Table 2. Local mechanisms to cope with disturbance in the study area.

Productive mechanisms:

• transhumance migration systems of animals and people between semiarid and lowlands or humid areas
• renting of farmland in the humid area to extend the growing season, to minimize risk of losses (the “apante” is the growing season during the dry period)

Land-use changes and resources management mechanisms:

• agropastoral diversification and management to reduced impact of market volatility
• preservation of traditional seed varieties to maintain a range of resistance characteristics
• retaining easily disposable assets, such as small livestock, to be sold during times of stress

Labor allocation and intensification mechanisms:

• temporary migration, both seasonal to obtain cash, and to urban or foreign areas for remittance
• allocation of work within the extended family

Collective mechanisms:

• a sharing system (“a media” means “to share”) in which landowners either rent grazing land in the dry season in exchange for half the milk production or dung, or purchase inputs for sharecroppers who provide labor
• in-kind transfers of goods and services between farmers
• family and social networks as a source of food or cash in crisis periods (e.g., seeds gathering by landless people during the dry season when landowners’ cattle has migrated)
• informal markets of dairy products through social networks in the town

Destitution mechanisms:

• permanent out-migration
• borrowing food and money from merchant and financial organizations at high rates of interest
• transfer of capital stock to financial capital (i.e., selling animals or land)