Friday, August 24, 2012

Lit in Review: Poverty and Livestock in Eastern Africa

Tsehay and Bauer, "Poverty Dynamics and Vulnerability: Empirical Evidence from Smallholders in Northern Highlands of Ethiopia," presented at the IAAE August 2012.

They study Yetmen and Shumsheha in rural Ethiopia. Between 1994 and 2010, the percent of households owning oxen increased from 5% to 75% and 46% and livestock assets more than tripled in value. Literacy has gone down, but school enrollments are up significantly.

The poverty dynamics are quite interesting. Half of the households are worse off, moving down from subjacent or medial poor to ultra poor (<$0.50/day) and 1/4 moved up - not out-of-poverty up, but up to slightly-less-poor. The worsening happened between 2004 and 2010, while 1994-2004 had seen significant improvement.

Table 5 shows the number of times out of 4 rounds that a household was poor:

          Yetmen             Shumsheha
0          9.8                   6.93
1         27.45                31.68
2         35.29                30.69
3         19.61                24.75
4          7.84                 5.94

Wainaina, Okello, and Nzuma, "Impact of Contract Farming on Smallholder Poultry Farmers' Income in Kenya," presented at the IAAE August 2012.

Their study of 180 smallholder farmers in Nakuru county finds that farmers contracting with Kims Poultry Care Center received roughly 27 percent more revenue per bird than independent farmers. They used matching propensities.

I'm uncertain whether they mean that "KPCC is the only large poultry farm that works with smallholder farmers in Kenya..." or the only one that works with smallholders in a contract that also provides inputs and interlinked credit. Markets for inputs and outputs tend to be quite thin, so partnering with KPCC improves market access significantly. So these results may not be typical of contract farming overall. Oddly enough, independent farmers have statistically larger birds than contract farmers, so the revenue per kg difference is slightly larger. Extension agents and higher education make farmers less likely to sign a contract, so they aren't explaining the difference.

Smallscale farmers have 100-500 birds, medium scale is 500-1000. The county has 40-45% poverty. It sells processed chicken and eggs to local tourist hotels and throughout East Africa.

They regularly reference Nyaga, 2007; poultry sector country review, FAO

Gelan, Engida, Caria, and Karugia, "The Role of Livestock in the Ethiopian Economy: Policy Analysis using a computable general equilibrium model for Ethiopia," also IAAE August 2012.

From the abstract: "We extend an existing dynamic recursive general equilibrium model for the
Ethiopian economy which better models the livestock sector. A separate herd dynamics
module enables us to specify stock-flow relationship, distinguishing between the capital role
of livestock and the flow of livestock products. We also improve the underlying system of
economic accounts, to better capture draft power and breeding stocks." What they look at is growth in total factor productivity (TFP) - how efficient or productive the sector is - comparing a positive shock to TFP growth in livestock, cereals, or cash crops. So imagine you wanted to invest in agricultural productivity in Ethiopia and ask which of those three you should invest in.

They find that an increase in livestock TFP growth from 0.5% to 3.1% would do as much to increase total agricultural GDP as an increase in cereal TFP growth from 2.2% to 4.3%. Livestock TFP growth would also improve export value more than cereal or cash crop TFP growth. Even though domestic prices for livestock decrease, labor income goes up fastest with livestock TFP growth, so the poor benefit the most from livestock TFP growth. Cereal TFP growth improves their caloric consumption by the most.

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