Enhancing resilience in the Horn of Africa: an exploration into alternative investment options
After providing a contextual understanding of livelihoods in the region, the paper discusses economic transformation as a guiding principle. It then describes the scope for both non-livestock and livestock development strategies in the ASAL regions. Despite the concerns, pastoral farming is actually an efficient and resilient adaptation strategy to the environment when compared to non-irrigated non-pastoral farming. Increasing demand and livestock prices also offer reasons to modernise and support pastoral farming as part of a balanced investment strategy.
There are key knowledge gaps that must be addressed before the question of how to balance investments can be resolved:
- the stresses on the carrying capacity of the environment and the interrelated resilience to shocks associated with varying of different human and livestock populations;
- the feasibility and potential of irrigation projects;
- the cost-effectiveness and time frame of interventions in each agricultural sector, as well as in cross-cutting interventions in education, social policy, microfinance, development etc.; and
- the potential for regional and inter-regional migration and non-farm diversification.
- the diverse and extensive uses that mobile telephones offer, e.g. in trade, microfinance and health;
- mobile and long-distance learning, and boarding schools;
- improved early warning systems (another potential use of mobile phones);
- weather-based index insurance; and
- improved infrastructure and access to relevant services linked to output markets via livestock development clusters.