Gendered perspectives on smallholder cattle production and health management in three sites in Tanzania
This article (PDF) in the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security provides a gender analysis of animal health in small-scale dairy farming and the food security implications in three villages of Tanzania. Dairy farming offers opportunities to address poverty and food security among small-scale livestock keepers in Tanzania, particularly rural women. Animal health problems greatly hinder dairy farming in the country, making animal health interventions critical for achieving food security. The findings show that both women and men respondents were involved in animal health management and had similar knowledge of diseases. Yet, women were found to face more constraints than men in accessing vet services, information on diseases, and animal medicines. All respondents argued that animal diseases impact on overall household food security by: increasing expenditures for medicines; decreasing milk production which increased expenditure on food—less milk for household consumption and less milk revenues; increasing the time needed to look after sick animals; reducing income from animal sales; and reducing manure and traction power that reduced crop production. Supporting women’s groups is suggested as a way of enhancing women’s control over livestock and revenues, and access to animal health information and income generating opportunities. The paper recommends enhancing the capacity of service providers in gender-responsive approaches, and of organizing community outreach activity that highlight the benefits of intra-household shared decision making.