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III. Potential remedies and solutions to impoverishment as perceived by herders and sum centre inhabitants

The overall feeling of herders during interviews was that the solution for poor households was restocking, although it was recognised that not everyone would be appropriate recipients. Those who should not be included were identified as the lazy and bad herders, since it was felt that they would only waste or consume the animals. An interest was shown in vegetable growing as an alternative source of income, if training could be provided, since there was lack of knowledge in how to do this. The problem of there being many young unemployed men in the countryside was raised by an elderly woman, and it was suggested that they could be formed into groups to undertake different forms of income generating activities, such as collecting wild fruit. The problem she identified with this was one of leadership and management. She felt that this would have to be organised by the sum government because there was a lack of initiative, motivation and leadership amongst them and this was also insufficient at the bag level.

A number of potential alternative income generating activities related to the herding economy were identified in discussion with a poor household, through the use of a matrix (see appendix 4). These were rope and boot making, sewing, berry picking, sale of animal skins, cashmere, butter and dairy products. All these activities were carried out by members of the household to provide additional sources of income and livelihood. Through the matrix analysis, the most productive activity was identified to be cashmere, followed by skins and then broom making. A seasonal calendar showed that rope making, sewing, skins and boot making can be done all year round and therefore have good potential for alternative income activities, whilst brooms and dairy production can be done for 3-6 months in the year.

A small bag shop was also identified by one household as very necessary, but it was not felt that this could be done by poor herders with a loan. The logistics of transport and access to goods would be too difficult. It was felt that only the sum government could do this.

Other potential alternative sources of income were identified in the training workshop. These were more general, and included, for instance, the possibility of developing tourism in the area. See the Conclusions and Recommendations and Appendix 2.

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