PASTRES is supporting six new projects on pastoralism in various settings around the world during 2022 and 2023. Small grants have been awarded to our affiliate and post-doctoral researchers, whose projects were selected after a call for proposals in early 2022.
Short summaries of plans for each project are below, and the researchers plan to share their emerging insights and findings via blog posts and other publications.
About the projects
Tanzania’s ‘Farmers to Market Alliance’ and aid in Karamoja
This study has two elements that complement Matteo Caravani’s Max Weber Fellowship at EUI – Accumulation by Certainty in the era of Surveillance Capitalism – which starts later in 2022.
First is a period of preliminary fieldwork in Tanzania, near Arusha on the border with Kenya. Matteo will explore the dynamics of a private-public partnership known as Farmers to Market Alliance (FtMA), crafted specifically for African countries.
The partnership is reliant on ‘big data’ analysis to target and deliver finance and other support. It aims to reduce uncertainty in dryland agrarian settings. In Tanzania, FtMA has targeted over 42,000 farmers. Many of them live in the north-eastern part of the country, where pastoralism persists as a livelihood.
The work will build on previous time spent in the region and a long relationship with the World Food Programme (WFP) in the country (one of the FtMA’s partners). A blog reporting on the scoping work will be produced for the PASTRES website, introducing the larger project.
Second, based on his PhD research on (agro)pastoralism in Karamoja, Uganda, Matteo will finalise and submit a journal article on the ‘Politics of the Failing Aid System in Karamoja’.
Livestock, rangelands and ecology in Zimbabwe
Tapiwa Chatikobo is writing up two papers on livestock, rangelands and ecology in southern Zimbabwe, drawing from his recently submitted PhD thesis (at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, UWC).
One of the papers will focus on variability and non-equilibrium rangeland dynamics, and what these mean for accumulation by different types of livestock owners in the post-land reform landscape in Matobo district, Matabeleland.
The other paper will examine negotiations over land and property rights in the same setting, in the context of a highly variable resource base. Both papers will be prepared as drafts for submission to journals, with blog posts highlighting the findings.
Pastoralism in Mauritania
Giulia is exploring Mauritanian pastoralists’ ecologies and relationships with the postcolonial state, in the context of the unravelling crisis.
The PASTRES small grant will provide funding for preliminary research. It will build on Giulia’s current Max Weber Fellowship at EUI, in partnership with PASTRES. In addition to scoping fieldwork, outputs will include two PASTRES blogs on the issues of mobilities, identity, representations, sedentarisation and geopolitical crisis.
In addition, Giulia will contribute to a collective publication on pastoralists’ representations across the Sahel. This includes Benin, with a focus on Gando and Fulani’s perspectives on sedentarisation politics; and Mali and Mauritania, with a focus on Kel Tamasheq and Fulani involvement in the geopolitical crisis. This publication will link with other PASTRES affiliates and Giulia’s past work.
Pastoralism in Latin America and the Caribbean
Focusing on Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Bolivian-Peruvian Altiplano and Argentina, Greta’s work will provide a global picture of Latin America/Caribbean pastoralism. The research aims to synthetise and compare the different forms of uncertainties being confronted by pastoralists in Latin America today.
A working paper and blog posts will be published by the end of January 2023. The project will aim to reinforce the Latin American pastoralists’ network PASTORAMERICAS. It will lay the groundwork for a deeper analysis, which eventually will be funded in the context of the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP).
Artisanal cheese-making in Turkey
Fatih’s research explores the relationships between particular forms and practices of pastoralism that underpin artisanal cheesemaking in Kars, Turkey. Building on his PhD, Fatih will prepare an article and blogpost on the topic.
The research will examine the changing market conditions of pasture-milk and pasture-cheeses, setting the findings within the wider context (including engaging with the PASTRES working group on pastoral milk marketing). Fatih will present the article during the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
Power in pastoralist systems
Ryan is working on a conceptual framework that considers power as integral to pastoralist socioecological systems. This will draw on critical agrarian studies, political ecology and science and technology studies.
The framework aims to guide critically-informed and reflexive biophysical science inquiry in extensive pastoralist systems.
To develop the framework, Ryan will be organising workshops and collaborative writing with other PASTRES affiliate researchers. The resulting journal articles will critically inform current discussions about scientific management, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation. This will be based on a systematic literature review of studies of the overlaps between biodiversity, ecosystem function and pastoralism, with a critical analysis of trends in dominant sustainability framings and knowledge production practices (e.g. global databases, modelling, remote sensing, exclosure experiments).
For example, themes may include
- Legacies of interventions that have reconfigured pastoralist land use
- Knowledge production, ecological narratives, and marginaliation of pastoralist knowledges
- Processes of accumulation, exclusion, and inequality in “capture” of rangeland variability
- Local ecological and livelihood implications of climate mitigation and other interventions.
In addition to a journal article, Ryan will write two short articles for a general audience in popular publications to distil key findings. One will be focused on wildlife conservation and the other on climate justice, drawing attention to the ethical trade-offs between global initiatives and pastoralist livelihoods.
Two PASTRES blog posts will be produced: one explaining the main gaps between current social and biophysical approaches, and a second distilling the finalised framework and its implications for ongoing debates.
Featured image: Pastoralist in Karamoja / Matteo Caravani