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Role and Contribution of Livestock in the Livelihood of Marginal and Landless Livestock Farmers in Rural Tamil Nadu, India

K. M. Sakthivel

Abstract

An exploratory study was conducted in Thiruvanamalai and Pudukkottai districts of Tamil Nadu with the objective of assessing the role and contribution of livestock in the livelihood of marginal and landless livestock farmers. Data were collected from 100 marginal farmers and 100 landless livestock farmers through a well-structured interview schedule following multistage sampling. The study revealed that the major livelihood activities of marginal farmers and landless livestock farmers were livestock farming, farm labour, non farm labour, agriculture and migration to urban areas. Income from livestock rearing was the major contributor to household’s gross income accounting for more than 50 per cent of the gross income for more than 60 per cent of the households. Further, over a period of time, the contribution to total income from agriculture and farm labour had decreased while the contribution from livestock and non farm labour had increased. Though Livestock provided livelihood security, the households were in a stage of transition, as they are not able to cope with the existing situation. Although livestock has acted as a buffer in maintaining their status, lack of resources combined with drought and lack of labour has deprived them to lower economic strata. Thus immediate interventions are needed to protect these households from the trap of poverty.

Keyword: Livestock; Livelihood; Marginal farmer; Landless livestock farmer;

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