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The role of risk management in pastoral policy development and poverty measurement: system dynamics simulation approach

By Saidimu Leseeto


Livestock-based agriculture plays an important role in the development of sub-saharan Africa, especially those countries whose livestock industry contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Kenya, agriculture alone accounts for 21% of the GDP and provides employment directly or indirectly to over 75% of the total labour force. The livestock industry, mainly arid rangelands, contributes 50% of the agricultural productivity. However, these Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) are exposed to a myriad of risks affecting the environment which is the pastoral core asset. These risks arise from climatic change and variability, growth in human population and expanding settlements, changes in the land use systems, poor infrastructure, diseases, wildlife predation, and inter-ethnic conflicts. The consequences of these pastoral risks include: (1) declining per capita asset value, (2) increased health problems, (3) increased poverty, and (4) declining GDP generated from pastoralism. While a lot of resources have been invested in responding to the pastoral crisis associated with droughts, there is still inadequate understanding of the policy measures to put in place as mitigation strategies. The aims of this research are (1) identify the main pastoral risks and community response strategies, (2) assess the impact the identified risks on the wellbeing of pastoralists based on financial, human, physical, natural and social capital measurements (5 C‘s), and (3) develop a System Dynamics (SD) model to assess the holistic impact of community and government response strategies on pastoral wellbeing. Samburu district, in northern Kenya, was chosen as a study area because it is classified as 100% ASAL and experiences frequent droughts and changing land use systems. The research process involved literature synthesis, analysis of both cross-sectional and a 5-year panel data, and the development of a System Dynamics model. Cross-section data was primarily collected for the purposes of identifying the extent to which risks affect households, while the 5-year panel data was sourced from the Arid Lands Resource Management Project (ALRMP). Descriptive and empirical analysis showed that droughts, land use system and human population were considered as the main cause of shrinking rangeland productivity and as a result declining per capita livestock. This was further confirmed from the panel data analysis indicating climate variability as the main driver of pastoral wellbeing. Droughts affect rangeland pasture productivity, market prices, livestock assets, and households‘ nutritional status and poverty levels. These results imply a multifaceted nature of pastoral system with compound affects. The SD simulation result, which was run over the period January 2006 to December 2030, provided insights on policy evaluation and the state of pastoral wellbeing. Baseline scenario indicated reducing livestock ownership, causing high malnutrition and poverty rates. Strategies which incorporated rangeland rehabilitation, planned settlements, livestock disease control, insurance against droughts, reducing inter-ethnic conflicts, and timely destocking offered better policy options. These strategies resulted in reduced malnutrition, increased pasture productivity, reduced livestock losses and ultimately reducing poverty rates among the pastoral communities

Topics: HB, HN, S1
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:344349
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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