Global public policy narratives on the drylands and pastoralism
The global narratives that have dominated agricultural policy are built on crisis scenarios around meeting projected food demand, now complicated by global climate change and food price spikes. The role given to drylands and pastoralism in these narratives shows little consistency, except for characterising them as lacking in some way, for example: unproductive, resource scarce, fragile, marginal, remote, using resources that are uninteresting for other uses.
A closer look reveals pastoralism’s many positives. The increasing recognition that pastoralist systems in the drylands can work with environmental variability, rather than against it, opens up an alternative storyline for global food security under climate change.