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Pastoralism

Research, Policy and Practice

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Conversion of communal grazing land to private large-scale farming in Sudan

By Hussein Sulieman, University of Gadarif, Sudan


Governments, international investors and private citizens are increasingly keen to acquire pastoral rangelands for commercial crop farming, in Sudan and elsewhere. In a process frequently referred to as “land grabbing”, the Sudanese geographer Hussein Sulieman notes that “scant empirical evidence exists on the spatial allocation and temporal evolution of the process [in Sudan]." His long-term research provides evidence on the geographical allocation and the temporal evolution of land grabbing from 2000 to 2014 in one region of eastern Sudan, the communal land used by pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in Butana area of Gadarif state. His study relies on multi-temporal Landsat satellite imagery (2000, 2005, 2009, and 2014), ground surveys, and key informant interviews. The results show that large-scale mechanized agriculture in Butana communal rangeland increased incrementally from 2.5% in 2000 to 17.6% in 2014. Large-scale farmers involved in the process included local wealthy pastoralists who own large numbers of livestock, government officials and military officers, and absentee farmers from neighbouring states of Sudan.


Image left: Spatial distribution of large-scale mechanised agriculture in 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2014 in Butana rangeland (Sulieman, 2018)

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Pastoralism is now in ESCI

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Aims and scope

Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice investigates extensive livestock production systems throughout the world from a variety of disciplinary perspectives across the biophysical, social and economic sciences. The journal publishes research, reviews, reports and commentaries that influence public policy on the rangelands and livestock on which pastoralists rely for their livelihoods. These studies are not applied in the traditional sense, but through publishing basic research in this field Pastoralism acts as a forum for sharing information between scientists, policy makers and practitioners, with the aim of improving the welfare of pastoralists and better conserving the environments in which they live and the livestock upon which they rely.

The journal was founded in 2009 by Roy Behnke and Carol Kerven, social anthropologists who have each worked for forty years in pastoral and rangeland research and development in many countries. Carol is the Editor-in-Chief and Roy is the Book Review editor.

Article publishing charges, waivers and sponsorships

Open access publishing is not without costs. Pastoralism therefore levies an article-processing charge (APC) of £865/$1355/€1105 for each article accepted for publication. Pastoralism can waive the APC for a number of articles at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. More information about APCs, memberships and waiver programs can be found here.


Editor's quote

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Raising domesticated livestock on extensive pastures is one of the oldest human adaptations as a system of provisioning and land use. More than 40% of the earth's land area is still used as grazing land, by peoples from the tropics to the sub-Arctic, and include ranchers, nomads and farmers. The Pastoralism Journal is the only platform focused on the extensive land use of livestock-dependent production systems, covering biophysical, policy, social, economic, technical and cultural issues.

Policies and development programmes for pastoralists and their environments need to be founded on up-to-date, factual and objective information about what is happening, why and where it is happening and on the impacts. While many development agencies publish summaries and syntheses of primary material, the Pastoralism Journal provides open access to primary material upon which syntheses can be reliably based.

All the journal’s papers are free to anyone with internet access anywhere in the world, and the authorship of the journal is highly international, with 120 first authors spread across the world, affiliated to institutions in 38 different countries ranging from Argentina to Yemen.

Carol Kerven, Editor-in-Chief

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  • All articles published in Pastoralism are listed in the following indexing services:

    • SCOPUS
    • CAB Abstracts
    • CAB International
    • DOAJ
    • Global Health
    • OCLC
    • SCImago
    • Summon by Proquest

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