestock
keeping, transhumant livestock keeping or nomadic livestock keeping”.
(Art 14). “Livestock mobility takes place on livestock corridors. These are
local corridors and transhumant corridors.” (Art 15). “Local government
is responsible for managing livestock corridors with the help of pastoral
organisations and in collaboration with all concerned stakeholders."(Art
16). “Any form of occupation, blockage or use of a livestock corridor or
any infringement whatsoever is strictly forbidden. Pastoralists and their
organizations should monitor that those areas reserved as livestock
corridors are used for their intended purpose and contribute to their

maintenance in collaboration with the local government authority.”

(Article 17).


Constitution of Ethiopia

“Ethiopian pastoralists have the right to free land for grazing and


cultivation, as well as the right not to be displaced from their own land.

The implementation shall be specified by law.” (Artide 40 (5)).

Niger’s pastoral law

.. mobility is a fundamental right of herders, nomadic pastoralists and

transhumants, a right recognised and guaranteed by the State and local
government authorities... Mobility is a rational and sustainable manner
in which to use pastoral resources and can not be prevented except

on a temporary basis and for reasons threatening the security of

people, animals, forests and cultivation in conditions as described by

law.” (Article 3).

The opportunities for mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

National policy reform

Over the past 15 years the pace of policy reform in West
Africa has been considerable. The governments of Burkina
Faso, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Niger have all passed
specific pastoral laws to protect pastoral land and to
facilitate livestock mobility both within countries and across
international borders. The Pastoral Charter of Mali devotes a
whole chapter to the right of pastoral communities to move
with their animals both within and between countries. In
addition, Mali’s agricultural orientation law promotes the
modernisation of the livestock sector whilst recognising
pastoralism, and the need to facilitate livestock mobility
within and between countries. In 2003 Burkina Faso and
Niger signed an agreement to establish a commission to
ensure the smooth and conflict free movement of livestock
between their respective countries.

In eastern Africa too there is some progress. The Poverty
Reduction Strategies of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and
Tanzania all recognise pastoralism as a livelihood system
deserving of support. The Constitution of the Federal
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia guarantees the communal
land holding and collective rights of pastoralists, while that of
Uganda recognizes customary land tenure and provides for
community land associations to be registered as landholders.
East Africa has also established influential pastoral
parliamentary groups that offer oversight of government
policy. Pastoralists Day in Ethiopia and Pastoralists Week
in Kenya are now regular features on these countries’

political calendars.

The opportunities for mobility

Kenya has created a new Ministry for the Development of
Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands intent on supporting
pastoralism and mobile livestock keeping. Tanzania has
created a new Ministry of Livestock Development and
Fisheries with a department for pastoral systems development.
Local government reforms through decentralisation or
regionalisation programmes in East and West Africa have
introduced a radical new agenda involving civil society in
areas traditionally controlled by government. The devolution
of authority for the management of local affairs including
land and the provision of key services such as water, health
and education in Mali, Niger, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and
Burkina Faso offer hope for the more active involvement
of pastoral communities in the implementation of policies
that affect their lives in many countries. These reforms show
initial acceptance at policy level, and in some cases legislation,
of pastoralism as a valuable and essential livelihood. This
recognition places pastoralist production on a more level
playing field with other land use demands. It also vindicates
pastoral indigenous knowledge and practice, as well as the
scientific research that confirms the critical role of livestock
mobility in maximizing productivity and preserving the

environment from degradation.

“A policy framework by definition cannot be enforced. It is a value
system to inform national processes.”
Michael Ochieng Odhiambo

Executive Director of Resources Conflict Institute, Kenya. 56


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Mobility innovations

Pastoralists are very good at embracing change and adopting
technological advances. Although the governments of the
drylands may be undertaking policy and legislative reform at
varying speeds, pastoralists are constantly innovating: adapting
new strategies and approaches to overcome obstacles and
keep on the move. Mobile phones are now everywhere.
Whether Fulani, Maasai, Tuareg, Arab or Turkana, pastoralists
use their phones to check on pasture and water conditions,
to compare market prices and to minimise livestock theft
from bandits.

Tirina ole Kailonko is a Maasai herder who lives in
Mbirikani in Kajiado district of southern Kenya. When
Tirina wants to sell his cows he has a choice of 3 markets:
Emali which is 50 km away, Mombasa 350 km away and
Nairobi 150 km away. With improvements in communication
infrastructure, Tirina no longer relies on friends and
middlemen. He uses his cellphone to speak to his contacts or
queries the national livestock marketing information system
for prices of cattle in the markets. Based on the cost of
transporting the animals by truck and the time it takes to get
his cattle to the market, he is then able to make a decision
on which market to deliver his load of animals. According
to Tirina, prior knowledge of the expected average prices in
different markets has improved his bargaining power. He has
gradually become independent of middlemen in the livestock
marketing chain, and has improved his income.*”’

In West Africa the Fulani and WoDaaBe of Niger are

increasingly WW W-aware. These groups develop their own


websites to reach out to a wider public, to defend their way
of life and to explain the key role of mobility. The WoDaaBe
have adapted their traditional gathering of clans and created
an internationally renowned General Assembly. Donors,
NGOs and tourists are all invited to attend what has become
a cultural festival, further raising the political visibility of
these emerging new forms of social organisation.
See: http://www.

Inter-ethnic marriages within and between pastoral and
other communities are also much more prevalent today than
forty years ago as pastoralists seek new ways to secure access
to resources. Inter-ethnic grazing is another new approach,
with Toubou and Arab pastoralists in Chad and Niger now
paying Fulani or Tuareg herders to manage their animals as a
way of pasturing their animals in these groups’ territories.

These innovations are assisted by new thinking amongst
development agencies who, after decades of development
failure, now facilitate more holistic interventions in pastoral
areas. Projects that focused solely on water development,
animal health or range management have been replaced with
concern about social, institutional and governance issues.
Projects now strengthen the capacity of customary leaders
and experiment with ways to protect key pastoral assets in
the event of drought or disease. The importance of markets
has also finally been recognised with innovations ranging

from pastoral credit provision to drought insurance.

The opportunities for mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands


The opportunities for mobility 57

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

IRAM in Niger”

Building social consensus for inclusive and reciprocal
management of pastoral resources in Niger (pastoral water
programmes funded by French Development Agency, AFD).
Following initial contacts with local government authorities and
other development organisations in the area, the following steps
were taken:

| Present and validate the project’s objectives and
participatory and tterative approach. Research is conducted
to better understand how the local actors in each commune
perceive the challenges to livestock mobility and what they
consider to be the main priorities for action.

2 Meeting those transhumant groups that habitually pass
through the areas. This is critical for understanding how their
system works, how it is changing, what are the problems and
their priorities for addressing them.

