In March this year, we asked Ian Scoones, Science Adviser to ILRI, to reflect on the recent conference on the future of pastoralism and the work of ILRI in this area.
He argues that pastoralism “must be part of ILRI’s research agenda into the future.”
He identifies two promising areas for ILRI: First, to engage in technical research on production issues in pastoral areas and pastoral systems – to sustain the enormous economic potential of such areas.
Second, to support the broader area of innovation. As pastoral systems change and evolve, there is enormous innovation in these systems themselves, he gives an example from camel markets in northern Kenya.
“There is a great opportunity for ILRI scientists to engage with innovators outside the formal scientific research system, who are pastoralists themselves.”
The Addis Ababa conference on the future of pastoralism in Africa (21-23 March 2011) was organized by the Future Agricultures Consortium with Tufts University.
See related news items from the conference:
The future of pastoralism in Africa debated in Addis: Irreversible decline or vibrant future?, 21 March 2011.
Climate change impacts on pastoralists in the Horn: Transforming the ‘crisis narrative’, 22 March 2011.
The case for index-based livestock insurance and cash payments for northern Kenya’s pastoralists, 23 March 2011
Punctuated equilibrium: Pastoralist timelines of past and future, 23 March 2011
Making the case for index-based livestock insurance in Kenya, 23 March 2011
Or visit the Future Agricultures Consortium conference page or blog.