Livestock Dilemma, Pastoralism and Decentralization in the Sahel: A SAM Approach in a Rural Commune in Mali

Daniel P. Kaboré


This paper examines the effects of hypothetical policies on the livestock activity and on pastoralists in the Madiama rural commune in Mali, using a SAM model. The results showed that family labor is the most rewarding factor for livestock activities which benefit far more of an exogenous unitary money injection in the economy than cropping ones. Pastoralists appeared to be the best channels to implement communal policies. However, since animal rearing in the current system is land-demanding, the Madiama commune is in a dilemma: promoting livestock activities will end up with generating or exacerbating conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. Given that the decentralization process is irreversible, it is recommended that the communal authorities be wary of the need to build consensus between stakeholders for a sustainable management of natural resources. Livestock activities as well as the pastoralists should be strongly included in the process of this consensus building. Communal authorities should get rid of (or ban) misconceptions and preconceived ideas on the livestock activities and pastoralists’ way of life in natural resource management.

Keywords: transhumant pastoralists, SAM model, decentralization, Madiama, misconception, Mali

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