3 A series of commune-level meetings to identify a
preliminary list of water points, livestock corridors and pastoral
grazing areas to be developed or rehabilitated, and to discuss
the principles underpinning their future management in line with
provisions within existing laws (Rural Code, Pastoral Law and
decentralisation) and with the transhumance systems.

4 A series of inter-commune meetings where the results of
deliberations are then discussed at district level. These meetings
are essential to ensure livestock corridors and watering and
resting points are rationally located in relation to each other
at the higher district and interdistrict levels from an ecological
perspective and to ensure animals can move smoothly across

the country. Principles for the equitable management of these


resources are also discussed to ensure all local authorities apply
the same rules and conditions,

Two feasibility studies are now carried out. À technical
study to establish the practicability, cost effectiveness and
environmental feasibility of rehabilitating or developing the
proposed water points, and a social study to determine the likely
land tenure Issues to arise and the likelihood or not of resident
communities accepting the livestock corridors across their land,
requiring a long negotiation process.

Results of the studies are then presented and discussed
in each commune with the participation of representatives of
transhumant pastoralists. At these meetings, final decisions on
the location of livestock corridors and watering and resting
points are made. Decisions are communicated to higher-level
government authorities.

Works start following a tendering process and local
management structures and rules for the equitable use and
maintenance of the infrastructure are established.

Facilitate the creation of local water and land
commissions at the level of the Communes as provided by
the Rural Code. Local management rules are agreed to ensure
equitable use and maintenance of water points.

These commissions provide oversight, ensure local agreements
are respected and monitor the good use and management of

the infrastructure.

The opportunities for mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Re-opening or creating livestock corridors
Multiple projects in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and
Sudan are securing livestock mobility and enhancing
production by re-opening traditional transhumance routes
or demarcating new ones. These initiatives work within

the logic of the pastoral system, incorporating the different
reasons that underpin mobility as well as the different
itineraries the livestock may follow. Livestock routes will
typically enable the movement of livestock between and
within different ecological zones, according to season. For
example, corridors will link the highly nutritious rainy season
pastures of the northern Sahel with the dry season grazing
found further south in the farming belt.

These new generation projects also work hard at
strengthening existing management structures or creating
new hybrid ones combining customary and modern
institutions. Much attention is paid to addressing land tenure
and establishing appropriate institutional mechanisms at the
outset, to reconcile the competing interests over resources
often found in Africa’s rangelands.

Africa’s rangelands are part of what is broadly called the
‘commons’ — natural resources that are owned, managed and
used collectively by different users, either simultaneously
or sequentially often under different tenure arrangements.
Through experience, projects now acknowledge that rules
for the management of these areas must recognise and secure
these multiple interests.

Before spending any money on physical infrastructure

(demarcation beacons, water points) it is essential to invest in

The opportunities for mobility

the time it takes to build consensus among all the users,
even those who may only visit an area for a few weeks

from time to time.

“The murhal was 20 metres in width before the demarcation;

now the width is 100 metres. It took a large portion from my
agricultural land. At the beginning I refused that and I asked for
compensation, but finally I accepted under pressures from the

Sheikh and the villagers. Now I do feel the benefits of the
demarcation for me personally, for the people of the village and

also the pastoralists. The demarcation should include all the murhals
in South Kordofan so that conflicts could be minimized and peaceful
co-existence promoted.”

Hussein Hamid Nabag North Village, South Kordofan.”

There is much debate on the merits of using physical signs,
such as metal signs on poles sunk in concrete, to demarcate
the boundaries of livestock corridors. Critics argue that
they are expensive, risk detracting investment in the time
necessary to build social consensus and that marked out
corridors can in fact limit pastoralists mobility — forcing
them to take the corridors where they could previously
take any route. Supporters argue that corridors marked with
beacons act as a visible reminder of pastoralists land rights
and increase their security in the eyes of other land users,

traditional and state responsibilities.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Supporting pastoral customary
institutions in southern Ethiopia‘
Only forty years ago the southern rangelands of Ethiopia were
highly productive grasslands. Today many are invaded by woody
scrub, are ploughed up for farmland and in some areas are over
grazed as a result of permanent settlements and a decline in
livestock mobility As a result pastoralists are more vulnerable to
unpredictable, variable and scattered rainfall, and to drought and
climate change. It Is critical for rangeland productivity to be
restored in this area so as to increase levels of livestock production
and sales, and allow communities to break out of a declining spiral
of vulnerability and destitution.

After several false starts, Save the Children/US, with support from
SOS Sahel Ethiopia, adopted a participatory rangeland management
approach - putting customary institutions and leaders centre-stage

in the decision-making processes. These institutions vary from one

pastoral community to another but are not the ‘political institutions’


so well documented by social anthropologists. Rather they are
more informal ‘landscape assemblies’ responsible for the day-to-day
management of livestock and rangelands. Among the Boran they are
known as the jaarsa dheedaa, traditionally responsible for managing
natural resources in their area.

The approach is founded on helping the landscape assemblies to
map the key features of the pastoral systems in their areas (seasonal
grazing areas, water points, salt pans, forests, Ilvestock routes). The
maps are then used as the basis of community discussions to identify
and plan remedial actions. In Liben, Borana assemblies have discussed
the key role of livestock mobility and the problems associated with
current settlement patterns, and decided to return inappropriate
private enclosures to communal ownership, while opening up stock
routes to water points and salt pans.

These initial activities have triggered the meeting of other
landscape assemblies, independently of Save the Children/US, after
some thirty years of inactivity. Assemblies can involve as many as
350 pastoralists and last as along as three days. Discussions focus
on rangeland management issues including mobility, the dismantling
of private enclosures, and the re-opening of formerly closed stock
routes to water and mineral licks. Local government authorities
regularly attend the meetings and as a result it has also been
possible to mobilise community labour to rehabilitate wells, select
and train community animal health workers and to discuss (and in

some cases resolve) low-level interethnic conflict.

The opportunities for mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Establishing water points and resting areas
When creating livestock corridors it is essential that

basic services be provided along the routes to facilitate

the movement of animals over long distances. These

include water for livestock and people, grazing areas where
animals can rest before continuing their journey, as well as
access to markets and health services. The demarcation of
the livestock corridors by themselves is insufficient to secure
livestock mobility.

Watering points along livestock corridors and in
grazing areas need to be strategically located, well managed
and well spaced. Management systems need to address
two critical issues: ensuring equitable access to water -
avoiding the privatisation or appropriation of the water by
any particular group to the detriment of another group;
and, ensuring regular supply, particularly in the dry season
through a viable maintenance system. In many cases the
overriding issue is whether the management responsibility
should lie principally with the users or with the government.
Experience from Chad where both approaches are being
used highlights the difficulties.

