In What Ways Are People in Pastoral Areas Integrated into the Cash Economy?

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John McPeak

Type of Document:
Research Brief


Global Livestock CRSP, University of California- Davis

Date of Publication:
April 2009

Place of Publication:
Davis, CA


Abstract: In a prior research brief entitled “How Are They Surviving Out There? An Analysis of Total Income in the PARIMA Study Sites” (GL-CRSP Research Brief 08-02-LiTEK), the author described variation in total income across the eleven PARIMA study sites in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. Total income includes both cash income and the implicit cash value of goods that are produced and consumed by the household members without ever entering a market. Further analysis of the data presented in the earlier brief has revealed that access to cash income and access to livestock are key determinants in the generation of total income. In the current brief, focus is placed on how cash income is generated by different livelihood groups in the overall sample. Two important findings are that cash income from livestock and livestock product sales is found to be critical for all groups in the sample and that those with higher cash access are more reliant on wage, salary, business, and trade than those with lower cash access. Detailed findings on access to cash income illustrate that: income from livestock and livestock products is the most equally distributed of the sources considered; income from wage, salary, trade and business income is more unequally distributed; and income from sales of crafts, fuelwood, and water is the most unequally distributed. Two main policy implications are drawn. First, improving cash returns from improving livestock and livestock product markets impacts the largest share of cash income for the overall sample and impacts the type of income that is most widespread amongst the sample. Second, policies that increase access to wage, salary, trade, and business income offer the potential to increase income levels.

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