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: 514

Full Length Research Paper

Economic burden of livestock disease and drought in Northern Tanzania

Haseeb Ahmed
  • Haseeb Ahmed
  • Department of Economics, Information Technology University, Pakistan.
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Jonathan Yoder
  • Jonathan Yoder
  • School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University, USA.
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William A. de Glanville
  • William A. de Glanville
  • Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK.
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Alicia Davis
  • Alicia Davis
  • School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK.
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Tito J. Kibona
  • Tito J. Kibona
  • Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania.
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Blandina T. Mmbaga
  • Blandina T. Mmbaga
  • Duke Global Health Institute, Durham, NC, UK.
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Felix Lankester
  • Felix Lankester
  • Paul G. Allen School of Global Animal Health, Washington State University, USA.
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Emmanuel S. Swai
  • Emmanuel S. Swai
  • Department of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Tanzania.
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Sarah Cleaveland
  • Sarah Cleaveland
  • Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK.
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  •  Received: 26 November 2018
  •  Accepted: 18 February 2019
  •  Published: 30 June 2019


Livestock-dependent communities face considerable livestock disease and drought risk, which can impact herd value, income and consumption. This paper summarizes economic data collected from 404 households in Arusha and Manyara regions of Northern Tanzania in 2016. They provide estimates for (i) herd loss due to disease and drought as a fraction of herd value and income, (ii) the relative risk of disease and drought in small versus large ruminants and (iii) the relationship between livestock disease outcomes and household expenditures. We find that disease and drought losses comprise 10 to 4% of sheep, cattle and goat herd value, and amount to an estimated 62.1% of household income. The drought and disease risk ratios for small versus large ruminants indicate that small stock face higher disease risk, while large ruminants are affected more by drought. Furthermore, cattle abortions are negatively related to schooling expenditure and positively associated with increases in off-farm food expenditure related to livestock management, presumably through increased investments in prevention and therapy. These results suggest that climatic variability and livestock diseases are an important source of economic vulnerability and reducing this burden may help alleviate poverty in livestock-dependent communities.

Key words: Household production, livestock disease, drought, herd management, Tanzania.