‘The users pay approach is based on the principle that
if primary users take responsibility for the construction and
subsequent management of a water point, they will have
a strong incentive to maintain it. The National Livestock
Programme (Programme Nationale d’Elevage) in Chad
asked users to contribute to a water point through cash,
providing labour and collecting raw materials. A management

committee was then created from the community to levy

The opportunities for mobility

fees for maintenance and repair charges. Pastoralists and
some other actors are highly critical of this approach. They
claim the system is open to abuse by richer members of

the community, or those in power, who by contributing
financially to the construction are able to extort higher fees
or exclude other users. There is also no guarantee that a
fee-based system makes a water point sustainable and that the
money is reinvested.

The water as a public good approach is favoured
by pastoralists and promoted by the French development
cooperation (Agence Frangaise de Développement) and
IRAM (Institut de Recherche et d’Applications des
Méthodes de développement). It is the State’s responsibility
to ensure sustainable provision of water, while the role
of the community is to ensure its equitable and peaceful
management. Customary leaders nominate well ‘managers’
who regulate access to water according to customary
principles: priority rights of access are for members of
the clan associated with the water point, while third party
access is ensured through negotiation. Access to water, while
free in monetary terms, is carefully regulated to balance
livestock numbers against pasture availability. Emphasis is on
the maintenance of social relations and the promotion of
reciprocal arrangements, a central strategy for maintaining
pastoral mobility. It is also a pragmatic response to the fact
that pastoral communities, often living in very isolated
environments, don’t have the skills and time to ensure the

maintenance of their water point.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

“The fact that the training was completely delivered in Pulaar, my mother
tongue, allowed me to benefit even though | am illiterate. Imagine that
! was able to challenge with sound arguments Hardin's theory of the
tragedy of the commons! The pastoral training dealt with my life. The
training gave me confidence to challenge government officials’ views on
such issues as destocking, sedentarisation, over-grazing. Just recently, |
attended a district-level meeting but when | heard pastoralists and their
animals being accused of degrading the environment, | couldn't help
myself and demanded to be heard.! was able to explain that contrary
to their views, animals can have a positive effect on the environment,
that pastoralism is the most adapted system for climate change and
that it is less destructive that farming. In short, | explained some of the
things | had learnt from the training and when I'd finished | sat down to
thunderous applause! Since then, I've made a radio programme for our
community radio station, Gaynaako FM and I've just been elected as a
rural councillor, which now gives me the chance to defend the interests

of pastoralists in my area’


Mamadou Koly Ba
56 years old, illiterate, member of Arwannde Dental Aynaabe,

a pastoral association in Senegal


“After the training the pastoralists realised that they themselves now have

the skills to defend their own interests...they decided it was necessary
to establish an association which brought together all the associations
in the Bankass district. We put them in touch with the Chamber of
Agriculture and they founded an association called the Bankass District

Coordination of Professional Livestock Organisations (COPE).”

Baba Maiga of Sahel Eco in Mali

“Usually, if the Coordination (COPE) encounters problems with the

different activities it carries out in the district, it contacts us. Just recently,
for example, they contacted us about the occupation of livestock
corridors in the commune of Socura, in the commune of Baye and in
particular in the commune of Ouenkoro. There, the resting places had
been occupied by farmers who had tried to clear fields in the forest. The
sub-Prefect intervened very quickly to stop their activities which are of a

sort to damage the development of livestock production in the sector

Mr Meissa Fane Sub-Prefect of Bankass

The opportunities for mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Understanding and respecting

rights to pastoral mobility

A common objective of many new projects in East and West
Africa is to build the capacities of pastoral communities and
civil society organisations to engage with national policy and
local development processes. Activities typically include adult
literacy, civic education and training on pastoral systems.

A well organized and informed pastoral civil society
supported by local government authorities following the
rule of law is essential if pastoralists, particularly transhumant

herders, are able to exercise their rights to livestock mobility.


Improving policy makers’ and practitioners’ understanding
of the significant economic, environmental and social
benefits of livestock mobility is the subject of a training
programme initially designed by ARED in Senegal and
subsequently adapted to eastern Africa by ITED, Resources
Conflict Institute (RECONCILE), the Training Centre

for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC) and Tufts
University. The training is now being delivered in French,
English, Pulaar and Kiswahili by a range of organisations in
East and West Africa. The training explicitly builds the skills
and confidence of pastoralists and their leaders to explain
the scientific basis for livestock mobility in the ‘language’ of
policy makers and development practitioners. Pastoralists
acquire a more equal footing with government and the
development community, and confidence to challenge

outsiders’ perceptions of pastoralism.

The opportunities for mobility

Civic education

NGOs and civil society groups are experimenting with

new activities to improve the formal justice system.

The legal empowerment of communities through techniques
such as mobile legal clinics, mobile courts and the training
of community-based paralegals is beginning to bear fruit.
EVEIL in Mali Gn collaboration with Sahel Eco) have
trained over sixty community-based change agents (the
Ya-Pinal) in basic legal concepts, making them very effective
in defending pastoralists’ rights. Paralegals are members of
the communities in which they live and work. They have
some formal schooling and are literate in French and in the
local language, fulfuldé.'To function effectively as advisors
paralegals must be well respected and discrete. They must
have the confidence of village heads and the local mayor
who play important roles in non-judicial conciliation
processes. And they must collaborate with the District Judge,
who has the power to make local conciliation agreements

legally binding.

“.. paralegals’ operations are completely legitimate. If these paralegals
didn’t exist, they would have to be created. These paralegals help
village leaders in their mission to resolve and prevent the conflicts
over land tenure, which break out in the heart of these communities.
Tt helps us to relieve our courts of the very many cases which can be
settled at the local level.”

Sory Diakité A judge sitting on Mopti’s Administrative Tribunal


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Destocking using private traders“

During the Horn of Africa drought in 2006 two private livestock
traders were linked with pastoralists to purchase their cattle. Led
by the Department of Fisheries and Livestock Marketing, Save the
Children US provided two traders US$25,000 each in loans to buy
cattle. This led to the purchase of an estimated 20,000 cattle valued
at $1.01 million. Approximately 5,405 households benefited, each
of which received on average $1 86 from the sale of their cattle.
The income from this destocking accounted for just over half of
household income, and was used to buy food, care for livestock,
meet various domestic expenses, support relatives and either pay
off debts or add to savings. Expenditure on care for the remaining
livestock amounted to 36.5 per cent of the local expenditure, and
included significantly, the private trucking of livestock to better
grazing areas. [he buoyant export trade in live cattle and chilled
meat was considered to be an important driver of the accelerated
off-take, demonstrating a positive linkage between livestock and

meat exports, and pastoral vulnerability during drought.

