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Pastoralism pays: new evidence from the Horn of Africa

As competition for land and water resources intensifies, there is a growing need to re-evaluate the comparative social and environmental advantages of extensive pastoral production systems. Nine studies of hard-to-reach pastoral areas in Ethiopia and Kenya reaffirm that the true value of pastoral systems is largely overlooked. Camel milk, goat meat, draught power and other goods and services provide subsistence products and household income; they also create employment, income opportunities and access to credit along their ‘value chains’. Pastoral products contribute significant revenues to public authorities and support the provision of basic services in rural towns; with support, this productivity could grow.

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Since 2006, we have done significant innovative work with partners to dispel the misconception that drylands are unproductive, generating evidence on returns from drylands to contribute to positive policy by fighting policymakers' misconceptions that drylands are economically inefficient and environmentally destructive.

More at www.iied.org:
Drylands: volatile, vibrant and under-valued?

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