What is Pastoral Farming? Explained!

Whether you are a farm owner, an environmental activist, or just curious about the future of farming, you have likely heard of the term “Pastoral farming.” This is the type of farming that is practiced on large acreage, where animals are confined and fed a high-quality diet. Typically, this type of farming is a sustainable way of living, and contributes to local economies. However, it is not without its challenges.

Pasture management

Managing pastures for profitable livestock production is an important practice. It is also an important aspect of maintaining a healthy ecosystem. The process of pasture management in pastoral farming requires careful planning and monitoring. The success of the management process depends on understanding the interconnections between the various pastures, vegetation cover and other factors.

In Kyrgyzstan, pasture management was fragmented among districts. The management model was inherited from the large collective farms, which maintained pastures. The grazing management system was not able to ensure the optimal use of grazing. It is important to create a legal mechanism to improve the use of pastures.

Community-based pasture management was introduced in Kyrgyzstan in 2009. This management system is based on the principles of management of common pool resources. The model is a form of democracy and involves equal participation of all stakeholders.

Initially, the method was not well understood by local pasture users. However, experts endorsed the new management model. It was adopted by the Government of Kyrgyzstan and the Parliament. It was designed by the Department of Pastures under the Ministry of Agriculture and Melioration. The department received funding from the World Bank.

The new management model was implemented in Naryn province. It reconciled pasture management with mobility. This was achieved by transferring pasture stewardship from the government to the municipalities.

In addition, the legal mechanism is based on pasture use fees and the elaboration of pasture plans. The objective of this legal mechanism is to drive flocks to pastures in remote areas. It was developed to overcome the assumption of misuse of pasturelands. The new management model helped solve problems related to pasture degradation.

Herdsman husbandry

Various types of farming and herdsman husbandry are practiced worldwide. Depending on the region, they may be confined to dry or wet climates, or the altitude or soil may determine the type of farming.

A pastoral community is an interdependent group of people relying on livestock for food, clothing and hunting. They have created institutions to market and sell the products of their herds.

Pastoral farming involves raising livestock in pastures. Some pastoralists also supplement their herding with small-scale farming. These farming communities are located in low and middle income countries. These countries often invest heavily in pastoral farming.

Some of the world’s largest pastoral communities are found in Asia and Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are 50 million pastoralists. These people earn 50 percent or more of their income from their livestock.

In arid regions, pastoralists may be reduced because rainfall is limiting and temperature is limiting. In these regions, they will have to adapt to the environment. Some pastoralist communities have used fire to alter the ecosystem.

Besides the usual grazing and farming, other pastoralist systems have adopted aspects of intensification. This is the emergence of mixed systems where cattle are raised in conjunction with horses, goats, camels, sheep, and even yak.

These communities may also keep nonpastoral animals in human settlements. For instance, dairy farms are found in warmer, wet climates.

The production of milk and meat is a continuing global market. Other products of pastoralists include leather.

The development of a pastoral community is driven by cultural dominance over the landscape. This is the only way to keep the beasts moving and provide food for the people.

Sedentary animal husbandry

During the last decade, Morocco has witnessed a gradual transition from mobile pastoralism to sedentary pastoralism. This development has triggered spiraling cycles of violence, threatening to undermine the stability of the country. It has also led to an expansion of crop farming, thereby reducing the mobility of livestock.

The transition of livestock production can have short-term and long-term benefits for the watershed. It can also help alleviate poverty and social disruptions. In addition, it can contribute to the mitigation of climate change. However, it is difficult to quantify the extent of income loss, and the transition may be affected by other factors.

Sedentary livestock systems are more vulnerable to climate change than mobile pastoralism. In fact, recent studies have shown that commercial pastoralism is a viable alternative for current mobile pastoralists.

In the research region, access to pastures in the Ouarzazate basin is shared by all kin groups. However, the research region is not known for its high precipitation, and climate researchers estimate that rainfall in the study region will decrease by about 10% to 30% until the year 2100.

During a drought, livestock prices are reduced by 50%. In addition, livestock are moved to fallow lands and crop residues to distribute manure. This can increase biodiversity and offset carbon levels in the soil.

Depending on the type of pastoralism, income is generated in a variety of ways. For example, some herding communities rely almost entirely on livestock. Others supplement herding with small-scale farming and hunting. In addition, emigrants contribute to household income. Emigrants also invest in livestock as a saving asset.

In addition to grazing, pastoralism also uses fire to shape ecosystems. These methods are known as silvopastoralism.

Contribution to local communities and economies

Various scholars have estimated the contribution of pastoral farming to local communities and economies. Whether the number is accurate or not, it is important to understand the economic impact of this activity. Increasing investment in pastoral areas can promote environmentally sound development.

Pastoralism involves herding livestock to provide food and other products. The benefits of pastoral activities include health, food security, environmental protection, and preservation of biodiversity. Pastoralism is also a bulwark against climate change.

In Kenya, livestock contribute to national economic outputs in various ways. Livestock production accounts for between 20 and 30 percent of the GDP. Pastoralism also contributes to carbon sequestration in the soil through grazing and plant growth.

Livestock production can also be used for work power and to produce fiber. They are also a major source of manure. This is an important source of natural fertilizer. The value of livestock in subsistence is often overlooked in GDP calculations.

Livestock are a crucial asset for vulnerable communities. Impoverished households may try to cut costs by reducing their offtake. A coping strategy may be to move livestock to fallow lands or crop residues. But strategic mobility is a more complex undertaking and requires a large herd.

Livestock production systems can also contribute to biodiversity preservation by enhancing carbon sequestration in the soil. Livestock can also be used for manure distribution. The FAO supports the preservation of pastoralism through animal production support and health. It also works closely with pastoral organizations, local governments, and research centers to improve knowledge.

Some of the most common livestock used in pastoral areas are cattle, goats, sheep, and chickens. These animals provide different functions to a household and require different feeds. Generally, livestock is moved to the best available pastures throughout the year. They also respond to a poor diet by reducing their intake.


Several challenges affect pastoralism, including climate change, natural disasters and zoonotic diseases. But pastoralism is also the world’s largest agricultural sector and contributes to food security and rural development. Pastoralism can be found in many different regions, including subtropical and tropical areas. Using local breeds and traditional knowledge, pastoralists manage natural resources effectively. Pastoralism also contributes to the preservation of biodiversity in different environments.

Pastoralism is a livelihood that has been around for thousands of years. Livestock have played a key role in many societies. They provide food, milk, and meat. Some animals provide livestock manure, which can be used as fertilizer. These animals also help maintain riparian forests, which are important for grazing during dry seasons.

Pastoralism can be a valuable contribution to climate change adaptation. However, pastoralism is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The Sahel region has experienced devastating droughts, including a 2010 drought that killed 4.8 million head of cattle. Climate change is increasing the incidence of new livestock diseases. Pastoralism is also vulnerable to land degradation, which can affect livestock livelihoods. In the Sahel, there is a need for international cooperation to address these issues.

Pastoralism is characterized by a propensity to adapt to changing conditions. It is based on traditional knowledge and long-term experience. Pastoralism is also highly susceptible to natural disasters and man-made disasters. Pastoralism can be a key part of a country’s agricultural sector and a prime opportunity to integrate economies.

Pastoralism is a key part of the Sahel economy. However, droughts have disrupted transhumance in many regions of the world. This is due to poor water management and climatic changes. In the Sahel, droughts have killed millions of cattle and dried up springs. These changes have pushed herders into more remote areas, where they can find less favorable pastures.

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