Mongolia: Herders purchase insurance
for asset protection“

The base insurance product (BIP) is a commercial policy sold and
serviced by insurance companies. [he product pays out when the
mortality rates in their region exceed a specified trigger (7% in the
initial year). The maximum payment for the BIP Is at an agreed level
(30%). If losses in the region exceed this level, the government's
Disaster Response Product (DRP) compensates all herders
(including those who don't buy private insurance). For example, take

a herder who has 36 sheep, where the value of a sheep is 28,320


Tugrik (approx. US$24). The herder decides to insure the total value:
28,320 Tg x 36 animals = 1,019,520 Tg. The premium for the BIP
is 1.4%, so the herder would pay 14% = 1,019,520 = 14,2731g
— the value of half a sheep. If the animal mortality rate in the herder's
soum (county) during a bad year equals 35%, the payment rate for
the BIP equals 30% - 7% = 23% and thus the BIP payment is 23% x
1,019,526 Tg = 234,490 Tg, He would receive the other 5% under
the government's DRP (50,976 Tg).

The opportunities for mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Market based approaches to keeping
pastoralists mobile during droughts

Millions and millions of US$ have been spent in pastoral
drought relief in dryland Africa since the 1970s. Nearly all
of this money has gone on buying food aid, which while
saving pastoral lives has failed to save their livelihoods. For
many pastoral communities, the return of the rains after the
drought has not allowed them to return to mobile livestock
keeping. Having lost their animals during the drought,

they either remain in or around the towns from which

they received the food aid that saved their lives, sometimes
succeeding in a new livelihood, or they try their hand at
agriculture, charcoal making or, in extreme cases, adopting a
violent lifestyle. This failure is not only a human tragedy but
an economic one too, as governments bear both the price
of livestock production foregone and the cost of supporting
these communities.

Groundbreaking work by a consortium of agencies in
eastern Africa has been experimenting with market-based
approaches to protect the key livelihood assets of pastoral
communities. By providing cash for work, as opposed to food
for work, or by facilitating controlled de-stocking of pastoral
livestock through the market with private traders, pastoralists
in Ethiopia and Kenya managed to save their core breeding
herd though the drought of 2006. These initiatives take a
livelihoods approach to emergency response, which not only
helps to harmonise relief and development interventions, so
often contradictory, but also strengthens pastoralists’ resilience

to drought.

The opportunities for mobility

Pastoralists can now buy private insurance to cover the loss

of their herds to drought, and receive compensation in the
event of animals dying because there is not enough pasture
to feed them. This service, available to pastoralists in
Mongolia, is being considered for dryland Africa too. The
International Livestock Research Institute, among others, is
exploring how index-based insurance can help pastoralists
and other communities reduce the risks of destitution as a
result of drought by protecting their livestock assets.
Index-based insurance is based on a fixed trigger
mechanism not directly related to any individual
production unit, such as a family herd or farm. Rather,
the trigger for payment is based on calculating, for
example, average livestock mortality levels in a particular
area or the cumulative rainfall in a season in a specific area.
In this situation, compensation is automatically paid to
all those individuals if data shows that livestock mortality
or total seasonal rainfall is below the threshold set by the

insurance company.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Securing mobility: how to make it happen
There are successes and there are failures. In some places,
pastoral mobility is being secured, in others it is not. But
a wealth of experience is developing on the practicalities
and tactics of supporting livestock mobility, strengthening
the resilience of pastoralism, and resolving conflict. This
experience is being better captured and shared. Learning
networks are emerging which cross institutional boundaries
- bringing together government authorities, communities and
their representatives, parliamentarians, the private sector as
well as the research and development community. Research is
supporting dialogue and informing debate on the significant
economic contribution of pastoralism. As a result there is
not only a growing consensus on the necessity of livestock
mobility in Africa’s drylands, but a better understanding of

what needs to be done in practice to support it.

1 Take the time to build consensus

When identifying rules of access, or resolving disagreements
over the use of natural resources, involvement of all the users
is of fundamental importance. Leaders of mobile pastoral
communities are hard to identify and even harder to get
together in one place. The leaders of sedentary pastoral and
farming communities are easier to find but do not necessarily
represent or fully understand the interests of mobile livestock
keepers. The fact that users are further differentiated along
lines of gender, income, power and age adds to the challenge.
What is essential in any intervention involving pastoralist

communities and fellow resource users is allocating the time


that it takes to build consensus. Multiple exchanges will

be needed between the many people at community and
local government levels before any action can be taken

at all. Investing in extended consultations accounts for only
a fraction of project costs but underpins the success of all
the subsequent costly interventions in infrastructure,

legislation, etc.

2 Work at the right geographical scale

Initiatives that seek to secure livestock mobility must

work at the appropriate scale and according to the logic

of the pastoral system. It is essential to incorporate the full
geographical area within which pastoralism is being practiced.
Sometimes this will require a cross-border approach. All

the different reasons underpinning mobility as well as the
different itineraries being followed must be accommodated
in the planning stage. To get the full picture it is essential

to involve the leaders of all transhumant groups, customary
leaders from both pastoral and farming communities and

the different levels of local government authority. Given

the distances that some pastoral groups travel, this will
require consultations that start at village government or
commune level, and will progressively involve the district, the
region, and in the case of cross-border movements, relevant
government authorities, customary leaders and civil society

organisation in neighbouring countries.

The opportunities for mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

3 Combine formal and customary governance
Initiatives should work through customary institutions
wherever possible, integrating transhumant communities
with formal local authorities. Where necessary hybrid
mechanisms should be built for long-term management of
mobility. Though weakened, and not formally recognised

by the State in many countries, customary institutions still
regulate pastoral mobility in many parts of East and West
Africa. Customary institutions have the knowledge, skills and,
most critically, the legitimacy to make and enforce informed
decisions on livestock mobility and the management of water

and pastures.

4 Address land tenure issues

If livestock are to move freely across the range and between
different grazing areas, the land must remain under some
form of collective control that is either under customary

or government tenure arrangements. To avoid conflict,
institutional arrangements for the management of the
commons, including the rangelands, have to recognise and
secure the many multiple interests and demands involved.
If arrangements are to work effectively they have to be
identified and agreed upon by all the users who use the land
for however short a period of time. The full involvement of
all will ensure the rules and regulations for accessing and
managing the resources are appropriate, and even more

importantly, will be considered legitimate and thus respected

and adhered to.

The opportunities for mobility

5 Retain flexibility

Pastoralism is by definition flexible and dynamic. Pastoralist
mobility responds to changing circumstances, and initiatives
need to be equally mobile. This goes for providing formal
services (health care, education) as well as building
infrastructure aimed at reinforcing pastoral mobility.
Corridors shouldn’t be marked with concrete beacons when
cattle trails traditionally change course from one year to

the next according to local climatic and social conditions.
Agreements for the preservation and management of pastoral
resources that enable livestock mobility (corridors, watering
and resting points) need to be formalised without being
overly prescriptive and rigid. Local conventions have been
used with some success in the Sahel to ensure an adequate
level of formalisation, in line with both formal law and
customary practice; preserving a level of flexibility that

enables agreements to be re-negotiated as necessary.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Innovative thinking and practice that looks at
pastoralism holistically, and works within the

logic of the pastoral system, is securing pastoral
mobility. The re-opening of livestock corridors
with appropriate long-term management systems
in place, and accessible water points and resting
areas, is making a huge difference. The provision of
appropriate training has improved the confidence
of pastoralists and increased respect for the system
from non-pastoralists. These initiatives now need to

be replicated all across the drylands.

