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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Economic burden of livestock disease and drought in Northern Tanzania

Ahmed, Haseeb; Yoder, Jonathan; de Glanville, William A.; Davis, Alicia; Kibona, Tito J.; Mmbaga, Blandina T.; Lankester, Felix; Swai, Emanuel S.; Cleaveland, Sarah


Livestock-dependent communities face considerable livestock disease and drought risk, which can impact herd value, income and consumption. This paper summarizes economic data collected from 404 households in Arusha and Manyara regions of Northern Tanzania in 2016. They provide estimates for (i) herd loss due to disease and drought as a fraction of herd value and income, (ii) the relative risk of disease and drought in small versus large ruminants and (iii) the relationship between livestock disease outcomes and household expenditures. We find that disease and drought losses comprise 10 to 4% of sheep, cattle and goat herd value, and amount to an estimated 62.1% of household income. The drought and disease risk ratios for small versus large ruminants indicate that small stock face higher disease risk, while large ruminants are affected more by drought. Furthermore, cattle abortions are negatively related to schooling expenditure and positively associated with increases in off-farm food expenditure related to livestock management, presumably through increased investments in prevention and therapy. These results suggest that climatic variability and livestock diseases are an important source of economic vulnerability and reducing this burden may help alleviate poverty in livestock-dependent communities.


household production; livestock disease; drought; herd management; Tanzania

Published in

Journal of development and agricultural economics
2019, Volume: 11, number: 6, pages: 140-151

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    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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