Pastoralists and the World Market: Problems and Perspectives


Ort: Leipzig, Vortragsraum der Universitätsbibliothek "Albertina", Beethovenstraße 6
Zeit: 27.–29. April 2006

27. April 2006
Leipzig, Vortragsraum der Universitätsbibliothek "Albertina", Beethovenstraße 6

17:00 Uhr


Prof. Dr. Stefan Leder, Halle
Prof. Dr. Jörg Gertel, Leipzig

17:30 Uhr


Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Bohle
(United Nations University, Bonn):
Social Vulnerability and Livelihood Security.

20:00 Uhr



28. April 2006
Leipzig, Vortragsraum der Universitätsbibliothek "Albertina", Beethovenstraße 6

08:30 Uhr

Prof. Dr. Richard Le Heron (University of Auckland, New Zealand):
Re-constituting At-a-distance Market Relations: New Zealand's Dairy, Deer and Sheep Commodity Systems since the 1980s.

09:15 Uhr

Chris Lloyd (EBLEX, UK):
UK Sheep Industry: An Introduction to its Pastoral Systems and Approach to Marketing and Breeding.

10:00 - 10:30 Uhr


10:30 Uhr

Prof. Dr. Hermann Kreutzmann (Freie Universität, Berlin):
Pastoralism in the Pamirs. Regional Contexts, Political Boundaries and Market Integration.

11:15 Uhr

Dr. Carol Kerven (Macaulay Institute Aberdeen, U.K.):
Integration of Central Asian Pastoralists into World Cashmere Markets: Opportunities for Improving Livelihoods and Adding Value.

12:00 - 14:00 Uhr


14:00 Uhr

Prof. Dr. Jörg Janzen (Ulaanbaatar / Berlin):
Mongolian Pastoral Economy and World Market under Socialist and Post-Socialist Conditions

14:45 Uhr   

Prof. Dr. Günther Schlee / Dr. Hussein Mahmoud (Halle):
Challenges, Innovations, and the Growth of Livestock Marketing in Northern Kenya

15:30 - 16:00 Uhr


16:00 Uhr   

Dr. Martin Wiese (Ministry for Foreign Affairs, France / Chad):
Livestock production, markets and health in Western Chad: A Livelihood Approach.

16:45 Uhr   

Nikola Rass / Dr. Stephan Baas / Dr. Joachim Otte, (FAO – Rural Development Division, Rom):
Livestock Markets and Drought in Sub-Saharan Africa.

20:00 Uhr



29. April 2006
Leipzig, Vortragsraum der Universitätsbibliothek "Albertina", Beethovenstraße 6


Round Table Discussion

09:00 Uhr

Preliminary Summary:

Prof. Dr. Jörg Gertel
, (Universität Leipzig):
Pastoralists and the World Market: Prospects and Problems.

09:30 Uhr

Prof. Dr. Barbara Harriss-White, (Oxford University, U.K.):
Theoretical Plurality in Markets conceived as Social and Political Institutions.

10:30 - 12:00 Uhr


12:30 Uhr




Social Vulnerability and Livelihood Security

Hans-Georg Bohle

The presentation proposes a framework for market risk assessments that is based on the concept of social vulnerability. In a first step five key components of vulnerability will be deducted that, together, constitute a baseline for any vulnerability assessment. A second step will then demonstrate how disciplinary approaches in vulnerability research generally focus on one or two of these components only. New frameworks for vulnerability assessment that seek to link all these components in an integrated manner are presented in a third step. Fourthly, DFID's Sustainable Livelihoods Framework is discussed as an example for integrated vulnerability assessment that focuses on issues of social vulnerability and human security. Finally, in a fifth step, the foregoing discussion will be used to propose an integrated framework for market risk assessments. The presentation seeks to provide an analytical tool for the discussion of the problems and perspectives that pastoralists face in the process of market integration, both in terms of their social vulnerability and human security.

