Addis Ababa — Ethiopia is finalizing preparation to introduce a pastoral development policy and strategy that aimed at realizing improved and sustained livelihoods of pastoral communities.
The document has the objectives of responding to the demands of communities for development and coordinate governmental and non-governmental actors and efforts to improve food security.
It also aimed at harmonize sectoral policies and strategies developed in a segmented way, and narrow the gap between in development and capability between pastoral areas and other parts of the country.
Pastoralists that constitute 12 percent of the population and inhabited 60 percent of the area have been neglected and forgotten for years, according to the draft document.
Some 90 percent of the revenue generated from the country's livestock export comes from pastoral areas.
Despite their contribution, they have not been beneficiaries of the development of the country to the expected level because of the absence of pastoralist development policy, it says.
The document has two pillars - maximizing and commercializing comparative and competitive advantages, and diversification and commercialization of livelihoods.
The pillars of the policy revolve around livestock resources development; watershed and water resources development; protection and development of natural resources and ensure tenure security; and provision of social and economic services.
Furthermore, expansion of infrastructure, entrenching good governance; building implementation capability; ensuring women's and youth participation in development activities; and building on best practices are also included.
The document organized taking the peculiar way of life of pastoralist communities into consideration, said Shanko Delelgn, Research and Resource Mobilization Director-General at the Ministry of Peace.
The draft document which took two years to be prepared will benefit pastoralists that have been facing various challenges due to lack of standard policy and strategy.
According to Shanko, the draft policy and strategy, which has already sent to the Council of Ministers, is expected to be approved by the parliament this year.
He affirmed that "the pastoralist policy and strategy will be definitely approved and will be operational within this Ethiopian budget year after passing all necessary evaluations".
Pastoralist are found in vast peripheral areas of the country that border neighboring countries in the North East, East, South and South West and partly in the central part of the country.