Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Options for adapting to climate change in livestock-dominated farming systems in the greater horn of Africa

  An Notenbaert1*, Andrew Mude1, Jeannette van de Steeg1 and James Kinyangi2  
  1International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), P. O. Box 30709, 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. 2Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Mbabane, Swaziland.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 02 September 2010
  •  Published: 30 September 2010



The greater horn of Africa is one of the least developed regions in Africa. Livestock are an important economic resource and an essential asset for poor farmers in this region. Climate variability, population growth, low economic development, limited market integration, and low fertilizer use, amongst others put serious pressure on livestock production. The sustainability of the livestock production in the rangelands and the integrated crop-livestock systems is further jeopardised by climate change. The uncertainties associated with climate change impacts call for interventions that empower communities to effectively cope with current climatic variability and to adapt to unexpected future consequences. Risk management and climate-robust development both appear to be promising approaches. Index- based livestock insurance, for example, offers innovative opportunities for protecting farmers’ assets, while diversification in the arid- and semi-arid regions might turn into economically viable livelihood strategies.  These adaptation options will only be adopted if the right systems of incentives and policies are put in place.


Key words: Climate change, livestock, diversification, insurance, farming systems, greater horn of Africa.