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Dryland Husbandry Project
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The Dryland Husbandry Project (DHP) - was initiated in response to the problems of severe drought, famine, deteriorating socio-economic conditions, land degradation, and inappropriate pastoral development policies that contributed to declining standards of living among pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. People in the Horn of Africa lost their resilience to short- as well as long-term natural disasters. Inter- and intra-state conflicts and civil wars have also disrupted agricultural and livestock production. Vast number of displaced people and refugees are distributed across Inter-Governmental Authority in Development (IGAD) member state.


Another central problem in improving the effectiveness of agricultural research and extension for pastoral areas has been the mismatch between existing research and development agendas and actual patterns of gendered resources use. Many livestock programmes emphasise cattle and commercial production, both of which are primarily male domains, despite the fact that small stock and subsistence productions in most cases play greater roles in pastoral livelihoods.

Ecological degradation in IGAD member states is related to the aridity of the land. Records show that 70 to 80 percent of the 5.2 million square kilometers of the area of IGAD member states is arid or semi-arid, receiving less than 400mm of rainfall per annum.

The degradation of rangelands ultimately leads to poverty, destitution and mass displacements of pastoral communities. Therefore, there is a link between the falling standards of living of pastoralists and the deterioration of their herds. That was why the Dryland Husbandry Project was necessary.

Main Development Objectives

To improve resource management, especially water and livestock management, by developing new techniques, together with related institution-building, at the community level;

To increase livestock productivity through improved disease control and range conditions managed by pastoralists and local institutions;

To increase competence and capacity in IGAD member states to implement and coordinate environmentally-related development policies and viable service provision for dryland management;

To develop a capacity for participating institutions to consider the impact of their actions on gendered resource use;

To contribute to an action-research process whereby research and extension institutions reconsider their relation with: (a) each other, (b) pastoral communities, (c) other potential co-operating private, public, formal and informal sector institutions.

Participant Countries in the DHP

  • Eritrea: Faculty of Agriculture and Aquatic Sciences, Asmara University.
  • Ethiopia: Faculty of Dryland Agriculture, Mekelle University College
  • Kenya: Department of Range Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nairobi.
  • Sudan: Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Khartoum.
  • Uganda: Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Makerere University.

Duration of DHP

The DHP aggreement was signed between OSSREA and Sida/SAREC in 1995. Although DHP was launched in 1995, actual implementation of the project started in 1996.

The first phase covered the period 1995-1998. The second phase was from 1999-2001. The third phase is the consolidation period, i.e. January 2002 - June 2003.


P.O. Box 31971
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: 251-1-239484
Fax: 251-1-223921
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