Accounting for pastoralists: Why it is important and how to do it?

Ilse Köhler-Rollefson / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

Pastoralism is a way of raising animals with nature. It entails the movement of people and herds across landscapes, making use of natural vegetation and crop by-products.
Pastoralism corresponds to public demands for high animal welfare and environmentally friendly methods of livestock production. If we want to make the livestock sector more sustainable, this production system requires strong policy support.
We currently do not know how many pastoralists there are globally or within each country. This is due to the absence of data collection and because pastoralism is not a distinct category in livestock censuses.
Outdated colonial concepts and one-sided focus on the “efficiency” of livestock systems have prevented the recognition of the benefits of pastoralism as a solar-powered, biodiversity-conserving food-production strategy.
In order to monitor the situation and provide a basis for policymaking, FAO should lead a global initiative to define pastoralism and record data by production system.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists: Why it is important and how to do it?
  • Author: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson
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    Accounting for pastoralists in Uganda

    Jacob Barasa Wanyama / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

    Pastoralists in Uganda range from largely sedentary agropastoralists to transhumant herders who maintain a home base and satellite herds.
    No official definition for pastoralists exists. Official surveys do not use “pastoralism” as a category. This makes it difficult to estimate the significance of pastoralism.
    Five million pastoralists in the “cattle corridor” manage 44% of Uganda’s cattle, 34%of the goats, 60% of the sheep, 92% of the donkeys, and 98% of the camels. They pro-duce milk, meat, honey, beeswax and skins.
    Annual direct benefits from livestock are worth US$ 299 million. About half comes from milk, 25% from sales of animals and meat, and 25% from use of livestock as insurance and credit.
    Pastoralist areas in the south and north have great potential for tourism. Ankole cattle are a national symbol and tourist attraction.
    National data collection should categorize production systems as pastoralism, agropastoralism and farming based on clear definitions.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists in Uganda
  • Author: Jacob Barasa Wanyama
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    Accounting for pastoralists in Kenya

    Jacob Barasa Wanyama / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

    Kenya has some 8.8 million people (1.73 mil-lion households) who identify as pastoralists. Of these, 4.0 million individuals (0.8 million households) depend directly on livestock.
    They manage about 70% of the country’s cattle, 87% of its sheep and 81% of its goats, 100% of its camels, 88% of its don-keys and 74% of the beehives.
    Their products include milk, meat, honey, beeswax, and skins.
    The pastoral sector was worth $1.13 billion in 2019: 92% from livestock and 8% from other products and services.
    Kenya’s tourism industry is highly dependent on pastoralism as it helps to conserve wildlife and unique cultures. Pastoralism’s support to tourism was worth $29 million out of a total industry value of $2.5 billion.
    Official surveys do not use a “pastoralism” category, but by comparing county-level data for production systems and populations it is possible to estimate numbers of pastoralists.
    Bodies mandated with data collection should segregate data between pastoralists, agropastoralists and farmers.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists in Kenya
  • Author: Jacob Barasa Wanyama
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