Date Posted: August 6th, 2012
African livestock farmers and pastoralists are no strangers to the threat of drought. Climate changes, including higher temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns, have made their livelihoods increasingly precarious in recent years.
For other reports on this story, see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUDPFyeZMts (short video)
Farm Radio Weekly has reported on ways that agencies have helped livestock farmers manage the risk of drought: Kenya: Pastoralists receive insurance payments for livestock lost to drought (FRW 178, October 2011) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/10/31/kenya-pastoralists-receive-insurance-payments-for-livestock-lost-to-drought-ilrialertnet/
Farm Radio International has also looked at how people adapt their livestock-rearing practices in order to maintain their livelihoods in the face of uncertain weather patterns:
-East Africa: Pastoralists survive drought by adapting (FRW 110, May 2010) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/05/10/2-east-africa-pastoralists-survive-drought-by-adapting-daily-nation-irin/
-Livestock management practices to cope with climate change (Package 84, Script 7, August 2008) http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/84-7script_en.asp
-The role of native breeds in maintaining livestock health: Story ideas for the radio (Package 63, Script 3, April 2002) http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/63-3script_en.asp
You may be able to help livestock farmers in your broadcasting area by hosting a call-in show that invites listeners to share ideas and experiences with maintaining livestock through drought. Ask your listeners questions such as:
-what backup sources of feed are available if pastures dry up?
-what strategies can farmers use to access water for their livestock during dry periods?
-how can co-operatives help livestock farmers manage difficult seasons?
-what should a farmer or pastoralist consider when determining the size and breed of livestock to raise?