Livestock in the Household Economy: Cross-Country Evidence from Microeconomic Data


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The development of the livestock sector can contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction, but there is inadequate understanding of livestock-livelihoods linkages. This article draws on household-level data from 12 developing countries to investigate the livestock-asset position of rural households and its contribution to their income. The majority keep livestock; the less well-off are more likely to keep livestock than the better-off, but the very poor often lack the resources to invest in small animals. The key policy conclusion is that, contrary to common belief, there are no universal messages about livestock: policy needs to be tailored to farming systems, species, uses of livestock and different wealth groups.