RESTORING THE RANGELAND

By

Brian Chatterton

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This is an ebook on Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008C1GE6S It is available from all Amazon sites that is co.uk, .de etc.

“Governments need to build a coalition of support for pastoralists to tap the potential for economic development in east Africa, a top US official said last week. Jeff Hill. Director for policy at USAid, the US development arm, said underinvestment in pastoral communities in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya have contributed to the extreme levels of food insecurity in the Horn of Africa's dry lands…
“and this vulnerability to drought that is eroding food security in these area” Hill told agricultural experts at a meeting in Nairobi, “and this vulnerability is a result of chronic under-investment. This is particularly true for livestock based systems which are and will be the dominant part of arid and semi-arid lands”
Lloyd Le Page, CEO of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR) agreed on the importance of livestock in the current crisis. “Livestock provide more food security than growing crops in many arid and semi-arid areas,” he told the meeting.”

Reported in Guardian Weekly 09-09-11

To say that Brian Chatterton presents an alternative view of rangeland restoration is to understate this book. Brian Chatterton inverts the conventional wisdom on rangeland restoration in the North African and West Asian region. He is critical of the attempts to restore the rangeland using expensive fodder shrubs. While they provide, in theory, a stable supply of feed through periods of drought they depend on a sophisticated level of grazing management that is not currently achievable. It is time to admit that they are a failed option. He points to the failure to tie grazing management and pasture improvement together in a package that also includes an appropriate form of tenure. Ideas on land tenure need to be based on current patterns of land use and grazing traditions not ranches developed from models used in USA and Australia.
The sentiments expressed by Jeff Hill and Lloyd Le Page are sound but the reality is more difficult. Investment in what? How does one invest in a pastoral community? Pastoral nomads have been on the fringes of rural development for decades. There have been many well intentioned attempt to improve their lives but these have almost invariably failed to put together a package that is attractive for investors. This ebook explains how pasture improvement and grazing have to tackled simultaneously as each is dependent on the other. For longer term management and investment it is essential to resolve the thorny issue of land tenure. Marketing the production of the rangeland flocks is vital to improve the flock owners' incomes and a return on investment in pastures.
This ebook is based on Brian Chatterton's experience as a farmer in the semi arid region of Australia, Minister of Agriculture in South Australia, consultant and adviser to national governments in North Africa and West Asia as well as international development agencies. He has worked in West Asia and North Africa from Iraq to Morocco for forty years. He has seen many projects fail and some have limited success. The major cause has been a failure to deal with all the element simultaneously.
Tenure problems have been left on the back burner. Brian Chatterton proposes new forms of tenure for the rangeland and a totally new concept defining the boundaries of pastoral land. While the ebook is based on West Asia and North Africa the ideas have much wider application throughout Africa.
Brian Chatterton is joint author with Lynne Chatterton of “Sustainable Dryland Farming” published by Cambridge University Press, “Fodders for the Near East: annual medic pastures,” published by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, “Why grow medic?” a series of farmer training kits also published by FAO and the web site www.drylandfarming.org He has written numerous articles for journals and farming magazines.