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Outdated colonial concepts and one-sided focus on the “efficiency” of livestock systems have prevented the recognition of the benefits of pastoralism as a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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    Accounting for pastoralists in India

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

    Estimates of the number of pastoralists in India vary widely, but they probably total around 13 million people.
    Official data on livestock do not reflect the management system used.
    Around 77% of the country’s livestock are kept in extensive systems. Both farmers and pastoralists rely on common-pool resources to maintain their animals.
    A wide range of pastoralist systems exist, from fully mobile to transhumant and sedentary. Species maintained in mobile systems include camels, cattle, ducks, donkeys, goats, pigs, sheep and yaks.
    Many pastoralists are members of traditional castes, but other groups, known as “non-traditional pastoralists”, are also taking up mobile herding.
    Extensive livestock systems produce an estimated 53% of India’s milk and 74% of its meat. The animals’ manure is a vital source of fertilizer for crop farmers; for many pastoralists manure is their main source of income.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists in India
  • Author: Kamal Kishore and Ilse Köhler-Rollefson
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    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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