NAME: ASHOK KAARTHIK
ID NUMBER: 647641
WHAT IS PASTORALISM?
Pastoralism is basically the art of raising livestock. It is undertaken by people known as pastoralists. These pastoralists raise their livestock by constantly moving around with their animals, instead of staying and raising their respective livestock in one place. This constant movement is done to look for suitable climates that their livestock can thrive in.
The following are some of the benefits of pastoralism to the economies of countries practising pastoralism:
1 Poverty Reduction
Poverty nowadays is a hurdle for countries, who want to continuously develop the economy of the country. Improving poverty levels in a country can have a negative effect on the growing economy. Pastoralism helps in reducing poverty. pastoralism provides growing urban populations with meat at competitive prices and secures livelihoods, not only for millions of primary producers, but also for tens of thousands people working in and around the livestock trade (Aklilu and Catley 2011; Gertel and Le Heron, 2011). As a result of having access to cheap meat, poverty levels reduce, since more people have food. This is one of the biggest benefits that countries practising pastoralism gain. Farmers in Sudan earn about $50m a year from the export of gum arabic – according to the Bank of Sudan, 30,000 tonnes of gum arabic were exported in 1999 (Chamay et al., 2007).
2 Economic GrowthIf the economies of the developing countries continues to grow at a steady rate, then sooner or later will become developed countries. Pastoralism contributes to this in a significant way. As the number of pastoralists and livestock increase, more and more meat and milk is produced by that country, as compared to before, when pastoralism was low. For example: In Kenya, 14.1 million animals, worth US$860 million, are kept in pastoral production systems. They enable an annual offtake worth USD 69.3 million (Davies and Hatfield, 2007). This shows that since Kenya has a lot of animals, more meat and milk can be produced by Kenya.
3 Land managementLand in most areas is not being used efficiently, hence going to waste. Pastoralism makes good use of such land, if easily accessible by pastoralists. This is because since pastoralists are constantly moving around with their animals, the animals help in fertilizing soil in areas they are in. Also as a result of this constant movement, more and more land is opened for pasteurizing, which can help in vegetation to grow in such areas. Grazing management can contribute to biodiversity and promotes biomass production. Dryland ecosystem health is better where mobile pastoralism continues to be practiced effectively (McNaughton, 1993). Therefore as a result of pastoralism, economies of countries improve, since the country will gain something from the used land.
4 Improves money allocation
A direct result of the contribution of pastoralism to the national economy in Tanzania is the fact that the country does not import any meat, relying entirely on its national production to satisfy the demand for these products (Odhiombo, 2007).
This shows that since Tanzania are producing their own products, the money they would have allocated in order to import meat and other livestock produce can now be used by the government in other potential investments, that will boost Tanzania’s economy greatly.
5 Increased Export Earnings
Exporting locally produced goods, countries can earn a lot or revenue which improves the economy of the country. Pastoralism plays a big part in this, because by regularly practising pastoralism, countries gain a lot form this. This is because as a result of good pastoralism practises, such countries can then in turn export locally produced meat and milk, which may not be available in countries abroad. This increase in export can bring a lot of income for the countries, which can then be used effectively and efficiently in improving a countries economy.
Despite being beneficial for economies, pastoralism has adverse effects on the environment. Some such environmental problems it causes are:
1 Excess water use and Water pollution
One of the biggest threats facing the human race is that water is becoming scarce, and not only humans but all organisms on earth require water in order to survive. Pastoralism contributes to this as pastoralists use excess water needed for watering crops and even needed by the animals.
Pastoralism also causes water pollution. Livestock owned by the pastoralist’s cause’s water pollution. They cause water pollution by the waste they produce; water pollution is also caused by fertilizers used by plants, which in turn are consumed by the livestock. As a result of over practising pastoralism, pastoralists may unintentionally pollute the surrounding water, making it unsafe to consume it.3
2 Climate Change
A continuously changing climate is a cause of concern in today’s world. Pastoralism pays a big part in the changing climate. This is because the livestock owned by the pastoralists contribute towards climate change. These livestock emit greenhouse gases, which have an adverse effect on the environment. One such greenhouse gas is known as Methane, in the form of manure. Methane has greater negative effect on the climate as compared to other greenhouse gases. As a result of high pastoralist activities in countries like Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and others, the climate no longer remains constant as good as it used to be in the earlier days.
