Livestock and pastoralism
Livestock are essential for livelihoods in Africa, particularly in the drier, marginal pastoral areas. Yet development investments in the livestock sector have consistently failed. Over several decades, IDS research has challenged the assumptions of much conventional policy thinking. By making the case for a non-equilibrium approach to understanding range lands, for example, the opportunistic strategies of pastoralists can be recognised.
Living in the drylands means living with uncertainty, and standardised,blueprint approaches to development can never work. Recognising dynamic ecological systems means rethinking the principles of livestock and range management, as well as approaches to animal health and veterinary disease control. Uncertain environments also require new thinking for planning and policy processes and systems for tenure, marketing and administration.
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