The changes to the institutional framework of
pastoralism at national and international levels are a
very significant step. The challenge now is to turn
commitments into practice, designing laws and
regulations that ensure that mobility is enhanced
and protected on the ground. Changes in practices
and attitudes are critical in this respect if policy

commitments are to be turned into reality.

The opportunities for mobility

“The Arid Lands Resource Management Project,
which is implemented by the Government of
Kenya with the support of the World Bank, is
fully behind livestock mobility as a key strategy
to ensure food security and peace in ASAL
areas while also contributing to the wealth

of the nation.”

Ms Fatuma Abdikadir
National Project Coordinator, Arid Lands Resource Management Project,

Government of Kenya


Part 4
“Unsustainable practices are woven deeply into the fabric of modern life.

Yet we have the human and material resources to place our economies and

societies on a sounder footing.”

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Secure pastoralism is climate sensitive

Climatic trends

Although climatic variability is the norm in Africa’s drylands,
human induced climate change is beginning to pose a
serious challenge. Climate is becoming more variable and less
predictable. Successive poor rains, shifts in the beginning and
end of the rainy seasons, increased rainfall intensity which
often runs off in floods and damages crops and infrastructure,
increases and decreases in rainfall in varying parts of the
continent, and increases in drought related shocks, are all
current trends observed across the continent. These trends are

likely to continue over the short to medium term.“


Pastoralists that are mobile are in a better position to quickly
and successfully adapt to a changing climate than those tied
to sedentary land uses. For 7,000 years pastoralists have used
mobility to respond quickly to variations in the drylands’
climate, and used specialist risk spreading strategies as an
insurance against the potential loss of their stock. Whether
pastoralists will successfully adapt to the current climate
change will depend on how the environmental challenges are
tackled and whether mobility is secured. To continue to adapt,
pastoralist communities need to be informed of changes

to come, be involved in planning for the future including
measures to secure mobility together with access to grazing

and water, and explore new ways to secure their livelihoods.


Methane emissions

The livestock sector, and by implication pastoralism, has been
accused of contributing to global warming through methane
emissions. The FAO’s high-profile report Livestock’s Long
Shadow found livestock to be responsible for 18% of green
house gas emissions measured in CO: equivalent, a higher
share than transport.*’ When the data is unravelled, however,
it becomes clear that livestock have been globally aggregated
with European intensive milk production, south-east Asian
high intensity pig farming, US beef burger feedlots and
ranching and African pastoralism all lumped together. The
environmental management problems associated with global
livestock production are therefore also combined in the
analysis, including, most significantly, the deforestation taking
place in South America to make way for livestock ranches

or soya bean production to feed animals reared in China or
the Netherlands. Until we have a better understanding of the
environmental impacts of the different livestock sectors, it is a
mistake to conclude that mobile livestock keeping in Africa’s
drylands does more harm, through its contribution to global
warming, than good, through its contribution to national

food security, economic growth and carbon sequestration.
Carbon sequestration

There is now increasing interest in exploring the value

of pastoralism in mitigating the impact of climate change,

The global challenges and mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

with the carbon sequestration capability of Africa’s pastures
emerging as a real opportunity for the drylands. Thirteen
million km* of grasslands are found in Africa.“

Grasslands store approximately 34% of the global stock of
CO, — a service worth $7 per hectare. °? What is important
to note is that grasslands’ capacity to store carbon is
significantly reduced in heavily degraded areas, or where
rangelands are converted to croplands. Converting rangelands
for crop production reduces carbon storage capacity by 95%
for carbon stored above ground, and by 50% for carbon

stored below ground. ”

Environmental services

Rangelands, and pastoralism in general, are increasingly

seen as having positive environmental impacts. The grazing
action of livestock is recognised as having helped maintain
healthy populations of wildlife — the cornerstone of much
of Africa’s tourism industry. East African savannah landscapes
have been largely shaped over the course of the past 3,000
to 4,000 years by pastoralist land management practices. Well
managed grazing opens up pastures, stimulates vegetation
growth, contributes to seed dispersal and pasture diversity,
and enhances nutrient cycling through the ecosystem. Where
mobility is reduced and pastoralists are confined to limited

spaces, evidence of overgrazing becomes apparent.

The global challenges and mobility

“As rain is the key determinant factor for survival of pastoralists
they are climate sensitive compared to all people around the world.
Using their indigenous knowledge, they forecast climate outlook and
adopt effective coping mechanisms. Governments and policy makers
concerned with climate change need to listen and learn from this

useful knowledge”

Yusuf Ahmed Country Director, Islamic Relief, Ethiopia


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Securing pastoralist livelihoods

will reduce conflicts

When pastoralists lose their livelihoods, through lost access
to pastures and water, destitution threatens and they turn to
violence. Poverty is a major driver of conflict, exacerbated
by other factors including the proliferation of small arms,
breakdown in customary control and the absence of State
governance in remote border areas. Without livelihoods,
pastoralist have an incentive to be drawn into existing
conflicts, taking up opportunities to become mercenaries,
militants, gun traders or drug runners. Poverty motivates
people into violence, and in pastoral areas conflict is
increasingly becoming a ‘maladaptive’ strategy to gain power
and access resources in the absence of alternatives.”

Conflict also disrupts and destroys livelihoods that were
not originally under threat. Violent attacks, livestock raiding
and restrictions on pastoral movements are common in
remote areas. Pastoralists begin to lose their livestock to
theft, starvation and disease as the ranges across which they
previously moved shrink for security reasons. When they
are unable to feed their herds adequately they are forced
to sell their livestock at reduced prices before the onset of
starvation. Conflict thus throws vast areas of the drylands into
disuse, “disrupts the livelihoods of thousands, causes the loss
of assets and production means, and seriously undermines the
ability to translate production into wealth for both dryland
communities and for the state.” 7?

Where conflict occurs, governments also have to divert

considerable sums away from productive use towards


military interventions. In Uganda alone, the government
spends an estimated 50% of its national budget on military
interventions to reduce conflict in pastoral areas, amounting
to $100 million a year, representing the single highest
expenditure item on the budget. On some borders
governments turn a blind eye to the increasing militarisation
of their pastoralist communities, accepting that the borders
are being patrolled for free and that demilitarisation would
make the situation even more unstable.

Mobility will help restore government legitimacy because
when governments “cannot guarantee their populations’
most basic needs: safe drinking water, staple food crops,
and fodder and water for the animal herds on which
communities depend for their livelihoods... extremist groups
like the Taliban find ample recruitment possibilities in such
impoverished communities.”

