Comments on papers 29b (De Leeuw and Tothill 1990) and 28b (Scoones 1989) | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
janvier 1990
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

In their recent paper, de Leeuw and Tothill (1990) discussed the shortcomings of estimating carrying capacity (CC) of pastoral systems in Africa. They noted the difficulty of determining available forage per animal due to high annual and spatial variability in plant production, seasonal changes in forage quantity and quality, livestock species mix, and the use of supplemental feeds. Nevertheless, they concluded that the concept `is useful for planning purposes' and that `the underlying principles on which it is based need full acceptance' if sustained resource management is to be accomplished. While agreeing with their review of problems associated with the concept, the article takes exception to their conclusions. The article's authors presents their arguments by addressing the following three questions:is the concept of CC sound?can CC be adequately estimated?can CC information, even if we could obtain it, be meaningfully applied in pastoral production systems? Finally, the article offers an alternative approach for conserving rangeland resources in pastoral systems.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

G. B. Bartels
G. K. Perrier
B. E. Norton
M. Drinkwater


The Pastoral Development Network represents a world-wide network of researchers, administrators and extension personnel interested in the issues of pastoralism and rangelands. Between 1976 and 1996 the PDN was managed by ODI and published regular mailings including newsletters and a wide ranging series of papers on pastoralism and related issues. There were also a number of other related publications.

Fournisseur de données

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