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. Livestock is a sector with a
great potential for growth compared to other sectors in agriculture.
However, appropriate policies and institutions that allow the poor to
tap this growth potential may not exist or may be inadequate. In some
cases, existing policies may actually hinder the poor from doing so.
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 a few peasants and
learn their perspectives from the bottom. Newspapers contained many
lively stories of how well-intentioned policies went awry at the
implementation stage, while published research analyzed various
political, institutional and technical aspects of policymaking in the
The author concludes that despite economic reform policymaking and
implementation is still hindered by a political ambivalence about rural
development in general. This results in a restrictive land policy that
inhibits the potential of rural producers while restricting the growth
of off-farm employment opportunities that may benefit the poor. Despite
official rhetoric that calls for increased assistance to the poor,
policies lack effective mechanisms to realize their participation in
Four strategic entry points are recommended that can both improve the
performance of the sector and the participation of the poor in
productive activities. With sufficient resources to back up programs and
efforts to identify political allies for the cause, it may be possible
to make livestock policies better serve the interests of the poor.
A two page executive summary is also available in addition to this
PPLPI, FAO, Rome, Italy, v+31pp.