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Title:Marketing activities of the Baggara transhumants: some effects of drought on market behavior
Author:Gillard-Byers, T.E.
Book title:Pastoral economies in Africa and long-term responses to drought
Geographic term:Sudan
animal husbandry
Abstract:The Baggara (Arab cattle-owning transhumant or nomadic people) of Sudan migrate along routes crossing the Southern Kordofan Province and entering the Northern Kordofan Province of the country. During the late dry season and late rainy season of 1985 a research programme was undertaken by the Western Sudan Agricultural Research Project (WSARP). The programme area extended from approximately 35 kilometres NW of Kadugli, the provincial capital of South Kordofan, to 180 kilometres NE of Kadugli, an area which follows routes normally used by the transhumants. This paper draws together results of this study and integrates them with livestock and commodity price information which was collected during the same periods in several livestock markets. The objectives of the paper are the following: to document price volatility which occurred over the course of the drought in South Kordofan Province at several locations; to incorporate other primary data to describe the potential impact on nutritional levels within the transhumant household; to provide an alternative marketing strategy which would provide a degree of nutritional security during extended drought periods. Using household nutrition levels as a primary measurement, the author shows that a marketing option emphasizing the sale of livestock during the mid dry season and the subsequent purchase of nonlivestock food commodities during the same period will have several beneficial effects when implemented prior to the onset of a severe drought. Bibliogr., notes.