Pastoral and agropastoral livestock rearing (or pastoralism) is a production system based on extensive livestock rearing that makes optimum use of rangeland for the most part. The communities who carry it out are often on the fringes of society, and it is associated with a lifestyle based on special relationships among humans, animals, and nature.
Pastoralism is the main livelihood as well as the source of food, income, and jobs in many arid and mountainous areas. This lifestyle has enabled pastoral communities to manage resources sustainably, independently, and flexibly. In many regions (West Africa, the Andes, and the Mongolian plateaus), it is more productive than sedentary livestock rearing and is the source of most animal products.
Some pastoralists, called “agropastoralists,”combine livestock rearing with production of cereals and fodder (whereas farmers who have introduced livestock raising into their cropfarming activities are described as carrying out “mixed farming” and referred to in French as agroéleveurs.)