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The Transformation of the AFAR Commons in Ethiopia

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The major economic activity for pastoralists is animal husbandry. The harsh regulate resource utilization via a common property regime. In contrast to the mobile way of life characterizing pastoralism, agriculture as a sedentary activity is only marginally present in the lowlands of the Afar regional state in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, this study reveals a situation where the traditional land?use arrangements in Afar are being transformed due to the introduction of farming. In the past, the Imperial and the Socialist governments introduced large?scale agriculture in a coercive manner, thereby instigating massive resistance from the pastoralists. Currently, the recurrence of drought in the study areas has facilitated the subdivision of the communal land on a voluntary basis for the purpose of farming. Qualitative and quantitative analysis highlight the drivers, both coercive and non?coercive, of the transformation of traditional property rights of Afar pastoralists.

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