Original Articles

Problems in implementing improved range management on common lands in Africa: An Australian perspective

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1992.9648291
Author(s): V.R. SquiresDepartment of Environmental Science and Range Management, Australia, T.L MannDepartment of Agricultural Technology, Australia, M.H. AndrewDepartment of Environmental Science and Range Management, Australia


Rangeland/livestock development in Africa is reviewed and lessons learnt from successes and failures are noted. Pastoral communities have developed risk aversion strategies to survive in the harsh environment and fragile ecology of rangeland areas. With advances in infrastructure (transport, water points, etc.) and improved health, nutritional standards and sanitary measures, as well as an influx of external inputs (imports, aid, relief) and expansion in crop production, these areas have become over‐populated and the rangelands overgrazed. Many rangeland/livestock developments failed as they addressed the technological problems but without considering the socio‐economic factors. Absence of modalities to incorporate ‘scientific’ knowledge into the ‘local knowledge’ and traditions resulted in the lack of ‘effective’ interventions. The alarming increase in irreversibly degraded areas as a result of poor resource management stimulated an evolving awareness of the need for sustainability in agricultural production. The focus of this paper is sustainable resource development in the rangeland/livestock sector of the developing countries, with particular emphasis on North Africa. The paper stresses the need for a holistic approach to the use and management of the rangeland resources.

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