Feed the Future Somalia Camel Leasing to Impact Resilience Activity
The Feed the Future Somalia Camel Leasing to Impact Resilience Activity was a two-and-a-half year (2019-2022), USAID-funded study implemented by RTI International that explores the practice of camel leasing and its potential to mitigate droughts’ impacts on Somali pastoralist households, communities, and camel milk processers.
Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research, the activity worked to gain a deeper understanding of camel leasing’s effects, exploring primary study questions such as:
- What impact does camel leasing have on the welfare and resilience capacities of pastoral households and communities?
- What is the “business case” for the camel leasing model for dairy companies?
- To what extent do Somali social networks influence the camel leasing model?
Building resilience to shocks and stresses is critical in Somalia and around the world, as such events are recurring, can negate development gains, and inhibit families’ ability to sustainably escape from poverty. Improving the capacities of households, communities, and systems to absorb and adapt to shocks and stresses is a critical part of building resilience.
Through a camel-leasing arrangement, camel-owning pastoralists and dairy companies in Somalia work together to cope with drought by taking part in an agreement whereby the dairy companies lease lactating animals from pastoralists during a drought to ensure sufficient commercial milk supply, in exchange for regular payments to pastoralists.
In return, the dairy companies provide the animals with veterinary services, water, and feed. This helps maintain the nutrition and health of the camels during drought, provides predictable household income while preserving assets, and serves as a model that may be a win-win for the private sector and households.
In 2019, RTI International was awarded a two-year cooperative agreement to examine how camel leasing might affect the resilience and well-being of Somali pastoralists, households, communities, and dairies. Research methods will include:
- A desk review of more than 65 reports and online resources
- Key informant interviews
- Focus group discussions with Somali dairies, pastoralists, and community members
- A panel survey of leasing and non-leasing pastoralist households
- Case study interviews with Somali pastoralists and dairies
Learn more at https://www.rti.org/impact/camel-leasing.