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Agriculture and Rural Development the case of pastoralism Michele Nori AIDCO E6 – Quality Support natural resources – rural development.

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Presentation on theme: "Agriculture and Rural Development the case of pastoralism Michele Nori AIDCO E6 – Quality Support natural resources – rural development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Agriculture and Rural Development the case of pastoralism Michele Nori AIDCO E6 – Quality Support natural resources – rural development

2 Contents This presentation aims at answering these main questions: Who are the pastoralists ? Why they behave as such ? Why do they rank so low, today ? What have gone wrong ? What can be done to readdress the current situation ?

3 WHO ARE THE PASTORALISTS Pastoralist are the people living on arid lands through mobile livestock keeping 1) LIVESTOCK as the main livelihood source; the vital technology that allows translating land resources into valuable products for people. 2) MOBILITY as the way to make the best use of marginal natural resources, while enabling their recovery through time. 3) FLEXIBLE arrangements regulating access to resources. Pastoralism is an entire way of life, involving ecological, political, economic, technological, cultural and social dimensions.

4 PASTORALISM supports some 200 million pastoral households covers 25 percent of the worlds land area provides for valuable products (protein of milk & meat, fibres) from marginal lands

5 bio-physical marginality HARSH ENVIRONMENTS Arid territories (drylands or highlands) with extreme climatic patterns. Water limiting factor, not allowing continuous crop cultivation. 3 main characterizing features: -Limitations of overall resource endowment / low average biomass production - limited productivity -Variability of resource distribution through space and time – patchy in time and space -Unpredictability of resource endowment and high degree of risk of extreme climatic events

6 Rainfall index variation in the Sahelian region. source: Yann lHôte et Al.(2001)

7 socio-political marginality FRONTIER LANDS Geo-political borders (i.e. mountains or deserts), divide et impera, nations mix and communities divided, Cross border networks Areas remote from mainstream central state decision making Unfavourable policy and market dynamics, Poor access to services and infrastructure External interests appetite on Rangelands# Land grabs - alienation for: natural conservation, biodiversity, tourism, water, underground resources (oil), biofuel, Intl. land contracts Recent trends: where civilizations clash: Darfur, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sahara, Middle East, etc…

8 EXPOSURE to Climate Change as to IPCC: increase in temperature and extreme events, raising variability and unpredictability Amongst most affected groups (i.e. mountainous and drylands) Potential skills to tackle CChange implications Coping capacities Many oil resources found in drylands Competition and conflict Important role of properly managed grasslands as carbon sinks as well as biodiversity stocks

9 THE SILENT HAZARD: drought Reported Death of Natural Hazards globally ( ): persons Source Hoyois und Guha Sapir (2004); courtesy prof. HG Brauch, UNU-EHS Berlin

10 Current dynamics From better off to those ranking amongst the poorest and most destitute agriculture peoples in the world (World Bank, 2009) A number of development syndromes: poverty, desertification, famine, food and social insecurity, migration, conflict and recently insurgency Most excluded / hardest to reach from primary social services (UNICEF & WHO, 2005) Currently HD and MDGs indexes and are at their lowest in such regions (e.g. Kenya)

11 A biased approach Backward agricultural system Economically irrational & irrelevant Environmental damaging MISINFORMING PARADIGMS: Cattle complex – Herskovitz, 1926 Tragedy of the Commons – Hardin, 1968 Desertification threat – UN 1980s Pastoral development to be conceived as the END of mobility and communal land access (SEDENTARISATION PARADIGM), meaning the end of pastoralism.

12 Period1950s to 1970s1980s to 1990s Focustechnical aspects of the livestock production system efforts aimed at readdressing range management Actions new breeds, forage production, feeding supplementation, animal health / veterinary systems, availability of groundwater grazing reserves, regulating herd sizes, group ranching, land titling, herders organizations Development approaches in pastoral areas

13 Failure By the end 1980s and through the 1990s a series of reports clearly showed that the pastoral sector experienced the greatest concentration of failed development projects in the world. For most herders neither productivity nor income improved. For most rangelands, the sustainable capacity to produce useful browse and graze was not enhanced. For most donor and lending agencies, anticipated financial rates of return were not achieved. Somewhere something had gone wrong Immediate consequences: 1) pastoralists exited the development agenda (20 years ago) 2) undermining of pastoral resource management patterns. REFERENCES: Sandford, 1983; Walshe et al., 1991; Waters-Bayer & Bayer, 1994; Scott, 1998; Harrison, 1987; Cernea, 1991; Bonfiglioli, 1992; Horowitz & Jokwar, 1992; de Haan, 1994; UNDP, 1994; Abdullah, 1995; FAO, 2001; Sivini, 2006

14 Neglect The high degree of failure induced Intl. Donors to downscale consistently investments and operations in pastoral areas (rather than readdressing them) This was compounded by SA Programs, with consistent retrenchment of public investments in marginal areas The Modernisation through Sedentarisation paradigm shifted to the Disaster and Emergency

15 The current large number of reiterated emergency interventions in pastoral areas stands as the best indicator of the failure of past development approaches (Humanitarian Food Assistance meeting on 16/6/2009)


17 Working Groups Basically 4 groups debating on two main informing paradigms which proved wrong: -the cattle complex -the tragedy of the commons The two groups (one in defence, the other opposing) will be equipped with information and data to undertake their task (15) and then challenge each other in an open debate (10*2 groups)


19 New thinking I ECOLOGY Rangelands are resilient and biodiverse Overgrazing not a main problem Environmental degradation higher when mobility is hampered / people settle Extensive livestock production with lower ecological footprint Properly managed grasslands store approximately 34% of the global stock of CO2 – a service worth $7 per hectare. African and Asian grasslands have vast carbon sequestration potential. ECONOMY Economic relevance of pastoral production Proteins produced on pastoral lands represent an important factor of food security for rural and urban people, especially in Least Developed Countries The livestock sector represents 20% to 25% of agricultural GDP across Africa, and is mostly based in pastoral areas. However, national accounts are incomplete and tend to underestimate these contributions, due to informal and cross-border marketing.

20 New thinking II SOCIAL Pastoralism set to minimise survival risk for community members – rather than maximize individual profit GEOGRAPHY Pastoralism recognised as the best possible use of arid environments Pastoralism is not the intermediate development stage between mobile hunting and gathering on the one hand, and settled agriculture on the other – but rather the result of a process of specialisation in marginal ecosystems and a means of coping with a variable and unpredictable climate; These contributions are likely to become even more important in a Climate Change perspective, as pastoralists hold comparative better knowledge and skills to better tackle climatic variability.

21 Reverting cause - effect relationships Desertification: Culprits or victims ? Conflict: Land encroachment, frontiers, manipulation Famines: marginal lands, limited investments, misconceived policies, unfair markets CChange: doomed or better equipped*?

22 Operational implications Cost/benefit analysis -Political long term engagement High transaction costs -Importance of communities active involvement Mobile livelihoods -Innovative approaches of service delivery Access to resources -Governance matters Exposure to climate vagaries -LRRD and regional approach

23 RESHAPING LANDSCAPES triggers for change Population growth Livestock Revolution & fair market remuneration Climate Change Land grabs CDM and carbon finance mechanisms Good governance Political decentralization Regional dimension Effective civil society

24 Thanks you for your attention

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