“Pastoralists have a non-violent lifestyle, earning their living from the
environment. But if the stress becomes too much then people invest

in a violent lifestyle, becoming traders in small arms. And when

they become traders in small arms and trade where there is political


tension going on, that is a recipe for disaster.



Dekha Ibrahim Founder of Wajir Peace University Trust


The global challenges and mobility

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Securing pastoralist mobility would
help reduce poverty
Across the drylands pastoral poverty is pervasive and visible,
raising questions about the viability of pastoralism as a long-
term livelihood for millions. Pastoralists whose herds can
no longer support them move into subsistence agriculture,
or join the ranks of the (peri-) urban poor. As well as the
huge social cost to the state in terms of lost productivity
and the need to provide food aid, this has negative feedback
loops: ex-pastoralists tend to resort to activities that further
undermine other pastoralists — charcoal, agriculture, and
fencing off rangeland. Only a small fraction of pastoralists
have the education — up to secondary or post secondary level
— which would allow them access to salaried jobs unrelated to
livestock. The majority of pastoralists who leave the system
have no viable alternatives besides unskilled, low paying,
short-term and uncertain livelihoods.

The prevalence of pastoral poverty led to a high profile
debate that suggested there is a limit to the number of
people that can be supported by pastoralism.” The “Too
Many People, Too Few Livestock” argument is based on
the notion that a certain number of ‘tropical livestock units’
would support a given number of people, but has a number
of flaws. We know that herd productivity is not dependent
on absolute numbers of animals, or areas of grazing land, but
on the ability of pastoralists and their cows to skillfully access
the highly variable nutrient sources of the drylands. We also
know that pastoralism is not a closed system: pastoralists

have a diversity of income sources generated by different

The global challenges and mobility

members of the household thereby lessening their whole
scale dependence on the herds.

In the majority of cases it is not natural laws on growth
that are impoverishing pastoralists, it is political decision-
making hindering their mobility. When pastoralism is
adequately supported and alternative training, education
and employment options are found for those who want
out of the system, the majority of pastoralists with their risk
minimising strategies will almost always be better off than
their sedentary counterparts. Given the huge numbers of
people directly and indirectly dependent on pastoralism it
makes very real economic sense to keep in pastoralism those

people who want to do so.

“In East Africa particularly you’re not just talking about national
livelihoods, you’re talking about regional livelihoods. So if you
undermine the basis for the survival of this system then you are also

undermining the national economy.”

Michael Ochieng Odhiambo

Executive Director, Resources Conflict Institute 77


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

Where mobility is secured, pastoralism has massive
environmental benefits, can adapt to climate
change, and presents African governments with
the very real possibility of grasslands generating
revenues as carbon sinks. When their livelihoods

are secure pastoralists freely patrol inhospitable,

remote border regions and can help reduce conflict.

And when their herding strategies and practices

are secured, pastoralism allows the economic
independence of millions of people in the drylands,
who would otherwise have little alternative but to

fuel urban poverty and undesired social dynamics.

Future policy decisions need to take into account
the many valuable services and benefits provided
by pastoralism. If the pastoral system is allowed

to flip into irreversible destitution there is a real

danger that all these benefits and services will be

ost. Losing pastoralism is not in the public interest.

The global challenges and mobility

“Pastoral production systems have maintained
effective use of natural resources, have negligible
impact on the environment and sustained the
livelihood of millions of people around the
world. National governments should recognize
them as a sustainable livelihood system, and
design appropriate policies that help preserve and
promote this system.”

Yusuf Ahmed

Country Director, Islamic Relief, Ethiopia


Part 5
The way forward for mobility

“The problems of under-development in arid lands cannot be solved by the same

approaches, mindsets and methods that created them.”

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

The way forward

1 Re-orient policy in line with the evidence
Mobile livestock keeping is a sophisticated, rational and
productive use of dryland resources. If properly supported,
it sustains millions of people at low cost to governments,
contributes positively to sound environmental management,
generates substantial revenue for national economies, and
keeps the peace in remote and sparsely populated regions.

It has significant comparative advantages above alternative
methods of animal husbandry or land use in drylands. Policy

should be directed towards realising these advantages.

2 Listen to pastoralists
International scholars now agree that mobility is key to
pastoral production not only in the drylands of Africa
— but equally in the drylands of the USA or Australia. This
book includes numerous examples of the deep indigenous
knowledge that informs pastoral systems. Policy-making
processes need to be informed by this knowledge, and will
benefit from the experiences and insights of pastoralists and

their representatives.

3 Understand and protect the whole system
Mobile livestock production is a complex system that
requires a holistic response. Securing access to relatively
small but highly productive areas — along rivers, on hills, or

in alluvial plains — during the critical dry season/drought


allows pastoralists to access much larger areas at other
times. Protecting these ecologically valuable areas from
appropriation or exploitation by other users, and facilitating
livestock’s access to them, particularly during periods of
drought stress, is essential to maintaining the health of the

system as a whole.

4 Marry the formal and the customary
Pastoral areas operate under two competing systems of
institutions and laws — formal and customary. Both systems
regulate access to common property resources and manage
relationships between competing groups.

The two could be integrated in such a way that they
create a more efficient and effective governance framework

capable of mediating the interests of all livelihood groups.

5 Work at the resource-use level

The highly variable nature of resources in pastoral
environments means that governance systems should be
organised at the level of the lowest competent authority.
This will require significant and sustained investment in the

capacity building of local structures, both state and non-state.

6 ... but also strengthen inter-state institutions
Pastoral ecosystems transcend international borders. Cross-

border mobility allows pastoralists to manage risks such as

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

drought, disease and conflict and to access markets.
However, this movement is currently informal and
unregulated and therefore vulnerable to abuse. Effective
inter-state institutions help to formalise and facilitate
this movement. They also provide a forum where
governments can coordinate and harmonise the impact

of policies on neighbouring populations.

7 Reinforce the economic viability

of pastoralism ...

Pastoralism has the capacity to provide secure livelihoods
and generate significant economic wealth. Areas of
investment that will enhance this capacity include credit
facilities, veterinary inputs, social protection, tenure
security, infrastructure, sound drought management systems,
and service delivery models that accommodate mobility.
Investment in more effective and efficient marketing
infrastructure and processes will greatly contribute to
securing livelihoods and promoting greater regional trade

and development.

8 ... but also provide alternatives

Rusing populations are putting pressure on pastoral systems.
More households are herding smaller-sized herds in ever-
smaller areas. While acknowledging pastoralism’s flexibility

and adaptability, there is a limit to the numbers of people it

can sustain at productive levels. Other options are needed

for those who choose to leave the pastoral system. Serious
investment in education systems that work in areas of low
population density and with a largely mobile population is

one solution.

9 Incorporate climate change adaptation into
development plans and strategies

Climate change models for pastoral areas of Africa suggest
increasing variability and unpredictability. In theory, mobile
livestock production should be better adapted to deal with
this variability than other land use systems. Development
planning, from the design of physical infrastructure to the
location of key services and resources, should be used to

reinforce this adaptability.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands


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2 Aubague, S. (2008) Étude an Tchad. Report produced by IRAM for the project
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3 National Bank of Ethiopia database.

