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Land 2017, 6(4), 82; doi:10.3390/land6040082

Identifying Hot Spots of Critical Forage Supply in Dryland Nomadic Pastoralist Areas: A Case Study for the Afar Region, Ethiopia

1
Amsterdam Centre for World Food Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, P.O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
3
GEOSAS Consultancies, P.O. Box 787, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
4
Sustainable Resources, Food Security Unit, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Via Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy
5
Water Resource and Irrigation Engineering department. Haramaya Institute of Technology, Haramaya University, P.O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
6
Afar Pastoral and Agro-pastoral Research Institute, P.O. Box 16, Semara, Ethiopia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arid Land Systems: Sciences and Societies)

Abstract

This study develops a methodology to identify hot spots of critical forage supply in nomadic pastoralist areas, using the Afar Region, Ethiopia, as a special case. It addresses two main problems. First, it makes a spatially explicit assessment of fodder supply and demand extracted from a data poor environment. Fodder supply is assessed by combining rainfall-based production functions and rule-based assessment for prevailing land use. Fodder demand is based on a data consistency check of livestock statistics concerning herd size, composition and geographical distribution. Second, individual herd movements have to be evaluated jointly in concurrent migration patterns to assess local pressures on fodder resources. We, therefore, apply a transition model that relates stock levels to seasonal migration routings for all Afar sub-clans jointly so as to localize the hot spots where feed demand exceeds forage supply. Critical areas come to the fore, especially, near fringes of Highlands and in the southern part of the Afar. A sensitivity test shows that ‘Baseline’ scenario is close to the ‘Best’ but under ‘Worst’, the Afar region would fall into despair. We conclude that the model is a useful tool to inform policy makers on critical areas in the Afar region. View Full-Text
Keywords: nomadic pastoralism; spatial migration model; Afar; livestock; fodder demand; fodder supply nomadic pastoralism; spatial migration model; Afar; livestock; fodder demand; fodder supply
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sonneveld, B.G.J.S.; van Wesenbeeck, C.F.A.; Keyzer, M.A.; Beyene, F.; Georgis, K.; Urbano, F.; Meroni, M.; Leo, O.; Yimer, M.K.; Abdullatif, M. Identifying Hot Spots of Critical Forage Supply in Dryland Nomadic Pastoralist Areas: A Case Study for the Afar Region, Ethiopia. Land 2017, 6, 82.

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