Roles of small ruminants in rural livelihood improvement – Comparative analysis in Egypt
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The study focuses on the assessment of the contribution of sheep and goats to reduce poverty and vulnerability in rural farming systems of three agroecologi- cal areas in Egypt: the pastoral area of the Northwestern coast (Matruh governo- rate), the irrigated areas of the Nile Valley (Sohag governorate) and the oasis area of the West Desert (New Valley governorate). An empirical study on 90 farms in the three agroecological areas on different social and economic indicators related to poverty gave indicators on the roles of sheep and goats in different farm types according to resource endowment (e.g. land, livestock, capital) and human resources. The results showed that sheep and goats provided the main source of income to landless and very small land owners to escape the poverty trap. Moreover, the livestock asset generated other sources of wealth that were not taken into account in the monetary poverty approach.