4 AU-IBAR Livestock policy briefing series. Africa needs animals.

Policy briefing paper N°. 1.

5 NewYork Times, Jan 20 2006. Where the zebra and wildebeest roam, cows do too.

6 OCDE. (2007) Analyse socio-économique sur l'élevage au Mali. OECD), Paris.

7 Hatfield, R. and Davies, J. (2007) Global review of the economics of pastoralism.
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11 United Republic of Tanzania. (2006). National Livestock Policy, Ministry of Livestock.

12 Muhereza, E.F and S.A. Ossiya. (2004) Pastoralism in Uganda — People, environment
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16 The University of the Bush, 23-26 March 2009. Organised by DFID
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Association. Korke Kebele, near Finchawa, Ethiopia.

17 Kratli S. (2007). Cows who choose domestication. Generation and management of domestic
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Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

18 Kratli S. (2008) Cattle breeding, complexity and mobility in a structurally unpredictable
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19 Schareika, N. (2003) Know to move, move to know: ecological knowledge and herd
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20 The University of the Bush. Op. cit.

21 Ibid.

22 Behnke, R.H. (1985) Open-range management and property rights in pastoral Africa:

a case of spontaneous range enclosure in South Darfur, Sudan. Pastoral Development
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Savannah project, South Darfur, Sudan. Mokoro Ltd. UK.

23 Wilson, R.T. & Clarke, S.E. (1976) Op. cit.

24 DeVerdière, C. P (1995) Les conséquences de la sédentarisation de l’élevage au Sahel.
Etude comparée de trois systèmes agropastoraux dans la région de Filangué, Niger.

Thèse présentée pour l'obtention du titre de Docteur de l’Institut National

Agronomique Paris-Grignon, 220 pp.


25 Krummel J. and Dritschilo S. (1977) Resource cost of animal protein production.
World Animal. Review. 21(6).

26 Breman H. and De Wit C.T. (1983) Rangeland productivity and exploitation in the Sahel.
Science, New Series, 221 (4618): 1345.

27 Cossins, WJ. (1985) The productivity of pastoral systems. ILCA Bulletin 21: 10-15.

28 Western, D. (1982) The environment and ecology of pastoralists in arid savannas.
Development and Change 13: 183-211.

29 De Ridder, N. & Wagenar K.T. (1984) A comparison between the productivity of traditional
livestock systems and ranching in Eastern Botswana. ILCA Newsletter 3 (3): 5-6.

30 Barnett, J.C. (1992) The economic role of cattle in communal farming systems in Zimbabwe.
Pastoral Development Network paper 32b, ODI, London.

31 Based on interviews undertaken by Kelley Lynch, spring 2009.

32 Little, P (2009) Hidden value on the hoof: cross-border livestock trade in Eastern Africa.
Policy Brief 2, COMESA.

33 Delgada, C., Rosegrant, M., Steinfeld, H., Ehui, S. & Courbois, C. (1999) Livestock
to 2020: The next food revolution. 2020 Vision Initiative Food, Agriculture and the
Environment Discussion Paper 28. International Food Policy Research Institute,
Washington, D.C.

34 Letara,J., MacGregor, J and Hesse, C. (2006) The economics of the Nyama choma business
in the city of Arusha, Tanzania. RECONCILE/IIED, 20pp.

35 WISP (2006) Global review of the economics of pastoralism. WISP, Nairobi.

36 Peace, trade, livelihoods and adaptation to climate change in Africa’s drylands. DVD produced
by ITED and NRI for DFID and AFD. Walking Pictures and VIVID. London and
Nairobi, 2009.

37 Anderson, S. and Monimart, M. (2009) Recherche sur les strategies d’adaptation des groupes
pasteurs de la région de Diffa, Niger oriental. Rapport d’étude. ITED.

38 Little P. ef al. (2001) Cross-border livestock trade and food security in the Horn of Africa.

39 Blench, R. (2001) You can’t go home again: pastoralism in the new millennium.

ODI, London.

40 Peace, trade, livelihoods and adaptation to climate change in Africa’s drylands. Op. cit.

41 Thébaud, B. (2002) Foncier pastoral et gestion de l’espace au Sahel, Peuls du Niger oriental et
du Yagha burkinabé. Editions Karthala, Paris.

42 Anderson, $. and Monimart, M. (2009) Op. cit.

43 LEGS (2009). Livestock emergency guidelines and standards.

Practical Action Publishing, Rugby.

44 Interviewed at IIED/SOS Sahel workshop on Securing pastoralism in East and West
Africa. Addis, Nov 2008.

45 Nura Dida, Borana as quoted in UNOCHA-PCI, January 2008. 21st Century

46 Wantsusi, M. (2008). Livestock mobility in the Karimojong cluster: The view from Uganda.
Unpublished paper prepared for SOS Sahel UK.

47 Bourn D and Blench R (1999) Can livestock and wildlife co-exist? ODI, London

48 Devereux (2006) Vulnerable livelihoods in Somali region, Ethiopia. Research report 57,
April 2006. Brighton, Sussex: Institute of Development Studies. p98.

49 Bouréima Dodo - executive secretary of the Association for the R.e-dynamisation of
Livestock in Niger (AREN) as quoted in Seedling Jan 2008. Rights of passage in Niger.

50 Walker, R. & Omar, H.G. (2002) Pastoralists under pressure. The politics of sedentarisation

and marginalisation in Wajir District, North-east Kenya. Nairobi, Oxfam-UK.

Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands

51 Bevan, J. (2008) Crisis in Karamoja: armed violence and the failure of disarmament in
Uganda’s most deprived region. Small arms survey, Graduate Institute of International
and Development Studies, Geneva 2008.

52 Birch, I. (2008) Somaliland — Somali region desk review Report produced for the
project Securing Pastoralism in East and West Africa. IED/SOS Sahel UK.

53 Anderson, S.and Monimart, M. (2009) Op cit.

54 Interviwed at IED/SOS Sahel workshop on Securing pastoralism in East and West
Africa. Addis. Nov 2008.

55 Comment made by Ethiopian parliamentarian Dr Mohammed Mussa, cited in
Morton, J., Livingston, J. & Mussa, M. (2007) Legislators and livestock: pastoralist
parliamentary groups in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Gatekeeper Series 131,

ITED, pp. 3.

56 Presentation at IIED/SOS Sahel workshop on Securing pastoralism in East and West
Africa. Addis. Nov 2008.

57 Provided by Kariuki Gatarwa Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support
Program — Livestock Information Network and Knowledge System, Nairobi, Kenya.

