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					                IGAD LIVESTOCK POLICY INITIATIVE                                                 POLICY BRIEF


                       Pro-Poor Livestock Policy in the small desert
                                   entrepôt of Djibouti




                   L      Ivestock production in Djibouti, a
                         small, young country on the Horn of
                Africa, has a curious character: it accounts
                                                                    decentralization and electoral reform, but
                                                                    these have yet to be truly enacted.
                                                                        Under these conditions, policy and

                   T
                for only 3-5% of GNP and 10% of food
                requirements, yet is the main or sole method
                of livelihood for one-half to one-third of the
                                                                    institutional changes aimed to improve the
                                                                    lives of the livestock-dependent poor are
                                                                    difficult. Livestock producers face additional
                country’s population and 90% of the rural           constraints as well, including:
                populace. The vast majority of Djiboutian            Extremely harsh, arid climatic
                livestock producers are extremely poor                   conditions, with severe persistent
                nomads, engaging in traditional, non-                    drought causing loss of fodder and
                commercial subsistence pastoralism. In                   livestock, which in turn has led to the
                general, it does not appear that the                     breakdown of traditional land and
                government gives priority to the livestock               environmental management strategies
                sector or the ministry responsible for it, the           and rapid urban migration;
                Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and the
                                                                     Very low marketing infrastructure levels
                Sea.
                                                                         for livestock and related products;
                                                                     Poor access to markets and credit;
                 Political economic                                 Lack of alternative livelihood
                                                                         opportunities / exit strategies from an
                  environment                                            unproductive livestock sector;
                    The political economy of Djibouti is that        Insufficient access to animal health care
                of a classic neo-patrimonial rentier state.              and pharmaceuticals;
                Rents come from two large foreign military           Inadequate sanitation and hygiene
                bases, the deep-sea transhipment Port of                 regulations and protocols in the sector;
                Djibouti, and a remarkable amount of US
                                                                     Lack of donor coordination on livestock
                foreign aid. Despite this income, Djibouti is
                                                                         development efforts.
                one of the poorest countries on earth, with
                75% national and 96.7% rural poverty levels.
                Government revenue largely benefits the
                                                                     Bringing livestock issues to
                elite at the expense of the poor, as the              the fore
                rentier nature of the economy permits it to
                neglect governance issues.                              Two recent developments, however, have
                                                                    changed the marginal status of livestock
                    Politics in Djibouti is highly centralized in   issues. First, severe repeated droughts have
                the capital and personalized around the             resulted in rapid urbanization rates that have
                executive. Djibouti is an electoral                 overwhelmed the government’s urban service
                democracy, though the ruling party has won          capabilities. As a result, the Government of
                every seat in every election since                  the Republic of Djibouti (GORD) has found
                independence. This control has exacerbated          new interest in rural development. Second,
                tensions in the country, as politics is sharply     Djibouti has been given an opportunity to
                divided along the country’s two ethnic              quarantine Horn of Africa livestock for export
                groups, Issa and Afar, and the majority Issa        to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has
                have held power, as well as most government         banned East African livestock for nearly a
                and military positions, throughout the              decade.
                country’s history. While the executive has
                tried to manage minority Afar discontent by             Because of these changes, a number of
A Living from   distributing some appointments, goods and           politically feasible strategic entry points now
                services, ethnic tensions erupted into civil        exist on which to engage policy or
Livestock                                                           institutional change that will help the
                conflict for much of the 1990s. The final
                peace accord, in 2001, brought promises of
livestock dependent poor.
                                               Trade and export
                                                development
 Capacity building in the
                                                  Working with MAEM and the Ministry of
  Ministry of Agriculture,                    Commerce to update hygiene regulations
  Livestock and the Sea                       for livestock trade and export, including
                                              for the quarantine, abattoir, and livestock
  (MAEM)                                      market will be crucial for Djibouti to
   Since the GORD is currently focused        maintain access to export markets.
both on rural development to slow             Regionally, FAO will look to the Inter-
urbanization and on developing a              Governmental Authority on
competent authority for livestock export      Development’s Livestock Policy Initiative
certifications, supporting MAEM should be     (IGAD LPI) to take a role in coordinating
well received. Increasing management,         overlapping livestock-related donor
planning and technical skills, as well as     projects, as well as providing a regular
the number of qualified staff will provide    forum for the facilitation of accords and
MAEM with the ability to write feasible       harmonization of disease control
multi-year policies, reduce the need to       regulations and protocols between IGAD
work in “crisis” mode, supply human           member states and target importers.
resources for data collection and analysis,
and allow MAEM to develop its animal
health services, including its nascent
Community Animal Health Worker (CAHW)         Policy Brief based on:
program. A complete capacity assessment
of MAEM should be initiated as the first      The Political Economy of Pro-Poor
step.                                         Livestock Policy: the Case of Djibouti,
                                              Jennifer N. Brass.
 Rural development
    Because of the prolonged drought, it      Date of Publication: 2007
will be important for the GORD to
introduce a new pastoral law for the
management and preservation of                Link
pasturelands. Researching and
implementing ways to deal with the
prosopis plant explosion and to help the
GORD provide training, extension services
and water retention facilities for
gardeners are also feasible.


 Animal health
    Deregulating or simplify licensing
processes for veterinary pharmacies so
that drugs could be made available
outside the capital would greatly assist
the livestock-dependent poor, as would
allowing the importation of animal-
specific medicines from non-European
sources. Follow-up for the nascent CAHWs
program, including an assessment of its
impact to date and both continued
training for the CAHWs and sensitization
campaigns generally would also be
beneficial.

				
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