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Drought and Livestock in Semi-Arid Africa and Southwest Asia

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dc.contributor.author Blench, Roger
dc.contributor.author Marriage, Zoë
dc.date.accessioned 2009-09-03T14:20:46Z
dc.date.available 2009-09-03T14:20:46Z
dc.date.issued 1999 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4730
dc.description.abstract "Recent high-profile media coverage of El Niño and similar climatic anomalies has perhaps tended to obscure the fact that livestock producers in the fragile environments of Africa and the Near East are facing worsening problems of resource degradation that have rendered their existing strategies inadequate. This overview describes the existing situation and the changes in the present century that have led to pastoralists being under unprecedented pressures and thus unable to respond appropriately. Droughts, or periods of unusually low rainfall, are part of the expected pattern of precipitation in semi-arid Africa, and the common strategy of pastoralists in the past was to move to areas with higher rainfall where vegetation persists. A bundle of factors has made this increasingly impractical, including the establishment of national frontiers, the expansion of cultivation even in very dry areas, and a marked increase in total livestock numbers. The consequence is that droughts in Sub-Saharan Africa now cause significant humanitarian problems and localised degradation, since large numbers of animals converge on certain pastures, especially around wells. This in turn causes long-term impoverishment among pastoralists, since they must sell animals cheaply and cannot afford to rebuy them when the drought ends. At the same time it places extra stress on already ineffectual veterinary services, since weakened animals are more susceptible to pathogens." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Working Paper, no. 117 en_US
dc.subject drought en_US
dc.subject livestock en_US
dc.subject pastoralism en_US
dc.title Drought and Livestock in Semi-Arid Africa and Southwest Asia en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US
dc.type.methodology Case Study en_US
dc.publisher.workingpaperseries Overseas Development Institute, London en_US
dc.coverage.region Africa en_US
dc.coverage.region East Asia en_US
dc.subject.sector Grazing en_US

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