3 Increased Flooding due to Deforestation
Flooding is one of the few natural disasters that tend to be very threatening as it has the capacity to kill everyone and destroy everything in its path. Pastoralism contributes to this because in order to create land for pastoralists to herd their animals, more and more trees are getting cut, in order to create land for pasteurization. As the number of pastoralists increase more and more trees are being cut. This decline in number of trees increases flooding, since there are very few trees in the area, which would have soaked some of the water into the roots, which in turn would have reduced the level of flooding that occurs, since less water reached populated area. This cutting down of trees to clear space for land is known as deforestation.
4 Loss of Biodiversity
Pastoralism contributes to loss of biodiversity in countries where it is constantly practised. As mentioned above, as deforestation continues to take place, more and more of the countries biodiversity will be lost for good, and possibly even become extinct. For example as trees are getting cut, more and more species of birds are getting extinct, and these birds play a big role in the economy of a country.
This can in turn affect economies of countries like Kenya and others in a negative way. This is because birds pollinate flowering plants. This in turn can have adverse effects on economies, because since there is little or no pollination occurring, there is low production of flowers that countries like Kenya, Sudan and others could export and earn revenue through the export of exotic flowers.
The following are some of the solutions for the problems mentioned above:
Excess water use and Pollution
The following are some of the solution I would suggest:
Firstly, since majority of people in areas where pastoralism takes place, tend to be uneducated or know little about water use and its effects. Therefore one suggestion would be that someone who is an expert on water and its usefulness in the right way should go and educate and talk to the pastoralists about the danger of water shortages if they use a lot of water.
Secondly, he or she must also explain to them about water pollution and how unsafe it is to consume such water. By educating the pastoralist, excess usage of water can reduce drastically, which in turn reduces water shortages.
Thirdly, pastoralist will require irrigating crops to feed the livestock and will need to use water. Therefore the solution would be that the pastoralists are made aware of irrigation practises the use less water but produce the same desired result of producing healthy crops for the livestock.
Solution to climate change I would suggest are:
Firstly, one suggestion would be that pastoralists look for new types of food to feed the livestock. This is because the current food fed to the livestock may be contributing to more greenhouse gas emission, since more animal waste is produced, which in turn negatively affects the climate. However, if a new type of food that reduces the amount of waste produced by the livestock is available, then it is advisable that the pastoralist feed that new type of food to the livestock.
Another Suggestion would be that the pastoralists introduce species that reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. For example pastoralists can introduce species of plants into grazing lands. This is because such plants absorb excess carbon, preventing it from escaping into the atmosphere. This process is known as carbon sequestration. This process in turn helps to improve the climate.
Increased Flooding due to Deforestation
Solutions to the above problem are:
Firstly, one solution would be that in counties such as Kenya, Sudan etc., where pastoralism is practised, the government should allocate enough land for the pastoralist to graze their livestock. By doing this the government can reduce the number of tress that were being cut down in order to create more land for pasteurising. 6
Another solution would be that the governments of countries practising pastoralism should introduce new laws and regulation that restrict or even reduce the number of trees being cut down, for clearing space for extra land. In addition to this, these newly introduced laws and regulations must be clearly communicated with the pastoralists, since they may not know how to read. By clearly communicating this, Deforestation reduces drastically.
Loss of Biodiversity
One solution to prevent and possibly even reduce loss of biodiversity would be that someone communicates the importance of biodiversity to the uneducated such as the pastoralists about the consequences of losing biodiversity and how it affects the economy of the country. By doing this successfully biodiversity can be maintained for a longer period of time.
Another solution would be