58 Provided by Bernard Bonnet, Institut de recherches et d’applications des methods de
dévelopement, Montpellier, France

59 Egemi, O. (2008) Sudan in-depth study. Report produced for the project
Securing Pastoralism in East and West Africa. TED/SOS Sahel UK.

60 Dyer, N (2008) Paths to securing livestock mobility: GTZ/PACT’s experience in Mali.
Report produced for the project Securing pastoralism in East and West Africa. TED/
SOS Sahel UK.

61 Provided by Adrian Cullis, Save the Children/US, Ethiopia.

62 Aubague, S. (2008) Étude au Tchad. Report produced by IRAM for
the project Securing pastoralism in East and West Africa. HED/SOS Sahel UK.

63 Dr. Brigitte Thébaud, a rural economist, designed the original course in French. The
Pulaar version was subsequently developed by Associates in Research and Education
for Development (ARED) with support from Dr. Thébaud.

64 LEGS (2009) op cit. Actual source: Abebe, D., Cullis, A., Catley, A., Aklilu.Y.,
Mekonnen, G. and Ghebre-chirstos, Y. (2008) Livelihoods impact and benefit-cost
estimation of a commercial de-stocking relief intervention in Moyale district, Southern Ethiopia,
Disasters, 32 (2): 167-86.

65 Taken from Haramata 52, p. 31-3. Original source: Mahul O et Skees J (2006)
Piloting Index-based livestock insurance in Mongolia. Access Finance.

66 Kirkbride and Grahn. (2008) Survival of the fittest: Pastoralism and climate change in East
Africa Oxfam Briefing Paper 116.

67 Steinfield, H. et al. (2006) Livestock’s long shadow: environmental issues and options.
FAO, Rome.

68 Reid et al. (2004) Is it possible to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in pastoral ecosystems of the
tropics? Environment, Development and Sustainability 6: 91-109, 2004.

69 Costanza, R. ef al. (1997) The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital
Nature, vol.387, p. 253.

70 Ibid.

71 Young, H. ef al. (2009) Livelihoods, power, and choice: the vulnerability of the Northern
Rizaygat, Darfur, Sudan. Feinstein International Center, Tufts University.

72 Nassef, M., Anderson, S., and Hesse, C. (2009) Pastoralism and climate change: enabling
adaptive capacity Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Advocacy Project, Oxfam.

73 Adan, M. and Pkalya, R. (2005) Closed to progress: an assessment of the socio-economic

impact of conflict on pastoral and sem-pastoral economies in Kenya and Uganda. Practical
Action, Nairobi, in Nassef, M., Anderson, S., and Hesse, C. (2009) Op. cit.

74 Sachs, J. Stemming the water wars. The Guardian, 26 April 2009.

75 Peace, trade, livelihoods and adaption to climate change in Africa’s drylands. Op. cit.

76 See the debate in 2006 between Stephen Sandford Too many people, too few livestock:
the crisis affecting pastoralists in the Greater Horn of Africa and the response The crisis of
pastoralism? by Stephen Devereux and Ian Scoones, IDS, Sussex.

77 Peace, trade, livelihoods and adaption to climate change in Africa’s drylands. Op. cit.

78 Speech made at a conference Securing peace, promoting trade and adapting to climate
change in Africa’s drylands convened by DFID and AFD, London,3 June 2009.

Country desk reviews

Aubague, S. (2008) Etude au Tchad. Report produced by IRAM for the project
Securing pastoralism in East and West Africa. TED/SOS Sahel UK.

Egemi, O. (2008) Sudan in-depth study. Report produced for the project
Securing pastoralism in East and West Africa. TED/SOS Sahel UK.

Babiker,A. H. & Birch, I. (2008) Sudan desk review. Report produced for the project
Securing pastoralism in East and West Africa. TED/SOS Sahel UK .

Banaon, N. (2008) Etude sur la mobilité du bétail au Burkina Faso. Report produced
by CEFRAP for the project Securing Pastoralism in East and West Africa. TED/SOS
Sahel UK.

Birch, I. (2008) Somaliland — Somali region desk review. Report produced for the
project Securing pastoralism in East and West Africa. IED/SOS Sahel UK.

Dembélé, C. (2008) Etude au Mali. Report produced by Sahel Eco and Inter-
Coopération for the project Securing pastoralism in East and West Africa.

Dyer, N. (2008) Review of the legislative and institutional environment governing
livestock mobility in East and West Africa. Report produced for the project Securing
pastoralism in East and West Africa. TED/SOS Sahel UK.

Dyer, N.,Omondi, S. & Wantsusi, M. (2008) Karamojong Cluster desk review.
Report produced by RECONCILE and KADP for the project Securing pastoralism in
East and West Africa. TED/SOS Sahel UK.

Moutari, M. & Tan, S. (2008) Niger — Nigeria desk review. Report produced for the
project Securing pastoralism in East and West Africa. IED/SOS Sahel UK.


Modern and mobile The future of livestock production in Africa’s drylands


Front cover Mary Allen

Clockwise from top left

p2 Marie Monimart, Lucy Polson, Kelley Lynch, Kelley Lynch

po Nancy Adrahman, Michael Wadleigh, Bernard Bonnet,
Stephen Anderson, Jonathan Davies

p? Stephen Anderson

p10 Andy Catley

p11 Bernard Bonnet

p12 Bernard Bonnet, Stephen Anderson, Bernard Bonnet, Marie Monimart

p1i4 Kelley Lynch

p20 Kelley Lynch

p 22 Bernard Bonnet

p 24 = Ake Lindstrom, Ake Lindstrom

p26 Marie Monimart

p27 Andy Catley

p 28 Kelley Lynch

p31 Kelley Lynch

p32 Stephen Anderson, Saverio Krätli, VSF-Germany

p34 Kelley Lynch

p35 Michael Wadleigh

p38 Kelley Lynch

p 41 Bernard Bonnet

p42 Kelley Lynch

p 46 Mary Allen, Bernard Bonnet, Kelley Lynch

p 48 Kelley Lynch

p 49 Marie Monimart

p 50 Serge Aubague, Marie Monimart, Bernard Bonnet, Mamadou Ly

p53 Antoine Eberschweiler

p54 VSF-Germany

p57 Alan Hesse, (first published in Haramata No. 54 March 2009)

p 60 Kelley Lynch

p 64 Andrei Marin

p65 Kelley Lynch

p 68 Bernard Bonnet, Kelley Lynch, Stephen Anderson, Bernard Bonnet

p 70 Stephen Anderson

p71 Jonathan Davies

p72 Marie Monimart, Michael Wadleigh, Stephen Anderson,
Jonathan Davies, Sue Cavanna

p77 David Pluth

p78 Philip Bowen

p 80 Michael Wadleigh, Marie Monimart, Michael Wadleigh, Kelley Lynch,
Antoine Eberschweiler

p82 Kelley Lynch

p83) Mary Allen

p85 Kelley Lynch

Back cover Bernard Bonnet


Full Text




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