Capitalising on the potential of women in livestock development
This article by Isabelle Baltenweck from ILRI emphasizes the importance and benefits of the inclusion of women in livestock development. She argues that the frequent exclusion of women from livestock ownership, resources and decision-making – an inequality that remains all-too-common in low- and middle-income countries – is a major factor in hindering households from escaping poverty. With references to ILRI research, the author states that this women in livestock development opportunity means that given the same resources and opportunities, women would be in position to equal men in transforming their family farms into profitable and environmentally sustainable enterprises. Contributing 40 percent or more of agricultural GDP in poor countries, the livestock sector offers huge opportunities to improve lives and livelihoods. To capitalize on this will, however, require greater participation by women. For this to happen technologies and resources that make livestock farming more efficient and productive should be made readily available to women and have access to formal financing and credit. Nevertheless there are risks related to increased labor-burden on women and capturing of businesses when they become profitable by men.