Quantitative assessment of social and economic impact of African swine fever outbreaks in northern Uganda
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Chenais, E., Boqvist, S., Emanuelson, U., Brömssen, C. von, Ouma, E., Aliro, T., Masembe, C., Ståhl, K. and Sternberg-Lewerin, S. 2017. Quantitative assessment of social and economic impact of African swine fever outbreaks in northern Uganda. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 144:134–148.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/82558
African swine fever (ASF) is one of the most important pig diseases, causing high case fatality rate and trade restrictions upon reported outbreaks. In Uganda, a low-income country with the largest pig population in East Africa, ASF is endemic. Animal disease impact is multidimensional and include social and economic impact along the value chain. In low-income settings, this impact keep people poor and push those that have managed to escape poverty back again. If the diseases can be controlled, their negative consequences can be mitigated. However, to successfully argue for investment in disease control, its cost-benefits need to be demonstrated. One part in the cost-benefit equations is disease impact quantification. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate the socio-economic impact of ASF outbreaks at household level in northern Uganda. In a longitudinal study, structured interviews with two hundred, randomly selected, pig-keeping households were undertaken three times with a six month interval. Questions related to family and pig herd demographics, pig trade and pig business. Associations between ASF outbreaks and economic and social impact variables were evaluated using linear regression models. The study showed that pigs were kept in extreme low-input-low-output farming systems involving only small monetary investments. Yearly incidence of ASF on household level was 19%. Increasing herd size was positively associated with higher economic output. The interaction between ASF outbreaks and the herd size showed that ASF outbreaks were negatively associated with economic output at the second interview occasion and with one out of two economic impact variables at the third interview occasion. No significant associations between the social impact variables included in the study and ASF outbreaks could be established. Trade and consumption of sick and dead pigs were coping strategies used to minimize losses of capital and animal protein. The results indicate that causality of social and economic impact of ASF outbreaks in smallholder systems is complex. Pigs are mostly kept as passive investments rather than active working capital, complicating economic analyses and further disqualifying disease control arguments based only on standard economic models.