Better livestock policies in Africa offer a pathway out of poverty

ILRI Clippings

Boran Cattle

Boran cattle in Yabello, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/ Camille Hanotte).

By Thumbi Mwangi, Washington State University

A majority of rural households in Africa keep different livestock species. But only a small proportion can afford to keep good quality livestock. This is mainly due to a combination of low government funding and the poor policies of external funders.

Those that do have livestock are faced with the challenges of infectious disease and ill-conceived breeding programmes. This means that they rarely achieve optimum production to meet their household’s economic and nutritional needs.

Households that keep livestock earn higher incomes, accumulate more wealth and consume more animal-sourced foods. They are also more able to pay for healthcare than households without animals.

I grew up on a small farm in rural Kenya. Although my parents earned government salaries working as civil servants, my education was largely paid for by my father’s livestock herd.

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About Dr. Bukar USMAN, mni

I started as a field Veterinary officer with Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and later joined College of Agric, Maiduguri as a lecture & a Researcher in the Department of Animal Health & Production. I was appointed the Provost of the College In 2003. In 2007 I was appointed Hon. Commissioner & Member Borno State Executive Council and later appointed Permanent Secretary with the Borno State Civil Service in 2009. I was the National Facilitator Animal Health, National Programme For Food Security of the Federal Ministry of Agric & Rural Development, Abuja. I was Director, Veterinary Medicine & Allied Products (VMAP) and now Director North East Zone NAFDAC. I’m a member of the National Institute’ (mni), Kuru SEC 40, 2018. I engaged myself in various aspects of the veterinary profession. I founded Sril Group Ltd, Nigeria.
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