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Product title :

A conceptual framework for the economic analysis of factors influencing decision-making of small-scale farmers in animal health management

Author(s) : P. Chilonda & G. Van Huylenbroeck

Summary :

The delivery of veterinary services in most of sub-Saharan Africa has undergone substantial changes, with the private sector gaining increasing recognition as an alternative to state provision. Given this policy shift, the authors argue that a better understanding of the behaviour and decision-making processes of small-scale farmers in animal health management is urgently required, to guide policy decisions regarding the delivery of animal health services. Whether the involvement of the private sector will improve overall efficiency in the delivery of veterinary services will depend greatly on the demand response of livestock producers who must make decisions about the health of livestock. The authors briefly review the decision-making process in small-scale farming systems, the economic nature of animal diseases and disease control and the models that have been used to guide resource allocation for disease control. To gain an improved understanding of the behaviour and decision-making processes of small-scale farmers, the authors propose a conceptual model including variables that relate to characteristics specific to small-scale farmers and farms, economic factors, institutional setting and biophysical factors.

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