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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Customary commerce: a historical reassessment of pastoral livestock marketing in Africa
Author:Kerven, CarolISNI
Series:ODI agricultural occasional paper
City of publisher:London
Publisher:Overseas Development Institute
Geographic terms:Niger
animal husbandry
Abstract:One of the enduring perceptions about pastoralists has been their reluctance to market their livestock. In this book the author challenges this presumption by presenting historical evidence from case studies of the Samburu and Maasai of Kenya, the pastoral Fulani in Nigeria, and (with D. Dietvorst) the WoDaaBe Fulani of Niger, from the precolonial period until the years following independence. The book shows how different colonial livestock marketing policies have affected pastoral trade, in some cases actively hampering and in others effectively promoting the efforts of pastoralists to market their stock. Overall, it is argued that pastoralists are price-responsive, attuned to market fluctuations and not inclined to withhold saleable animals from the market. The author concludes that the most effective inducements for pastoralists to sell their livestock are attractive market prices in relation to the use value which animmals have for pastoralists. Indigenous livestock trading systems are able to adapt very efficiently to new market conditions, but direct State involvement is not as successful. External agencies can play a constructive role by providing supportive infrastructures and veterinary services to the livestock sector.