Retraction and expansion of flock mobility in central asia: costs and consequences

  • Carol Kerven Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, United Kingdom
  • Ilya Ilych Alimaev Institute of Pasture and Fodder, Dzandosov St 31, 480035 Almaty, Kazakstan
  • Roy Behnke Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, United Kingdom
  • Grant Davidson Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, United Kingdom
  • Leen Franchois Katholieke Universiteit, Oude Markt 13, Leuven 30000, Belgium
  • Nurlan Malmakov Institute of Sheep Breeding, Mynbaevo Village 483174, Alamty Oblast, Kazakstan
  • Erik Mathijs Katholieke Universiteit, Oude Markt 13, Leuven 30000, Belgium
  • Aidos Smailov Institute of Pasture and Fodder, Dzandosov St 31, 480035 Almaty, Kazakstan
  • Sayat Temirbekov Institute of Botany and Phytointroduction, Timiryazeva St 44, 480090 Almaty, Kazakstan
  • Iain Wright Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, United Kingdom
Keywords: history, household characteristics, pasture productivity, policy

Abstract

Seasonal and spatial fluctuations in forage quality, accessibility and output provide strong incentives for migratory stock keeping in Central Asia. Over the past century, mobile livestock husbandry has either been suppressed or collapsed and a fragmented pattern of rangeland use has ensued. Policy shifts underlying these processes in Kazakstan are traced. New patterns are evident whereby some flocks are again being moved by season to different pastures. In the market economy, individual families now decide on the costs and benefits of moving their animals.

Results are reported from a multidisciplinary study of two rangeland areas in Kazakstan, including a survey of 46 households interviewed quarterly during 2001–2002 and community-level analyses of grazing patterns. Flock mobility is considered in terms of flock size and household assets of labour and capital. For most households in the study sites, movement is neither economically attractive nor absolutely necessary. Having enough resources is not a sufficient condition for moving. Other factors that bear upon the decision to move include the degree of grazing pressure around the shepherds' home base. In heavily stocked areas, even small-scale producers are finding ways of moving their animals. In isolated or abandoned areas where forage is plentiful, movement can be minimised even for large flocks.

Keywords: history, household characteristics, pasture productivity, policy

African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2004, 21(3): 159–169
Published
2005-01-07
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-9380
print ISSN: 1022-0119