Re-constituting at-a-distance market relations: New Zealand's dairy, deer and sheep commodity systems since the 1980s

Richard Le Heron

Since the neo-liberalising reform in New Zealand in the mid-1980s New Zealand's pastoral sectors have undergone major transformation. New Zealand's pastoral commodity systems are now re-connected into the globalising world food and fibre economy on distinctively different bases to the arrangements that prevailed some two decades ago.

The paper has two broad aims. First, the paper draws on a commodity systems approach to situate New Zealand-based pastoral activities – dairy, deer and sheep (meat and wool) production – in the wider (and changing) international political economy of GATT, WTO and other market-forming and market-shaping institutions and to outline the re-alignment of New Zealand's pastoral commodity systems into world markets. Second, the paper adopts an enterprise/organisation perspective to reveal the role of key entities in mediating at-a-distance links with major and emerging markets and in framing the nature, direction and detail of investment patterns within the pastoral commodity systems.

The paper argues that important lessons relating to strategies for the integration of different production systems into the globalising world markets can be learned from the New Zealand example. In particular, New Zealand's commitment to neo-liberalisation allows a close look at the processes and practices underpinning the contemporary re-constitution of market relations in pastoral commodity production.

UK sheep industry: An introduction to its pastoral systems and approach to marketing and breeding

Chris Lloyd

The UK Sheep Industry has 16 million breeding ewes and is focused on sheep meat production making it the largest producer in Europe.

The breeding flock is made of some 75 different breeds and recognised crosses which have developed historically to suit the varied climate and terrain of mountains, hills and lowlands which are a feature of the UK. This variety in land type and quality also contributed to a stratified breeding structure. The hardy hill ewe is crossed with a prolific longwool ram from the hills, to produce an F1 cross bred ewe which is sold to a lowland producer for focused on lamb production. This cross breeding linked farms from the mountains to the more productive lowlands exploiting the beneficial production characteristics of the local breeds and hybrid vigour. This has system has created an inter dependant relationship which has also seen a share of the economic wealth which can be generated from the more productive lowlands with their closer links to the food chain. The system is predominantly based on grass fed lamb production systems which produces a range of lamb weights enabling the UK to seek export opportunities in northern and southern Europe.

This stratified system has come under more pressure to change in recent years with an influx of other European breeds in the 1980's and 1990's. Producers have sought to utilise the best of each of these breeds as they adapt to the latest CAP reforms thus creating more variety in the breeding systems now found in the UK.

With the greater focus on market signals to generate economic returns following the CAP reform, a knowledge transfer programme was established in 2003 called the Better Returns Programme. This was run by EBLEX, the English producer levy board, to focus on training programmes and KT on the issues of better breeding, better lamb selection and better market understanding. In the years 2004 /05 it held over 300 producer events on farms, in abattoirs and livestock markets which were attended by over 12,000 producers. Some of the lessons learnt will be explained in the paper delivered to the conference.

Pastoralism in the Pamirs. Regional contexts, political boundaries and market integration

Hermann Kreutzmann

The Pamir Mountains are a classical region where combined mountain agriculture and nomadism are the primary pastoral strategies for the utilization of natural resources. Similar ecological frame conditions at the upper level of vegetation cover can be observed. In contrast to the rather homogeneous appearance of this aspect of ecology survival conditions and pastoral strategies significantly differ when time scale and political systems are concerned. The aim of my contribution is to set present-day pastoral strategies in perspective over time and space. The latter addresses developments across the borders where countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Peoples Republic of China offer a varied spectrum of legislation, infrastructure development and regional planning. The territories are separated since the late 19th century by international boundaries conceived as the result of an imperial "great game" about spheres of influence. Emphasis is put on the developments in the framework of animal husbandry and its linkages with subsistence and market relations. Evidence is presented for the adaptation to changed socio-political frame conditions which has affected the livelihood strategies of nomads and mountain farmers alike. Recent fieldwork in the Wakhan region of Afghanistan and Tajikistan reveals different coping strategies as well as similarities in survival strategies.

