Risk, resilience and pastoralist mobility in Sudan
As livestock becomes increasingly recognised for its significant contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exports, the report Risk, resilience and pastoralist mobility (2016, 88pp) published by the Feinstein International Center of Tufts University investigates the practice of pastoralism in Sudan.
The authors delineate migration patterns, rationales and market strategies, and offer recommendations for policymakers and service providers interacting with communities that practise pastoralism.
They found that herders exploit cycles of plant growth and die-back by moving to areas with the highest-quality feed whenever possible and to areas with the most feed when food is scarce. Pre-migration meetings of land-user groups proved successful as fora for avoiding conflict by negotiating access between pastoralists and farmers. Tribal administration plays a crucial role in preserving pastoralist mobility, thereby improving livelihoods and reducing conflict.
The researchers recommend evaluation of efforts to establish and preserve livestock corridors within farmland, further investigation into the workings of pastoralism and the changes in land use occurring among crop farmers, efforts to increase public knowledge of pastoralism’s role and importance within Sudan, and informing basic water-provision services with an understanding of the shifting water needs created by livestock migration, particularly during the dry season in East Darfur.