AU Policy Framework for Pastoralism in Africa: Key Lessons and Significance to Tanzania


Introduction: Pastoralism is a pastoral production system in which at least 50% of the gross household’s income – the value of market production and the estimated value of subsistence production consumed by households, comes from pastoralism or its related activities. It is a system whereby more than 15% of household’s food energy consumption involves the dairy products they produce. 1 Pastoralism is also defined as a livelihood system where people depend on larger parts (over 80%) of their daily life requirements on livestock production. It is a livestock management system whereby herds of livestock are managed by utilizing natural resources such as pasture and water sources. Pastoralism is a sustainable livelihood system regulated by ecology with complex modes of social, economic and political organization which can adapt to the environment. Pastoralists depend on three pillars for their livelihood which are interdependent – first is natural resources, second is the herd and third is the family and social institutions. Livestock herds are gene-bank resources for Tanzania’s livestock sector development. The natural resources surrounding them are utilized in a systematic manner to mitigate different natural and man-made calamities whereby pastoralists’ indigenous knowledge is a major guidance.

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