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Investment in pastoralists could help combat east Africa food crisis

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 11:13 AM
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Investment in pastoralists could help combat east Africa food crisis

Governments need to build a coalition of support for pastoralists to tap their potential for economic development in east Africa, a top US official said on Thursday.

Jeff Hill, director for policy at USAid, the US development arm, said underinvestment in pastoralist communities in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya have contributed to the extreme levels of food insecurity in the Horn's dry lands.

"It is not drought, but vulnerability to drought that is eroding food security in these areas," Hill told agricultural experts at a meeting in Nairobi, "and this vulnerability is a result of chronic under-investment. This is particularly true for the livestock-based systems which are and will be a dominant part of the arid and semi-arid lands."

His comments came at a time when the plight of pastoralists has become a key concern in a drought and famine that have left more than 12 million in need of emergency help. Lloyd Le Page, CEO of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (Cgiar), agreed on the importance of livestock in the current crisis.
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  - Restoring pastures is a government job  izquierdista   Sep-13-11 12:36 PM   #1 
izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 12:36 PM
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1. Restoring pastures is a government job
The original 'Tragedy of the Commons' gave the example of everybody grazing their sheep on the town square, which quickly became overgrazed. This situation is no different. The individual herders do not have the ability or resources to plant and maintain a good pasture, and what is good for them, using all the fodder they can find for their herds, will leave a desolate moonscape behind.

There are plenty of plants that could thrive in their climate. But first they need a good start to get established.
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