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Factors influencing the success of pastoral farming in developing countries

March 2015

More recently there has been the recognition of a complex relationship between pastoral farmers in the developing world and the size of their herds

The author of the paper on which this case study is based is:  Yonten Nyima, Sichuan University, China

Appeared in: Area: Volume 46, Issue 2

Reference: Nyima, Y. (2014) A larger herd size as a symbol of wealth? The fallacy of the cattle complex theory in Tibetan pastoralism, Area 46:2, p186-193

It is important for local, national and international policymakers to understand pastoralism in the particular development contexts (socio-economic, cultural and environmental) in which the pastoralists live rather than make assumptions based on “universal” theories such as the ‘cattle complex theory’. In order to better understand development issues we may need to understand the place of these farmers more firmly in the market system and not allow their poor economic status to be automatically and causatively linked to the observance of a particular cultural tradition.


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