Accounting for pastoralists in Germany

Günther Czerkus, Evelyn Mathias and Andreas Schenk / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

Pastoralists are a tiny minority in Germany: The ca. 2,800 herders make up 1% or less of the country’s farmers.
They manage up to 70% of the sheep (1.2 million animals), less than 0.5% of the cattle (55,000 animals), and some goats.
They manage ca. 4.2% of Germany’s per­manent grassland.
The 1,000 largest shepherds generate a net value of around €93 million in the form of meat, milk, cheese, wool and dung.
Pastoralists play an outsized role in main­taining landscapes and the ecology. Their environmental services are worth €260–435 million per year. In addition, grazed land­scapes attract tourists and offer habitats for pollinating insects.
Three categories of pastoralists exist: trans­humant shepherds, location­bound shep­herds, and alpine farmers.
There is no generally accepted definition of pastoralists.
Germany has a wealth of statistics, but spe­cific data on pastoralists are hard to find.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists in Germany
  • Author: Günther Czerkus, Evelyn Mathias and Andreas Schenk
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