Economic Assessment Of The Non-marketed Benefits Of Cattle Among Households In The Agro-pastoral System Of Mozambique
In sub-Saharan Africa agriculture is the main source of livelihoods to majority of households. This is because it account for about 30 percent of the region gross domestic product, 20 percent of merchandise export and 60 percent of employment. Livestock production alone account for approximately 35 percent of agricultural value in gross domestic product and employ approximately 95 percent economically active population. In Mozambique, agriculture contributes about 29 percent to gross domestic product. Livestock sector alone contribute about 15 percent of agricultural value in gross domestic product. Most of livestock is cattle and they provide substantial contribution to the wellbeing of many households by providing market and non-market benefits. However, research aimed at improving household livelihood through cattle often targets marketed benefits while neglecting non-marketed benefits. As a result most of the policies formulated for livestock focus on marketed benefits. Therefore, non-marketed benefits of cattle are barely articulated, their comprehensive role in rural livelihoods are little understood, consequently policies and programs to enhance their contribution hardly exist prompting for this study and similar studies. In Gaza province of Mozambique, households keep large herds of cattle, as a livelihood diversification strategy even though they derive limited marketed benefits (milk and meat). This is because cattle provide non-marketed benefits which contribute to household livelihoods in at least six ways that is; insurance, financing, draught power, dowry payment, saving and as a social prestige. Although, most livestock policies focus on marketed benefits rather than non-marketed benefits in Mozambique, milk and meat production and consumption is low even when compared to the average for Sub-Saharan Africa. Low milk and meat production contribute to high poverty levels and malnutrition particularly among children. In view of the central role played by livestock and cattle in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa livelihoods, it is unlikely that the millennium development goals of reducing poverty in general and reducing malnutrition and unsustainable use of natural resources in particular can be achieved without some research focus on the non-market benefits of cattle, the focus of this study. The economic value of cattle consists of market and non-marketed benefits. The factors that condition household economic reliance on cattle as an economic activity are likely to vary depending on resource endowment, demographic, household and animal characteristics. This study sought to; identify the main non-marketed benefits derived from cattle, determine the importance of their contribution to household livelihoods and the factors influencing household willingness to pay for these benefits. The livelihood approach framework was used to articulate the key variables and relationship in the study. Data were collected from 184 household selected using multistage random sampling in Mabalane district of Mozambique on March 2009. The analytical hierarchy procedure was used to determine the main benefits derived from cattle among households. Income accounting method was subsequently applied to assess the contribution of non-marketed benefits to household livelihoods. Finally the Probit model was used to identify the factors influencing household willingness to pay for non-marketed benefits of cattle. It was found that 98 percent of the households kept cattle and derive non-marketed benefits in form of draught power, financing, insurance, saving, social status and bride price. Only two percent of the households kept cattle targeting marketed benefits. Based on the share of non-marketed benefits income in total household income, the households were divided into two mutually exclusive groups. That is, those whose share of non-marketed benefits income in livestock income was more than 50 percent and those whose share of non-marketed benefits income was less than 50 percent. The t-test results showed that at one percent significance level, household income for group one was statistically higher than that of group two, implying that non-marketed benefits contribute significantly to the household livelihoods. It was also found that that animal characteristics (cattle age, type, breed and herd size) and household characteristics (distance to the market, household size, dependence ratio and off farm income) had significant influence on households willingness to pay for non-marketed benefits. Among cattle category, the result showed that increasing a bulls and cows by a TLU enhanced the probability of household willingness to pay for non-marketed benefits by 0.8 and 0.9 percent respectively. This implied that the non-marketed benefits derived from bulls and cows are greater than those derived from calves and heifers. Animal age and herd size also had a positive influence on willingness to pay for non-market benefits, implying that benefits derived from cattle increases with age and the herd size. The indigenous breed of cattle had positive influence on household willingness to pay for non-marketed benefits among households; implying that indigenous breed of cattle are considered a better asset compared to exotic and crossbreeds due to their usefulness in providing draught power, financing, savings and payment of bride price. Household size, dependence ratio and distance to the market also had a positive influence on household willingness to pay. This influence was attributed to high financial obligations associated with large household size and high dependence ratio, hence a need for insurance and financial security. However, off farm income had a negative influence on household willingness to pay for non-marketed benefits of cattle. This implied that household with a good access to off-farm income attached low importance to non-marketed benefits of cattle. The key finding for this study with implication for policy is that cattle have multiple uses and their non-marketed benefits plays a significant role in household livelihood in some cases their contribution is even more important than that of marketed benefits. The results of this study suggest that, that non-marketed benefits of cattle should at the very least be considered alongside the marketed. Therefore policy recommendations prompting single purpose commercialized production of marketed products could well undermine the livelihoods generated by non-marketed benefits derived from cattle in arid and semi arid areas of Sub- Saharan Africa.