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Poverty, livestock and household typologies in Nepal


  • Irini Maltsoglou
  • Kiyoshi Taniguchi

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)


Agriculture and livestock are key components of the livelihoods of the poor. Livestock make a substantial contribution to household livelihoods’ and currently sustain the livelihoods of an estimated 700 million rural poor in developing countries. In Nepal, poverty levels are extremely high and more than 80% of the population relies on the agriculture sector for employment and income generation. In this context, it is important to be able to understand the link between poverty and livestock and the possible impact of livestock policies on the poor. The aim of the analysis presented in this paper is twofold: firstly, to gain an in-depth understanding of the features that characterize the poor in Nepal so as to determine the role livestock plays in and for household’s income and income sources; secondly, based on the findings, set up household typologies related to livestock to be used to identify household groups within the country to better target specific livestock policies In conclusion the authors find that poverty in Nepal is mainly a rural phenomenon, where households mostly own land and livestock, and are extremely dependent on agriculture for household income. Livestock is found to contribute significantly to agriculture income both in the form of home production consumed within the households and agriculture cash income. The cash component proves to be especially important for the more isolated areas in which access to cash is very limited and for the landless households. This is leads to a call for policy makers to ensure that policies targeting livestock are put in place, since this will indirectly help the large portion of rural poor in the country.

Suggested Citation

  • Irini Maltsoglou & Kiyoshi Taniguchi, 2004. "Poverty, livestock and household typologies in Nepal," Working Papers 04-15, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  • Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0415

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    Cited by:

    1. Bir Chhetri & Helle Larsen & Carsten Smith-Hall, 2015. "Environmental resources reduce income inequality and the prevalence, depth and severity of poverty in rural Nepal," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 513-530, June.
    2. Ugo Pica-Ciamarra & Luca Tasciotti & Joachim Otte & Alberto Zezza, 2011. "Livestock Assets, Livestock Income and Rural Households : Cross-Country Evidence from Household Surveys," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17890, The World Bank.
    3. Rayamajhi, Santosh & Smith-Hall, Carsten & Helles, Finn, 2012. "Empirical evidence of the economic importance of Central Himalayan forests to rural households," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 25-35.
    4. Ugo Pica-Ciamarra & Luca Tasciotti & Joachim Otte & Alberto Zezza, 2015. "Livestock in the Household Economy: Cross-Country Evidence from Microeconomic Data," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 33(1), pages 61-81, January.
    5. World Bank, 2009. "Social Safety Net in the Kyrgyz Republic : Capitalizing on Achievements and Addressing New Challenges," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12403, The World Bank.
    6. Charlery, Lindy & Walelign, Solomon Zena, 2015. "Assessing environmental dependence using asset and income measures: Evidence from Nepal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 40-48.
    7. Walelign, Solomon Zena & Charlery, Lindy & Smith-Hall, Carsten & Chhetri, Bir Bahadur Khanal & Larsen, Helle Overgaard, 2016. "Environmental income improves household-level poverty assessments and dynamics," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 23-35.
    8. Solomon Zena Walelign, 2016. "Livelihood strategies, environmental dependency and rural poverty: the case of two villages in rural Mozambique," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 593-613, April.
    9. Upendra B. Pradhanang & Soni M. Pradhanang & Arhan Sthapit & Nir Y. Krakauer & Ajay Jha & Tarendra Lakhankar, 2015. "National Livestock Policy of Nepal: Needs and Opportunities," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-29, March.

    More about this item


    Agricultural sector; Animal husbandry; Household food security; Households; Income; Livestock; Nepal; Poverty; Rural areas;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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