University of Khartoum

Impact of Conflict on Livestock Production and Socioeconomic (Darfur Region)

Impact of Conflict on Livestock Production and Socioeconomic (Darfur Region)

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Title: Impact of Conflict on Livestock Production and Socioeconomic (Darfur Region)
Author: Takana, Baligha Ali Saeed
Abstract: Livestock Production and trade are of high importance for the livelihood and welfare of the people in Sudan. The livestock sector has become even more important after the secession of South Sudan in July 2011 and the loss of the oil revenues. There was widespread rustling of livestock in the early years of the conflict affecting producers and traders. The livestock trade involves trekking animals over long distances and this became difficult and insecure due to the wide spread conflicts. South Darfur State is situated in the south of Sudan’s western Darfur region . It covers an area of 127,300 km2 (49,200 sq miles) with an estimated population of 2,890,348.The capital city is Nyala. The livestock population in Sudan was estimated, in 2002, at 39,479,000 head of cattle, 48,136,000 sheep, 41,485,000 goats and 3,342,000 camels. Livestock in Darfur region represents between one quarter to one third of Sudan’s livestock resources post secession. The purpose of this study is to reflect what has happened to Sudan’ s livestock production as a result of conflicts taking place South Darfur, the area of study. The research has four specific Objectives: To investigate the status of South Darfur livestock herds prior to and after the conflict; to study the status of South Darfur’s livestock markets; to study the socio-economic effects of the conflict on the affected localities; to recommend to government and NGOs interventions in response to the problem. Data were collected through: single visit, random selection; combined oral and written questionnaires in Arabic and local languages, open ended interview questions, physical observation, review of relevant literature, one to one and group discussions and interviews using direct questions with target community members, leaders, government stakeholders and NGOs officials. Secondary data available from literature collected during war time was used, in addition to government, UN and NGOs reports. The questionnaire was pretested. The sample size consisted of a total of 200 pastoralists and agro pastoralists disaggregated as 175 males and 25 females of host communities, returnees and IDPs in 9 localities. The research exercise was conducted during more than three years (2011-2014). The research team managed to collect the required data in an environment of insecurity and danger in South Darfur State. Data tabulation and analysis was conducted using SPSS. According to the respondents, forest area has increased by 173% since the eruption of the conflicts in 2003 because a lot of the land that was left by farmers fleeing conflicts has turned into forests. Average cultivated area per household of interviewees has decreased by 50%. Free grazing which was the most commonly practiced system as it comprised 67% before the conflict decreased by 17% after conflict. Average distance to grazing area remained the same before and after conflict (8.3 km). For security reasons the average number of grazing hours per respondent decreased from 9.6 hours before conflict to 7.5 hours after conflict. Respondents average number of heads of cattle, sheep and goats dropped by 44%, 28%, 13%, respectively. Poultry owned decreased by 16 % after the conflict. This caused a dramatic rise in meat prices of beef, lamb and goat meat by 45%, 50% and 40%, respectively. Milk production from cattle per interviewed household decreased after conflict by 21% while milk from goats increased by 19%. The number of waterings per day significantly decreased from two times pre conflict to one time after conflict. There was an increase in the average number of camels per respondent 43%.This is probably a result of the southwards movement of the northern camel herders(Abbala).Some cattle herders also changed to mixed herds of cattle, sheep and goats to cope with the security situation. About 63% of respondents had access to government veterinary services before the conflicts and this decreased to 25% after the conflict. Access of respondents to vaccinations dropped from 77% before conflict to 66% after conflict, NGOs were the source of veterinary and extension services for 2% of respondents before conflict. This increased to 14% after conflict due to increased humanitarian assistance. Hygiene standards remained poor as they were before the start of the conflict. Udder washing before milking was not practiced by 79% and 78% of respondents before and after conflict, respectively. This is probably a reflection of the lack of veterinary extension and proper community awareness. In conclusion Darfur lies on the edge of the desert, in an area that suffers from an overall paucity of resources. Drought, population growth, ethnicity, poor pasture, poor native administrations and scarcity of water resulted in protracted conflicts since 2003 which impacted animal and agricultural production. This was reflected in changes in the species constitution of the herd, high prices, poor animal health and extension services, deterioration of household income. Farmers left their farms fleeing conflicts to safer places (towns) which resulted in lower agricultural production. The frequency of pasture fires increased and migration distances and destinations changed. The study concludes that both government and NGOs are faced with the duty of improving the herders socioeconomic status, and with the rebuilding of social structures that formed the basis of relations between tribes and communities in the area.
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/123456789/25012


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