Pastoral Production Systems in South Kordofan

01 Jan 2006

This report describes the results of a rapid field assessment of the pastoral environment of South Kordofan, Sudan. The purpose of the assessment is to enable the UNDP Reduction of Resource-Based Conflict Project to formulate programming initiatives in the area. Since January 2002, interest in South Kordofan has risen with the Ceasefire Agreement in the Nuba Mountains and the end of conflict. South Kordofan is significant for Sudan’s overall wealth as it has about one-third of the country’s livestock population. The area also assumes importance because nomadic pastoralists trek long distances across the territory, crossing state boundaries and encountering other tribal groups. The Reduction of Resource-Based Conflict Project has therefore initiated this rapid assessment to gain insight into issues that need to be addressed in those pastoral areas emerging from conflict.


The assessment was based on a wide consultation with stakeholders, through a two-week field visit to the two states of South and West Kordofan (West Kordofan was later, in August 2005, divided between North and South Kordofan states according to terms of the May 2004 Protocol on Power Sharing between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army). In addition to the field consultations, a rapid literature search was conducted to identify the most recent studies on the area.


Information gathered from the two sources was analysed as a basis for recommendations of suitable conflict-prevention interventions. The issues defined include: provision of services to pastoralists by the state technical departments, tribal leaders’ role in the management of grazing resources; conflict resolution; land tenure aspects, especially after the peace agreement; the role of Pastoral and Farmers Unions; legislation governing the use of resources; attitudes towards the new Land Commission for South Kordofan; organization and demarcation of stock routes; research support for pastoralism, livestock marketing, water supplies and their management; animal health services; droughts and their frequencies and impact on resources; capacity of communities to shoulder rehabilitating and developing the pastoral system; and causes of conflict. The assessment identified several areas where interventions could be made.


Foremost among the issues that need to be addressed is the serious lack of basic information on the pastoral system, which necessitates the creation of a database to enable a quantitative assessment of the system and its components. The second issue is shortage of dry season water supply, which presents a chronic problem throughout the area. A coordinating body is needed to streamline the efforts of several donors presently involved in providing water.Other issues where interventions are suggested include monitoring range conditions,drought forecast, mapping stock routes and their resources, assessment of the impact of oil exploitation on the pastoral system and provision of social services, of which health and education services are the most prominent.


This report outlines the objectives of the study and methods adopted; describes the field work conducted and summarizes consultations made; explores components of the pastoral system, veterinary services in South and West Kordofan states, the Pastoral Union, law enforcement bodies and the work of some of the agencies operating in the area and outlines issues identified as areas for possible interventions.

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