There is a need to diversify income streams. As an alternative to sheep and goats, cows could be introduced in wetter areas and camels in drier areas. Livestock production is not about to disappear but more and better ways to benefit from animal products are needed – such as production of milk and yoghurt. It is also important to maximise value in country, rather than relying on the export market.
There is a need to improve access to markets. For example, through better price and demand information, better linkages between buyers and sellers, and clear product quality expectations. Ultimately, it is about livestock herders making higher and more consistent income from their animals as well as choosing and having the means to buy and sell according to price and climate forecasting. With increasingly frequent droughts this may mean buying more drought-tolerant breeds or selling animals while still healthy before they become weak from lack of pasture.
Better natural resource management
Increasing commercialisation is leading to more private control of pasture land and breakdown of communal environmental management. Strengthening institutions that govern communal and sustainable access to grazing land and water is a way to help smaller herders and the land they depend on. For example, encourage meetings between existing institutions' committees, local livestock herders and local government with responsibility for livestock and the environment. This allows them to hear each other's issues and decide what they want to do differently. A committee that is not really working can benefit from meeting another that is functioning well in the same country, to ask questions and learn. This has worked successfully with self-help groups in Somaliland.