Livestock and Commons: Policy Perspectives for Rainfed Regions of India
In the emerging scenario of deteriorating environmental conditions and unfavourable agriculture production conditions, common property institutions and dependent livestock production systems provide an important avenue for enhancing the livelihood security of rural populations.
The objective of this policy paper, developed by the Foundation for Ecological Security, is to develop a narrative of these options considering the wide diversity of socio-economic groups engaged in this production system in different ecological, institutional and political contexts.
The policy paper through its different sections reasons the need to move beyond panaceas to complex problems of resource conservation and use, governance and production objectives. It builds this argument by exploring the trends in livestock population and land use in rainfed regions, the self-regulating mechanism of the system and its interconnectedness to the natural environment. It highlights the critical dependence of livestock production systems on the commons and also looks at the different stakeholders, socio-economic groups and species being raised on the commons. The paper also explores the key policies and programmes impacting livestock and the commons in rain-fed regions, transitions in policy perspectives, emerging institutional forms and resultant outcomes. The last section details policy proposals for consideration.