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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    Accounting for pastoralists in Argentina

    María Rosa Lanari, Marcelo Perez Centeno, Graciela Preda, Mariana Quiroga Mendiola, Mercedes Ejarque, Sofia Lammel, Martín Moronta, Juan Quiroga Rogers, Pablo Losardo, Pablo Frere / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

    Argentina has perhaps 35,000 households that practise pastoralism, mainly in three regions: the Puna altiplano in the northwest, the Gran Chaco region in the north, and the mountains of northern Patagonia.
    Pastoralists are poorly documented: no official definition or statistics exist.
    Pastoralism developed out of traditional practices by indigenous groups, which were adopted by settlers from Europe. It is now largely practised by indigenous communities and Criollo people of mixed descent.
    They keep llamas, sheep, goats, cattle and horses. Their products include meat, dairy products, wool and cashmere, and handicrafts.
    Pastoralism is estimated to contribute as much as 1.4% of GDP, compared to 7–9% for agriculture as a whole. Much of the trade in animals and products is informal.
    The livestock census should include questions on the mode of livestock production to generate data that can be used in policy-making. Research is need on the pastoralism and its role in the economy and ecology.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists in Argentina
  • Author: María Rosa Lanari, Marcelo Perez Centeno, Graciela Preda, Mariana Quiroga Mendiola, Mercedes Ejarque, Sofia Lammel, Martín Moronta, Juan Quiroga Rogers, Pablo Losardo, Pablo Frere
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