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The Pre-Crisis Market Analysis (PCMA) was conducted in the Jamshoro, Umerkot, and Tharparkar districts of Sindh, Pakistan in late 2016. The three districts studied contain different livelihoods zones and bear different levels of risk for chronic drought and sudden-onset emergency, affecting the markets for goats, fodder, and water.
The PCMA was premised on a drought emergency scenario for Umerkot and Tharparkar districts and both flood and drought for Jamshoro district. The PCMA looked at market functionality in ‘normal’ and ‘emergency’ times, how the market has responded to past emergencies, and how it might respond to future emergencies. The overall PCMA effort was focused on two critical markets: wheat flour and goats. The target population around which key research questions and the PCMA gap analysis are built is poor and very poor households in the three districts; for those households goats are their single major asset from which they derive nutrition and income. This report focuses on the goat market only.
The functionality of the goat market is strong in normal times. Goats are the most widely kept animals across all wealth groups, and are especially favoured by poor and very poor households. However, ‘normal’ times have proved elusive over the years; after a major drought in 2013-2015, all of Tharparkar and much of Umerkot are again facing drought conditions. For a herd of goats to be financially viable, households must have access to foraged fodder for much of the year, reducing the need to rely on the market. Drought conditions decrease the volume and quality of natural fodder available, weakening goat health and raising disease susceptibility. Outbreak of disease is widespread, thinning herds and compelling pastoralists to sell their livestock assets, which increases supply in the market and exerts downward pressure on market prices.
Longer-term programming is required to increase resilience. The most effective, sustainable, and long-term manner of reducing the impact of chronic and sudden onset natural disasters in Sindh is an arc of programming that spans years, rather than manifesting in fits and spurts in emergency response. Ultimately, land reform and agricultural policy reform are required, accompanied by investment in water infrastructure, improved animal husbandry practices, and training, education and alternative livelihoods programming to reduce climate change risk. Absent the will to address such complex, deeply rooted issues, technical assistance can make great gains in food security and livelihoods for vulnerable agro-pastoralists and pastoralists in Sindh. The report recommends conducting targeting and sensitization and pursuing achievable, low-tech solutions to strengthening pastoralist resilience.