Managing Risk in Pastoral System: Research and Outreach Experiences of the PARIMA Project in Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya

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Proceedings of theTenth Annual Conference of the Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP)

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In the context of east African pastoralism, improved risk management is proposed to offer ways to promote wealth conservation, reduce poverty, mitigate conflicts, and enhance food security at the household level. The Pastoral Risk Management (PARIMA) project is a multi-disciplinary effort funded by USAID from 1997 to 2006. The two main components of the project include research and outreach. The study area extends from Hagremariam in southern Ethiopia to Isiolo and Baringo districts in north-central Kenya. The study area represents an intact eco-marketing region, hosts 10 major ethnic groups, and is beset by pervasive poverty, violence, food insecurity, poor infrastructure, and inadequate public services. Research has focused on risk mapping, household survey, and community-level case studies to identify prominent risks for pastoralists, clarify pastoral coping strategies, and reveal possible development interventions. Outreach disseminates research information among researchers, development agents, policy makers, and communities. Outreach ahs also engaged in efforts to build awareness and capacity of pastoral communities and development agents to implement risk-management interventions using pilot projects, Degree training has focused on master's and doctorial students, both in East Africa and the United States. Non-degree training includes workshops and interactive field tours for communities, development facilitators, and policy makers.

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