Moving herds, moving markets: pastoral livestock value chains

A “writeshop” on pastoral livestock value chains was organised by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) in Nairobi in late 2012. The 27 participants included 15 case authors, 3 resource persons, 2 facilitators, 4 editors, 2 artists and a secretary. They produced a draft of a 120-page book “Moving herds, moving markets”, which was printed in 2014. The book documents case stories and strategies used in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger to support pastoral communities to access market for their livestock and livestock products. The writeshop methodology included presentation of cases, brainstorming on themes, writing individually and in groups, and reviewing by editors and other resource persons. The writeshop process was supported by CTA, FAO, Ford Foundation and Cordaid. A report on the process can be found here: writeshop report.The 186-page book can be found here: Moving herds, moving markets: making markets work for African pastoralists

Blurb: Pastoralists produce much of Africa’s meat and milk, and they are important – though underestimated – part of the economy of many African countries. But they face huge challenges in trying to sell what they produce. They are scattered across vast expanses of dry rangeland, without the roads, basic infrastructure and services that farmers in more favoured areas take for granted. Many move from place in search of pasture and water, making it hard to provide them with the services they need. With few market opportunities, they have little incentive to improve their production. Periodic drought can force herders across an entire region into relying on outside assistance. How, then, to improve the markets for pastoralist products and help pastoralists overcome the cycle of poverty?

This book offers some solutions. Drawing on 15 cases from nine countries: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Tanzania and Uganda, it identifies four key features of pastoralism in Africa (mobility, extensive grazing, the use of common land, and local breeds). It presents the challenges and opportunities of marketing live animals, meat, milk and leather products. It discusses better ways to ensure that pastoralists have the inputs they need to produce efficiently: animal health, feeding, and breeds and breeding. It investigates the services that are required for the marketing chain to function: market information, financial services, transport, marketplaces, processing facilities, and quality control. It looks at three aspects of the skills and organization needed for pastoralist markets to function: capacity building, organization, and gender issues. Finally, it makes recommendations for government and donor policies, and discusses the best places for development efforts to intervene in order to improve marketing.

Throughout, the book focuses not just on pastoralists but also on other actors in livestock value chains, including traders, processors such as abattoirs and dairies, and service providers such as financial institutions, advisory services, government and development organizations.


Posted on 3 March 2013 in News, Pastoralism & Marketing