Global policy narratives on drylands & pastoralism

The global narratives that dominate agricultural policy are built on crisis scenarios around meeting projected food demand, now complicated by global climate change and food price spikes. The role given to drylands and pastoralism in these narratives shows little consistency, except for characterising them as lacking in some way, e.g. as unproductive, resource scarce, fragile, marginal, remote, using resources not of interest for other uses.

This 4-page briefing paper “Global public policy narratives on the drylands and pastoralism” from the Ford Foundation-funded IIED project “New perspectives on climate resilient drylands development” takes a closer look at pastoralism’s many positives. The author Saverio Krätli argues that the drylands and pastoralism are wrongly perceived as being isolated from crop farming and that the perceived food crisis needs to be framed in terms of governance, not in terms of supply and of low productivity from developing countries. It shows that pastoralist systems work with environmental variability rather than against it, and could be key to finding new methods of global food production. Increasing recognition of this opens up an alternative storyline for global food security under climate change.

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Posted on 11 August 2013 in News, Pastoralism & Climate Change, Pastoralism & Natural Resources, Pastoralism, Policy & Power, Value of Pastoralism