The role of working animals in the livelihoods of rural communities in West Africa
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Mburu, S., Zaibet, L., Fall, A. and Ndiwa, N. 2012. The role of working animals in the livelihoods of rural communities in West Africa. Livestock Research for Rural Development 24(9).
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/24410
Internet URL: http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd24/9/mbur24156.htm
In mix crop livestock systems, farmers derive their livelihoods using natural resources based strategies and off farm income. In these system livestock is both a source of food, fiber cash income and draught power valued in agricultural production and transport. Using the sustainable livelihood framework the contribution of working animals to income, food security and poverty alleviation is discussed in the context of rural West Africa. We use data collected in selected communities to test empirically the impact of ownership of working animals on poverty alleviation. Specifically, a poverty index is developed based on asset ownership and income from different sources including forest and off farm income. Then, this index is regressed on ownership of working animals and other important socio-economic determinants to provide evidence of the role of draught animals in poverty alleviation. Additional discussion also addresses the issues of constraints to the optimal contribution of working animals to the livelihoods and strategies to further improve the role of these working animals are highlighted.