This paper presents a case study of how livestock policies are made and
implemented in a national context, and how they can be improved to
better serve the interests of the poor. The government estimates that
nearly 85 percent of Burkinabè households rely upon livestock for some
portion of their income. Furthermore, livestock accounts for
approximately 25 percent of the country's exports. Socially, livestock
provides a way for young adults to learn the responsibilities of
adulthood, a method for family members to fulfill social obligations,
and a means for women to support their families. Considering its social
and economic significance, livestock must take center stage in efforts
to improve Burkinabè livelihoods.
The study used the key informant method supplemented with official
documents, newspaper sources and recently published research on the
livestock sector. Interviews helped reveal policymakers' concerns,
whereas field trips allowed the researcher to talk to farmers and learn
their perspectives from the bottom. Newspapers and published research
analyzed various political, institutional and technical aspects of
policymaking in the sector.
The author highlights three potential constraints - weak livestock
producer organizations, poor animal health service provision, and
commercial weaknesses — on the potential contribution of the livestock
sector to improving poor people's livelihoods and recommends strategic
actions for overcoming each of them.
A three page executive summary is also available in addition to this
PPLPI, FAO, Rome, Italy, vii+36 pp.