Climate change is increasingly impacting pastoralists in Ethiopia through rising temperatures and rainfall variability (Schmidt & Pearson 2016) /taxonomy/term/7921. The vulnerability of Ethiopian pastoralists is further exacerbated by lack of access to clean water and loss of communal grazing areas (Amenu et al. 2013, Rettberg 2010)/taxonomy/term/7902 /taxonomy/term/7913. Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement through Market Expansion (PRIME), a project funded by USAID aimed to improve the resilience of pastoralist communities through increased productivity and competitiveness of livestock. In the dairy cattle, non-dairy cattle, sheep and goat value chains, PRIME encouraged improving grassland management, improving feed quality and supporting a sufficient and stable feed supply.
Relationship with CSA
The project aimed to build resilience for pastoralists in Ethiopia by enhancing their adaptive capacity and providing opportunities for transitioning out of pastoralism. PRIME’s interventions resulted in improved productivity in the dairy cattle, non-dairy cattle, sheep and goat value chains; these productivity increases also had mitigation co-benefits.
Impact and lessons learned
Productivity increased significantly in non-dairy cattle, sheep and goat value chains, with a moderate productivity increase in milk output. PRIME impacted emission intensity, which was reduced in all livestock systems. Interventions also resulted in increased soil carbon stocks and reduced GHG emissions from enteric fermentation.
Link to info note
Schmidt M, Pearson O. 2016. Pastoral livelihoods under pressure: Ecological, political and socioeconomic transitions in Afar (Ethiopia). Journal of Arid Environments 124:22–30.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2015.07.003 The Afar pastoralists that reside in arid and semi-arid regions of Ethiopia have fallen under increasing pressure as rangelands and natural resources are affected by recurrent droughts, overgrazing, erosion processes, alien plant invasion and governmental land policies. This paper investigates the impact of these environmental, institutional and cultural changes on natural resource management strategies, using empirical research undertaken in four villages of western Afar (Ethiopia) to assess the related challenges to local livelihoods. Qualitative interviews with various stakeholders reveal that the authority and use of traditional common property regimes have been considerably diminished and traditional livelihood practices threatened. Many pastoralists have adopted agriculture in a move away from pure pastoralism to agro-pastoralism, a transition exaggerated by changing property rights and the Federal Government's sedentarisation program, which is presented as a means of reducing poverty. On-going land privatisation and an increased government presence in the region weaken indigenous institutions and cultural practices, with no clear local understanding of the impact on future generations and Afar identity.
Amenu K, Markemann A, Roessler R, SiegmundSchultze M, Abebe G, Zarate AV. 2013. Constraints and challenges of meeting the water requirements of livestock in Ethiopia: cases of Lume and Siraro districts. Tropical Animal Health and Production 45(7):1539-48.http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-013-0397-0 Compared to the total water use in livestock production systems, water for livestock drinking is small in amount but is an important requirement for health and productivity of animals. This study was carried out to assess constraints and challenges of meeting drinking water requirements of livestock in rural mixed smallholder crop-livestock farming districts in the Ethiopian Rift Valley area. Data was collected by individual interviews with randomly selected respondents and farmer group discussions. Farmers ranked feed and water scarcity as the two most important constraints for livestock husbandry, although the ranking order differed between districts and villages. Poor quality water was a concern for the communities in proximity to urban settlements or industrial establishments. Water provision for livestock was challenging during the dry season, since alternative water sources dried up or were polluted. Though rainwater harvesting by dugout constructions was practiced to cope with water scarcity, farmers indicated that mismanagement of the harvested water was posing health risks on both livestock and people. A sustainable water provision for livestock in the area, thus, depends on use of different water sources (intermittent or perennial) that should be properly managed. Industrial establishments should adopt an environment-friendly production to minimize pollution of water resources used for livestock consumption. Technical support to farmers is required in proper design and use of existing rainwater harvesting systems. Further investigations are recommended on effect of poor quality water (perceived by farmers) on performance of livestock.
Rettberg S. 2010. Contested narratives of pastoral vulnerability and risk in Ethiopia’s Afar region. Pastoralism 1(2):248-273.https://practicalaction.org/docs/publishing/s7.pdf This paper emphasises the role of local knowledge, risk perceptions and decision patterns in analyzing changing pastoral livelihood strategies. Based on an intensive empirical case study within the Middle Awash Basin of Ethiopia’s Afar region it is argued that the main concern for Afar pastoralists are political risks evolving from recurrent violent confl icts and increasing governmental development interventions, while drought plays only a minor role within local narratives of risk. Special attention is drawn to the strategic instrumentalization of heterogeneous governmental and pastoral risk narratives and the impact of confl icting narratives on the current pastoral livelihood crisis, shaped by an increasing vulnerability and an ongoing political and economic marginalization of pastoralists in Ethiopia.