Agriculture and livestock are key components of the livelihoods of the
poor. Livestock make a substantial contribution to household
livelihoods' and currently sustain the livelihoods of an estimated 700
million rural poor in developing countries. In Nepal, poverty levels are
extremely high and more than 80% of the population relies on the
agriculture sector for employment and income generation.
In this context, it is important to be able to understand the link
between poverty and livestock and the possible impact of livestock
policies on the poor. The aim of the analysis presented in this paper is
twofold: firstly, to gain an in-depth understanding of the features that
characterize the poor in Nepal so as to determine the role livestock
plays in and for household's income and income sources; secondly, based
on the findings, set up household typologies related to livestock to be
used to identify household groups within the country to better target
specific livestock policies. The analysis presented is based on the data
collected in Nepal during the 1996-97 Living Standards Measurement
Survey (NLSS I).
In conclusion the authors find that poverty in Nepal is mainly a rural
phenomenon, where households mostly own land and livestock, and are
extremely dependent on agriculture for household income. Livestock is
found to contribute significantly to agriculture income both in the form
of home production consumed within the households and agriculture cash
income. The cash component proves to be especially important for the
more isolated areas in which access to cash is very limited and for the
landless households. This is leads to a call for policy makers to ensure
that policies targeting livestock are put in place, since this will
indirectly help the large portion of rural poor in the country.
A two page executive summary is also available in addition to this
PPLPI, FAO, Rome, Italy, iii+47pp.