Shifting Sands: The Commercialization of Camels in Mid-altitude Ethiopia and Beyond

Although pastoralists in Ethiopia are often characterized as unresponsive to market opportunities, the bulk of Ethiopia’s growing formal and informal livestock and meat exports are supplied from pastoralist areas of the country. This report describes a relatively new trend in pastoralist livestock marketing, being a dynamic response to increasing demand for camels in mid-altitude areas of Ethiopia, and in neighboring Sudan. In response, a camel trade network has evolved that covers about 2000km, involves more than six ethnic groups, and is served by 24 markets. Within Ethiopia, the rising demand for camels by mid-altitude farmers is associated with the drought-tolerant nature of camels and their multiple uses as pack animals, and reflects an important cultural shift among Orthodox Christians. Emerging in the absence of aid or government programs, the camel trade shows how economic synergies between pastoralist and non-pastoralist areas can develop, and provides further evidence of the market responsiveness of pastoralists, even when faced by drought and other constraints.






thumbnail image of publication cover

This primer on pastoralism in Africa provides basic information on the core aspects of pastoralism as a livelihood and production system.

thumbnail image of publication cover

Cette brève introduction au pastoralisme en Afrique donne des informations élémentaires sur les principaux aspects du pastoralisme en tant que moyen d’existence et système de production.

thumbnail image of report cover

This briefing describes the key elements and issues associated with conflict in pastoralist areas across sub-Saharan Africa.

thumbnail image of report cover

Ce document d’information décrit les éléments clés et les enjeux associés aux conflits dans les zones pastorales d’Afrique subsaharienne.

thumbnail image of publication cover

This briefing paper summarizes some of the nuances that exist and the shifts that are occurring within gender dynamics in pastoralist livelihood systems in Africa.

thumbnail image of publication cover

Cette note d’information résume certaines des nuances qui existent et les changements qui se produisent actuellement dans la dynamique du genre dans les systèmes de subsistance pastoraux en Afrique.

Load more