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The effect of environmental variability on livestock and land-use management: the Borana Plateau, Southern Ethiopia

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  • McCarthy, Nancy
  • Kamara. Abdul
  • Kirk, Michael
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    Abstract

    The Borana people are the predominant ethnic group on the Borana Plateau in southern Ethiopia, who have recently increased their reliance on crops. Rainfall in the region averages between 353 mm to 873 mm; variability is high, with coefficients of variation ranging from .21 to .68. Anectdotal evidence implies that the vulnerability of pastoralist households to drought is increasing; stock levels increase dramatically during good rainfall years but plummet when rainfall is poor, indicating that the drought cycle is becoming more pronounced. In recent years, there has also been a dramatic increase in land allocated to crops, and land allocated to pastures that are either privatized or accessible to only a small sub-group of people. It is hypothesized that one of the key determinants of the productivity and sustainability of the systems is the ability of community members to cooperate over the use and maintenance of these resources. In this paper, we develop indicators of cooperation and examine factors affecting these indicators. We then use these indicators to determine the impact of cooperation on stock densities and land allocation patterns. Results indicate that cooperation is positively related to factors that increase the profitability of livestock, but negatively related to the total number of households, the use of community pastures by non-community members, and heterogeneity of wealth within the community.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series EPTD discussion papers with number 75.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:75

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    Keywords: Ethiopia.; Pastoral systems Environmental aspects Africa.; Land use Ethiopia.; Livestock.; Crops.;

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    Cited by:
    1. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Pender, John & Tesfay, Girmay, 2004. "Collective action for grazing land management in crop-livestock mixed systems in the highlands of northern Ethiopia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 273-290, December.
    2. Falck Zepeda, José & Barreto-Triana, Nancy & Baquero-Haeberlin, Irma & Espitia-Malagón, Eduardo & Fierro-Guzmán, Humberto & López, Nancy, 2006. "An exploration of the potential benefits of integrated pest management systems and the use of insect resistant potatoes to control the Guatemalan Tuber Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny) in Ventaquemada,," EPTD discussion papers 152, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Di Falco, Salvatore & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia," EPTD discussion papers 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Gruère, Guillaume P., 2006. "An analysis of trade related international regulations of genetically modified food and their effects on developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Paul J. Block & Kenneth Strzepek & Mark W. Rosegrant & Xinshen Diao, 2008. "Impacts of considering climate variability on investment decisions in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 171-181, 09.
    6. Smale, Melinda & Zambrano, Patricia & Falck-Zepeda, José & Gruère, Guillaume, 2006. "Parables: applied economics literature about the impact of genetically engineered crop varieties in developing economies," EPTD discussion papers 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Gruère, Guillaume & Giuliani, Alessandra & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Marketing underutilized plant species for the benefit of the poor: a conceptual framework," EPTD discussion papers 154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Linacre, Nicholas & Falck-Zepeda, José & Komen, John & MacLaren, Donald, 2006. "Risk assessment and management of genetically modified organisms under Australia's Gene Technology Act:," EPTD discussion papers 157, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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