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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Failing to Cope with Drought: The Plight of Africa's Ex-Pastoralists
Author:Moris, JonISNI
Periodical:Development Policy Review
Geographic term:Africa
animal husbandry
Drought and Desertification
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7679.1988.tb00456.x
Abstract:In the wake of the 1983-1985 drought, it is clear that in the longer term African countries must devise a better policy portfolio to suit their arid and semiarid lands. This is especially salient for pastoralists because of their generally diminished capacity for recovery. The desertification control measures of the late 1970s, with their stress on technological solutions and their oversimplified reliance on a 'tragedy of the commons' (overexploitation of dryland pastures) explanation, diverted attention from a sustained analysis of what was actually taking place: continuing alienation of higher potential, dry season pastures to other uses, strongly adverse terms of trade between livestock producers and grain traders during major droughts, premature sedentarization and the perpetuation of dependency on food aid, uncontrolled militarization. The 'solutions' (irrigation, afforestation, range development, soil and water conservation) sometimes contributed to the very problems they were meant to ameliorate. The experience of the 1983-1985 drought indicates the need for a rethinking of policies and raises the possibility that donors do not possess a livestock technology for dryland Africa superior to pastoralists' own indigenous approaches. Bibliogr., ref.