Africa / Animal Production / Livestock Systems / Pastoralism / Vulnerability

Pastoralism ‘alive and well’: Reflections from the Future Agricultures Consortium conference on pastoralism in Africa

In March this year, the Future Agricultures Consortium and Tufts University organized a conference on the future of pastoralism in Africa.

We invited some participants to reflect on the discussions in a short video interview.

Ian Scoones from the Institute of Development Studies and the Future Agricultures Consortium concludes that pastoralism is ‘alive and well’ in some parts of the continent. ‘Uncertainty for sure, questions of climate change, uncertain markets, conflict . . . but also a positive story and with that a great diversity and the need to attune policies to particular areas and particular places.’

According to Adrian Cullis of FAO Ethiopia, the event’s fundamental take-home message is that ‘There is a future for pastoralism in Africa.’ However, it looks like there will be different futures and different forms of pastoralism—with winners and losers.

ILRI’s Augustine Ayantunde concludes by suggesting that the future will lie in pastoral communities being able to take advantage of present opportunities while also taking care of their traditions.

Jan de Leeuw from ILRI concludes that pastoral systems in Africa are very much in transition: the ‘full mobility’ pastoralism that we knew is changing.

See related news items from the conference:

The future of pastoralism in Africa debated in Addis: Irreversible decline or vibrant future?, 21 March 2011.

Climate change impacts on pastoralists in the Horn: Transforming the ‘crisis narrative’, 22 March 2011.

The case for index-based livestock insurance and cash payments for northern Kenya’s pastoralists, 23 March 2011

Punctuated equilibrium: Pastoralist timelines of past and future, 23 March 2011

Making the case for index-based livestock insurance in Kenya, 23 March 2011

Or visit the Future Agricultures Consortium conference page or blog.

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