East Africa / Pastoralism / PIM / Policy / Pro-Poor Livestock / Vulnerability

Livestock ‘policy hubs’ in Africa’s Horn consolidate resources and sectors for poorest livestock keepers

Livestock policies do not always benefit the poor. A Livestock Policy Initiative of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is ambitious to change that.

‘A key aspect of the initiative is to improve the voice of poorer livestock keepers and women as policies are developed. “We have teams in each country, including around 40 people from different government sectors, the private sector, livestock keepers, community-based organizations and NGOs, who make up a ‘policy hub’,” says [Abebe] Demissie. . . .

‘”Making the policy process more inclusive has already produced some dramatic shifts in the focus of policy and many of our partners now look at livestock development in a very different light,” comments Dil Peeling, chief technical adviser to the project. “An appreciation of the importance of all the services that livestock provide, particularly to the poor, is one example. But it has also become evident that much of what determines the success of livestock keepers’ livelihoods depend on factors that lie beyond a ministry of livestock’s remit. Bringing various government sectors together to work with livestock keepers has brought issues of access to grazing, water, or environmental management to the fore. . . .”

For the 43 million poor livestock keepers in the IGAD region, livestock are not, first and foremost, an agricultural commodity. They are a motorbike, a bank account, an insurance policy that allow the poor to pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” Peeling adds. . . .

Read the whole article at New Agriculturist: Livestock policy hubs: getting to the core of livestock keeping in East Africa, Aug 2011.

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