Assessing the challenges facing the sheep herders in the Kyrgyz Republic, this paper concludes:for the first time in recent history the future of the sector may be in the hands of farmer/herders themselvesalthough there are many constraints in the production system, the government's attempts to promote decentralisation (e.g. through the Tax Collection in the Land Law of 1993) together with the fact that it is committed to privatising many parts of the sector are promisingthe herders themselves, in their search for reference points, appear to go back to traditional systems employed before the collectivisationmany of the present rural elite derive from the elite before communism, despite the fact that one generation was virtually wiped out during the 1920s and 1930s. The latter authors also noted that the privatisation effort can leave many herders somewhat confused and vulnerable, as previous safety nets (such as feed supply) break down without the establishment of market relations or new safety nets or disaster reliefthere have been counteracting moves by the leadership of some transformed collectives to semi-privatise, whereby the collective still holds the land, and contracts with the private herders. These contracts include binding land lease requirements as well as agreements which place the reformed collective in somewhat of a monopoly position with respect to supplying the herders and purchasing their output. It is likely that new social structures, such as cooperatives, will develop - but this will require time. As such, the coming years appear crucial in setting the stage for the livestock sector and for rural welfare in general in a society which depends traditionally on animal production.[From the author]
Authors and Publishers
T.W. Schillhorn van Veen
The Pastoral Development Network represents a world-wide network of researchers, administrators and extension personnel interested in the issues of pastoralism and rangelands. Between 1976 and 1996 the PDN was managed by ODI and published regular mailings including newsletters and a wide ranging series of papers on pastoralism and related issues. There were also a number of other related publications.
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