The Role of Qashqai Nomadic Communities in Reducing Vulnerability to Recurrent Drought and Sustainable Livelihoods Development in Iran, prepared by Cenesta for FAO
More than 90% of Iran’s surface is arid or semi-arid land and pastoral communities have always played an important role in food production by developing creative and sustainable systems for the use of scarce natural resources. Although migrating pastoralists number only about 2% of the entire population (1.3 million pastoralists) according to government figures, they satisfy about one quarter of the country’s livestock needs.
The pressures of drought, debt and pro-sedentarisation policies are driving pastoralists to abandon their livelihoods systems and settle permanently in villages and cities. However, there is lack of jobs for settled pastoralists. Furthermore experiences with industrial livestock production—the main alternative to pastoral livestock production—have not been promising. This case study seeks to understand how local pastoral communities could play in the management of drought in Iran.