Integration of Central Asian Pastoralists into World Cashmere Markets: Opportunities for Improving Livelihoods and Adding Value

Carol Kerven

Pastoral peoples in the rangelands of former Soviet Central Asia have become more directly linked to world markets for livestock products. Pastoralists were formerly employed on state collective farms within centralised economies in which livestock products were collected and distributed though state channels. Privatised pastoralists are now able to choose what and how to sell to commercial markets. Cashmere from native goats has recently become a traded commodity within the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Cashmere is a high-value luxury good and the raw material is being actively sought in these countries by merchants from China and other countries. Sales from cashmere are making a significant contribution to the incomes of poorer pastoralists in some regions. There is potential to increase the value of cashmere to the pastoralists, by providing market information and training, which will increase the prices they receive. Results from a three-year project on market improvement for cashmere in Kazakhstan are presented.

Mongolian Pastoral Economy and World Market under Socialist and Post-Socialist Conditions

Jörg Janzen

Since the beginning of the transformation process in Mongolia at the beginning of the 1990s from a centrally planned socialist system to a democratic and market oriented economy the extensive livestock production system of Mongolia has undergone deep changes.

After the privatization of the highly export oriented (esp. to the former Soviet Union) pastoral economy, the loss of most of the state subsidies for the rural areas and the breakdown of all marketing facilities the mobile livestock keepers had to organise their life and production by themselves. As a result the mobile livestock keeping economy has been reduced to a highly subsistence oriented system with a large number of small production units whose members have to organise pasture use, water supply, veterinary services, marketing of animal products as well as supply with goods by themselves. Access to educational, health as well as cultural facilities became very difficult because of lack of financial support by the State.

The creation of a large group of so called "new nomads" mainly owning small herds after the privatization of the livestock production cooperatives (negdel) has led to a clear social differentiation within the pastoral population. The two extremes form the large group of mainly poor / less wealthy "new nomads" on one side and a small group of new rich herder families with more than thousand animals on the other.

The spatial mobility pattern has also changed considerably. Less frequent changes of the seasonal camp sites and wanderings of shorter distances are common. In combination with highly increased numbers of livestock overstocking has led to heavy overgrazing accelerating the desertification process in large parts of the country. The deterioration of the living and production conditions of mobile livestock keepers enforced by severe droughts and very cold and snow rich winters between 2000 and 2003 has resulted in a strong out-migration from the rural-pastoral areas. This movement is directed towards the larger cities of Mongolia such as aimag (provincial) centres and Ulaanbaatar the national capital in particular. The pastoral families living in remote areas became highly dependent on migrant traders and their price dictates. As a consequence of lack of cash in the rural economy barter is wide spread.

As far as the integration of Mongolia's mobile livestock economy into the world market is concerned strong changes have occurred. The old one-sided highly export-oriented economic ties with the former Soviet Union and the countries of the eastern bloc do not exist any more. Nowadays the meat of the Mongolian livestock is mainly consumed by the pastoralists themselves or marketed within the country where an increasing demand for meat and milk products from the rapidly growing cities can be observed. As the mostly large factories from the socialist period have been destroyed or have become bankrupt after privatization Mongolia's animal raw material processing industries have lost their former importance. Most of the precious animal raw materials such as cashmere, sheep and camel wool are directly exported. The major importer is the PR China. Only relatively small quantities of meat are exported to the Russian Federation and some eastern Asian countries such as horse meat to Japan. Similar to other developing and transformation countries Mongolia has become a primarily raw material (mining and animal products) exporting country. Concerning the livestock sector Mongolia might have a chance to export more meat to neighbouring PR China and even to European countries if the high hygienic and quality standards set up by the World Trade Organization could be fulfilled.

Challenges, innovations, and the growth of livestock marketing in northern Kenya

Günther Schlee / Hussein Mahmoud

This paper examines innovations in livestock marketing that livestock traders in northern Kenya use to overcome a host of trading obstacles. Livestock trading in northern Kenya is one of the toughest jobs and most risk-prone in the region, yet livestock traders have not only been able to transform the ways in which trading is conducted through "home-made" innovations, but have also reduced risks of trading. It demonstrates how livestock traders have become resilient to risks and have been able to succeed in trade that many have dropped out in the past. Trust embedded in social networks and relations reinforce the adoption of risk minimizing strategies. The paper focuses on the broad field of pastoral risk management to illustrate how an innovative risk management strategy can be used to create a successful business entrepreneurship in a risk-prone environment. I draw on fieldwork conducted during 2001/2002 among cattle traders in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia and recent work among Somali livestock traders in northeastern Kenya.

