Pastoralism is outdated and should be stopped!

We may take another one or two decades to acknowledge this fact.
Pastoralism is not only an economic burden but also a social problem to any country that wants to move to the next step of prosperity.

  1. Most pastoralist keep livestock for cultural value. The mere pride of having a huge hard makes them happy. They live in arid and semi-arid areas where they often lack adequate pastures and this forces them to invade the farmers land and cause tribal conflicts-this occurs almost every year, becomes worse during election season.

  2. Pastoralists have for some reason refused to embrace development mindset and still hold on to some retrogressive lifestyles. They do not value education, they marry off their underage daughters, and engage in tribal livestock raids as a show of might. Successive governments have failed to stop them.


  1. Embark of a serious campaign to convert pastoralists communities from traditional to modern thinkers, through all avenues. To start with, they should be empowered to do some serious zero grazing farming with commercial viability. Set up animal feeds factories in the Arid and semi-arid areas. Give incentives to those who do zero grazing to get subsidized feeds. Let them keep good breeds of cattle/goats/camels, that produce milk. Also set up milk and meat processing factories in those area to support those farmers that make the shift.
  2. Encourage the sons and daughters of the pastoralists to be educated. Let them get bursaries to go to school and colleges. When they become enlightened, none will want to go back to grazing in the wild. Some will get jobs in the cities, others will go work in their now modernized economic activities.

If the government and county governments pushes this agenda actively for 10 years, over 60% of Kenya will become economically productive. But it needs radical leadership to implement.

Success case
We all know Qatar is a desert country but you will be surprised that so many Kenyans are employed to work in dairy farms in the country.
A case example is this mega dairy farm
We may not have such big farms to start with but we can take baby steps towards that direction.

@Gaza kuja uone huyu

You are very wrong and misinformed. In dry lands that cant support crop production pastoralism/ranching (or wildlife parks) is the most viable land use system. Kenya is 75% arid and semi arid and rainfed agriculture is not possible in those areas and therefore since after every rainy season grass grows for a short season, why not keep livestock (hardy zebu/boran cattle, goats and sheep) in those areas and use them to harvest the grass and convert them to valuable protein. And the good thing is that livestock feed even on the dry grass (hay) in the dry season, so even after the wet season the animals will feed on the dry standing grass on the landscape, just like farmers feed hay to their animals. FYI 75% of the beef sold in kenya comes from those arid and semi arid areas and it is worth billions. NB: In the very dry lands where little or no grass grows, camels are kept to feed on the shrubs.

Pastoralism/ranching is practised all over the world in dry lands that cant support crop farming. In the US ranching is common in dry lands of texas, arizona, new mexico, north dakota etc. Australia is a major exporter of cattle and meat and the animals are raised in the dry outback wher the animals roam free in the drylands.


In the very dry lands where little or no grass grows, camels are kept to feed on the shrubs that are abundant in those dry lands…

vile @johnpombe amesema

Let’s not compare pastoralism with modern ranching. Pastoralism is now only practiced by backward communities who see cattle as a currency (the more the better, no matter their condition). The cattle is largely used to pay for bride price (up to 500 cattle for an illiterate girl) and it’s usually the most expensive pursuit a family will engage in. Most leaders from the pastoral communities do not not want them to change, modernise or get educated because they benefit from their community ignorance.


Vile Barmuriat @Gaza atasema hapo Chini.

I don’t support your statement.

Pastoralists are the last obstacle preventing us from consuming GMO meat & milk.

I am proud of you traditional ranchers.

Why don’t you go and take their live stock and see what happens to you

Pastoralism and ranching are basically the same thing. They both utilise the “unproductive rangelands” to raise livestock which are then sold in markets to sustain the livestock keepers - just like maize and potato and banana farmers also sell their produce to sustain themselves. 75% of the nyamachoma and beef in butcheries in kenya comes from these arid areas, from livestock markets in garissa, kajiado, turkana, rumuruti, baringo etc. There are livestock markets each week in those areas and the cash raised is used by the pastoralists to pay school fees, buy food, clothes, boda bodas, dowry and other needs. So the animals are not kept for fun/culture/ignorance, it is an economic activity. Not every farmer is a crop farmer like you, some like pastoralists farm meat animals.

Livestock market USA

Kumaliza pastoralism requires proper planning and implementation that a bonobo can’t do. Enda kwa achieve utafute colonial government plans on Pastoralism.

Umalize cattle/sheep/goat/camel raising in the rangelands alafu ufanye nini with the rangelands? Where will kenyans get their beef and nyama choma from? Or you want kenyans to feed on dairy cows and merino sheep which are kept in high rainfall areas?

Do you know that most animals raised in southern somalia end up in nairobi and mombasa slaughter houses huko kiamaiko and elsewhere? Kenya does not produce enough livestock to meet its meat needs.

Kuna modern ways of livestock keeping which is more effective than pastoralism

Hating on a group of peoples way of life is not clever

Hauko serious wewe. Enda Kathonzweni siku ya soko ya Ng’ombe uone ile biashara watu wanafanya, then uambie elders ni biashara ingine gani ina faida mingi ivo kwa arid areas.

Those who disagree with @fishmonger are missing the point. The way pastoralism is carried out in the Rift Valley and North Eastern Kenya is the same way it was done at the beginning of the 19th century. With the ravages of climate change, the growing population and the criminal banditry that is rumored to be sanctioned at very high levels of society, we cannot continue doing things the same way! We need a scientific approach where the flocks are marched to the available resources, their growth and maturity is monitored so that we know where, when and how they will be disposed of etc. The current resource-based conflicts, banditry and 500-bob-a-cow cannot be solved by doing things the way we have always done them - the policymakers are lazy and the pastoralist communities are retrogressive! Those who benefit from this confusion, unfortunately, love it that way!

Weka details of this more effective method hapa tuone.

Read or visit those well organised group ranches or visit conservancies where livestock keeping and wild animals are integrated. They sell their livestock meat in niche markets. Pastoralists can modernise and organise themselves for these markets, and that’s why there are cooperatives and companies in this world.

Nomadic pastoralism must be what was meant by the OP. Time we did away with it.