Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 538

On the economic effects of livestock theft in Lesotho: An asset-based approach

Selloane Khoabane1* and Philip Black2
1Research Department, Central Bank of Lesotho, South Africa. 2Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 February 2012
  •  Published: 12 March 2012


While livestock theft in Lesotho is primarily caused by increased poverty among unemployed workers and drought stricken crop farmers, its effect on stock farmers can be devastating. Using an asset-based approach we show how such theft reduces the affected households’ own consumption of both the “returns” on their wealth, for example milk and wool, and of wealth itself, for example meat and hides. It also restricts their ability to apply asset smoothing by forcing them to sell their remaining livestock wealth in the market place and use the proceeds to acquire the necessary food and non-food products. Some policy implications are briefly highlighted.


Key words: Livestock theft, unemployed, drought, asset-based approach, livestock wealth, returns on wealth, household utility, asset smoothing, other coping methods.