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Strengthened the representation of pastoralists in research and decision making in Eastern Africa

Pastoralists looking after their cattle.

Photo: Robert Marchant / Flickr.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 25 million pastoral and 240 million agro-pastoral farmers depend on livestock as their primary source of income. Many drylands have a history of being overgrazed and degraded lands which are often struck by famines. There are also recurrent land conflicts which put pastoralist communities in economically and politically marginalised positions. Furthermore, pastoralists and their farming system, seen as livestock production, have long been neglected by research besides from the cultural point of view.

The SIANI Expert Group Land, Livestock and Livelihoods; the Triple L research initiative is an interdisciplinary network focusing on livestock keeping, its challenges and potential. Since 2013 the Group has worked with pastoralists, extension officers and local leaders in West Pokot County, Kenya. Resulting for example in some of the pastoralists having started to make hay in the beginning of 2018. To grow forage and dry it is a new practice in Kenya which will give livestock a better chance of survival during the dry season, at the same time as pastoralists making hay have a new source of income. Furthermore, the Group has generated dialogue with local leaders and extension officers in other Kenyan counties as well as with researches from Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia about pastoralists and their farming system.

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