African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Livestock and livelihoods: Development goals and indicators applied to Senegal

D. Roland-Holst1 and J. Otte2
1Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley. 2Director of the Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative (PPLPI).
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 May 2007
  •  Published: 30 June 2007


In this report, we present a series of empirical techniques to examine linkage between livestock and livelihood, using data from Senegal, a West African economy with high levels of smallholder poverty and livestock dependence. Our results for this country show that livestock dependent populations are more likely to be poor and the severity of their poverty is greater, yet the same reliance on livestock also offers a way to mitigate their adversity. By analyzing market linkages and supply chains in the livestock sector, we find that rural household producers capture only a small fraction of the ultimate value of their products. Moreover, we find that generalist agricultural promotion policies may be of limited value to them because most of the value created by these policies can be captured by downstream market participants. Our primary conclusion is that livestock holds substantial potential for poverty alleviation, but that carefully targeted policies are required to realize this potential.


Key words: Livestock, Poverty, Senegal, MDGs.