Climate Smart Livestock Approaches
For generations tribes have been pastoralist, moving their herds across large regions of land as the temperatures change finding food and water. Temperature variations, shifts in rainfall and increase in extreme weather can adversely affect livestock through increase heat stress, reduced availability of fodder and water availability, thus increasing competition for limited resources across multiple sectors. As droughts have become more frequent and land tenure brings restricted access, pastoralist are faced with difficult decisions as they seek to care for their families. Some of the challenges facing pastoralist include:
- Animal diseases and access to care
- Climate variations
- Access to land and water resources
Areas of particular risk are the arid and semi-arid grazing systems Sub-Saharan Africa.
FAO reports that women on average make up 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries and account for an estimated two-thirds of the world's 600 million poor livestock keepers (FAOSTAT). Women’s rights and access to land, credit, training, inputs and decision making are some of the hurdles women face as they seek to provide nutrition for their families.
Climate smart agriculture approaches provides a means to help stakeholders from local, regional, national and international level to identify strategies that are best suitable for their conditions. Adaptations and best practices introduced through extension should be aware of the traditions of the local community and intentionally provide access for men, women, and youth.
Environmental impacts are seen in
- Degradation of grazing land
- Pollution from animal waste
- Runoff from fertilizers
To address these impacts, pastoralist are working to manage their climate risks and planning adaptive transitions that reduce roaming for food and water for their livestock and remaining in their home area growing their own feed for cattle. Approaches should lead to increase efficiency in the use of resources in water management, feed efficiency (i.e. rotational grazing, higher yield fodder crops), managing use of fertilizer and manure and the introduction of trees into grazing land are some of the practices being implemented.
Ethiopia is seeing success from the implementation of various practices over the past years. The videos tell their story as they face climate variation and manage the risks to preserve their livelihoods for their families and the generations to come.
Regreening Ethiopia's Highlands: a New Hope for Africa, TerrAfrica
Ethiopian Pastorialist adapt to climate change, Sustainable Development Fund goals
Happy Cows Help Save the Planet: Climate Smart Agriculture in Costa Rica, World Bank
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- How have you addressed the need for extension services for women and youth?
- Have you been successful in scaling your trainings and what lessons learned would you want others to know?