Livestock production, markets and health in Western Chad: A Livelihood Approach

Martin Wiese

Pastoral livelihood systems warrant a considerable level of sustainable production in particularly fragile ecosystems. However, pastoral people especially in African drylands belong to the communities largely excluded from investment in human development. For example in Chad, extensive livestock breeders manage 80% of all livestock estimated at 16 millions UBT, securing livelihood of 40% of the rural population, and creating over 66% (197 million €) of the national export revenues apart from petrol. But despite their substantial contribution to national economy, pastoral communities are almost completely excluded from access to primary social services (primary health care, basic education, drinking water, and most recently, veterinary services). Consequently, a central question of sustainable development in drylands is, how to warrant reinvestment of wealth created by pastoral production, into pastoral development?

In this connection, our case-study from Chad scrutinizes the interface of nomadic pastoral livelihood with specific segments of national and global economy: on the production-side, pastoral people in Chad interact rather superficially with "archaic" markets nourishing export-chains of regional dimension; on the demand-side, however, they are confronted with highly dynamic segments of a globalizing world market. In specifically addressing the latter issue, the contribution analyses the interaction of pastoral patients with "markets for health care" in Western Chad, in which information and knowledge is a major commodity, trading is embedded in a matrix of power relationships (and exclusion) and market-places are locations of increased uncertainty. In this connection, a case study was conducted to evaluate the access of nomadic patients to a rural dispensary, which is situated in the midst of a pastoral corridor. The results give rise to different hypotheses on the determinants of access of pastoral people to markets beyond the domain of public health. The conclusions provided guidelines for policy and development planning at different levels in Chad.

The marketing component of livestock early warning systems – Examples from Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia

Nikola Rass / Stephan Baas / Joachim Otte

Pastoralists are highly dependent on markets, because they must trade their livestock and derived products for staples to satisfy their nutritional needs. However, due to the production risks posed by the harsh ecological conditions in which they live (e.g. drought, dzud, diseases), pastoralists do not follow the market incentive to sell live animals when prices are high, but only sell as many animals as needed to achieve a target income. This makes them extremely vulnerable to droughts, when the terms of trade for livestock dramatically worsen.

The paper reviews approaches to and experiences with Livestock Early Warning Systems (LEWS) and drought risk management in East and West Africa and compares them with approaches applied in Mongolia. In Mongolia, the income received form the sale of cashmere makes the marketing of meat and milk relatively less important than in Africa. The comparative analysis of risk management and market options between Africa and Central Asia can therefore provide valuable insights.

Built on the model of the Turkana Livestock Early Warning System in East Africa, FAO projects concerned with the development of Early Warning Systems for pastoralists are starting to integrate market information and aim to induce early off-take in case of an emerging drought. This approach is followed by the FAO project 'Pastoralisme et Environnement au Sahel' and the World Bank supported sustainable Livelihoods Project in Mongolia.

It becomes clear that increased off-take at an early stage of a crises is conditional on the availability of some form of banking system in which to invest the proceeds from livestock sales and of alternative income generating activities in which the most vulnerable can engage. Further research is needed to explore and assess mechanisms for 'livestock banking' as complement to LEWS.

Theoretical Plurality in Markets conceived as Social and Political Institutions

Barbara Harriss-White

In this paper, markets are conceived as vehicles for the exercise of authority, the exchange of goods and as field of accumulation. It follows that they have to be studied specifically rather than generally (as is conventional). The problem then arises as to how this specificity is best understood. There is no consensus about how to do this. The approaches of economic sociology, the politics of markets, social structures of accumulation and commodification are then introduced, compared and contrasted.