Author(s): Chilonda P, Van Huylenbroeck G
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Abstract 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. Two possible approaches are proposed for the economic analysis. Agricultural household modelling allows the derivation and testing of hypotheses regarding the demand elasticities for veterinary services, while qualitative choice models are better suited to the analysis of determinants behind the choices of farmers. The authors conclude that an urgent need exists for empirical research in this area.
This article was published in Rev Sci Tech
and referenced in Journal of Antimicrobial Agents