Peasant livestock producers are particularly disadvantaged
internationally and within their national systems because their
political participation tends to be mediated through patron-client ties.
The consequence is that poor producers most often trade their collective
interests for very modest individual (or village) benefits. These
patron-client networks are now being extended internationally, generally
making them still less advantageous. Eventually poor livestock producers
will address their interests through political associations (i.e.
horizontal groupings of peers) rather than clientage (which is vertical
in orientation). In the meantime, however, without outside help they are
unlikely to engage in effective proactive political action on issues
related to their collective interests as producers.
This paper analyzes political organization and action that can be used
to, at least partially, overcome the lack of voice of poor producers in
the domestic and international policy arenas. The study builds on a
series of country case studies carried out under the supervision of the
author (Vietnam, India, Ethiopia, Senegal, Bolivia and the EC) and draws
general conclusions on the roles various actors can play in shaping
policies for pro-poor outcomes. Long term investments by NGOs and donors
in the capacity of poor producers for political organization and use of
networks of NGOs and peasant organizations that extend from the local
through national to the international level are seen as ultimately
having the greatest benefits for the poor.
A two page executive summary is also available in addition to this
PPLPI, FAO, Rome, Italy, iii+47pp.