Pastoralist Background in Nepal

Dolpo pastoralist relies on their indigenous knowledge of Pastoralist. People depend on Yaks, goats and sheep for their source of livelihood. They take utmost care of their livestock and usually throughout the seasons: Spring, Summer, Monsoon, they are left nearby pastureland for whole day. During winter, they are brought in lower down the hills to save them from snow. They are then left in the pastureland of those hills at-least for three months while people living close-by them in their tents. On the other hand, these livestock supply edible products. Especially from female yaks (dri) and goats, milk, butter and ghee are produced. These animal products are mainly used in the household and are used to prepare a tea. The butter tea is also served to their guests and hence, acts as a means of gratitude to guests. In this high altitude area, the butter tea also provides energy and warmth to people. Living close to Tibet, China, and Mustang, one of their eastern neighboring districts, people exchange trade with them. In this, people also buy and sell their yaks.


Pastoralist situation, meanwhile in Nepal is vulnerable. The government has continuously failed to safeguard the rights of pastoralist. There are very few policies that could benefit pastoralist. The situation is worst in high Himalayan regions where the programs and projects of government have not reached. Though few programs have reached in the city and hill regions, youths are rarely convinced to continue livestock as their means of livelihood. Modernization is affecting them. Consequently, youths are also migrating to Gulf countries, like Qatar, Dubai, and the southern neighbor country, India for better jobs. This mobility of especially youths has then prepared a void in these areas where their parents still rely on livestock. Many farms are turning into arid areas and are later sold in cheaper rate making way for a real estate business and urbanization. Therefore, people are slowly leaving their traditional means of livelihood.