Pastoralism: hidden asset in the drylands

Many policymakers in East Africa believe that pastoralism is economically inefficient and environmentally destructive. Yet this is not based on evidence. There no consensus on a dynamic economic model of pastoralism, and there are no mechanisms to inform government decision-makers of its comparative advantages over alternative land uses. The IIED Issues Paper Pastoralism: drylands’ invisible asset? Developing a framework for assessing the value of pastoralism in East Africaargues that pastoralism makes a significant contribution to society and that –  with better understanding of this production system and with better empirical evidence – its value can be demonstrated. The paper presents a preliminary framework for assessing the benefits of pastoralism that goes beyond conventional criteria relating to livestock and their byproducts. While the focus is on East Africa, much of the analysis is applicable to pastoral systems in other regions of Africa.

Posted on 9 July 2012 in Value of Pastoralism