Title: Transformation of Borana from nomadic pastoralists to agropastoralists and shift of livestock from cattle to include more goats, camels and sheep in Southern Ethiopia

Authors: A. Allan Degen

Addresses: Desert Animal Adaptations and Husbandry, Wyler Department of Dryland Agriculture, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel

Abstract: Traditionally, Borana in Southern Ethiopia raised cattle for meat, milk, blood, leather, dung and cash and depended on nomadic and transhumant pastoralism for their livelihood and lifestyle. The government policy today is to sedentarise the pastoralists and convert the pastureland into cropland. Kebeles (pastoralist associations) have been established and these bodies have usurped much of the authority of the traditional leaders and decision makers. Loss of land, including large tracts to private investors, along with frequent droughts, pastoral conflicts, encroaching bushlands, increasing population and decreasing grasslands have forced a drastic decline in mobility among the Borana. The Borana are adjusting to the changes, albeit reluctantly, by transforming to agropastoralists, growing crops for home consumption and for cash, by livelihood diversifications other than agriculture and by shifting their livestock from mainly traditional cattle to include more goats, sheep and camels.

Keywords: Borana pastoralists; Borana plateau; Southern Ethiopia; cattle; livestock; land allocation; nomadic pastoralists; agropastoralists; goats; sheep; camels; kebeles; livelihood diversification; agriculture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2011.039389

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2011 Vol.6 No.3/4, pp.292 - 312

Published online: 02 Apr 2011 *

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