4. Production for Subsistence

Pastoralism in Africa is one form of human lifestyle, and forms a type of subsistence economy. Historically, African pastoralists did not so much sell their livestock in the market place, but raised them mainly for their own consumption. They find it important for animals to provide them with a stable supply of food, such as milk and meat. Therefore, they mainly raise female animals, which breed and produce milk, along with smaller numbers of breeding males and many castrated ones. While the people subsist on dairy products, they usually consume males when they need to slaughter or sell their animals. This situation resembles our own when we live on the interest payment from our bank account, but cannot dip into the principal.

OHTA Itaru
Living in the Arid Zone: Ecology of Pastoral Societies in Africa

>>Next Page