Changing face of pastoralism in Kenya
Pastoralism accounts for about 10% of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 95% of family income among pastoralists, according to estimates from Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture. However, some experts say the economic contribution of pastoralism to national economies is even higher when its indirect benefits were taken into account. “The failure of national statistics to calculate the Total Economic Value of pastoralism – figures that are collected focused very narrowly on direct benefits [milk, meat, hides and skins] failing to calculate the huge indirect benefits pastoralism brings to the wider economy,” said Ced Hesse, a senior researcher on drylands at the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). “It is politically expedient to undervalue something you wish to change and whose land you want to alienate for private profit or for other reasons,” Hesse told IRIN. Read the entire IRIN news story (26 March 2012).