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The camel chains in East Africa- Importance of gaps between the data and the apparent reality

Alary V., Faye B.. 2016. Journal of Camelid Science, 9 : p. 1-22.

The 11.8 million head of camel counted in East Africa account for 62% of the 2006 world camel population. Less than 4.75% of this stock is slaughtered for national consumption purposes. The official statistics report that annual exports did not exceed 41 thousand heads. This study attempts to examine the following issues: Firstly, how to understand the gaps between the live capital and its economic development through the markets and secondly whether the socioeconomic functions within the pastoral systems sufficiently explain these gaps. The cross-sectional data analysis between different sources revealed significant gaps. For example, the formal market was around 5,030 heads from Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia while the official data of exportation from the Berbera and Bossasso Ports registered 7,636 heads in 2004. However, according to the estimation of holding areas capacities in Ethiopia, around 57,000 camels could be exported. From a personal survey conducted in 2007 in the Somalian region of Ethiopia, exportations from said region are estimated to be around 37,000 heads with a profit margin for exporters ranging between 22 to 33 USD per head. At the regional level, official exportations would represent 10% of potential exportations. This range of various gaps that have emerged from different sources of data and from the differences between the collected data and the apparent reality raise a number of questions relating to the economic development of camels. Furthermore, the lack of reliable data on camel activity may explain why camels are often viewed almost as a myth of the pastoral area despite the reality being quite different. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : bovin; camelus; secteur économique; exportation; commercialisation; indicateur économique; secteur informel; marché; enquête; donnée statistique; donnée de production; chameau; afrique orientale; Éthiopie; filière

Thématique : Elevage - Considérations générales; Commerce, commercialisation et distribution; Economie de la production

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