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Abstract

Protein, in particular of animal source, Is one of the most important components of the diet. Although, the average per capita animal protein intake in Egypt is still less than far from that recommended by international organizations, due to the reluctance of local production growth to keep pace with consumer needs. There are many obstacles that face filling the deficit of local production by importation. Among these obstacles, the spread of epidemic diseases such as mad-cow and foot and mouth disease and avian influenza in livestock populations of potential exporting markets to Egypt. The importance of this study is the lack of research on the role of rural women in livestock enterprising operations, particularly, in dairy enterprises. This study used a sample survey data of from Sharkia Governorate's villages. The analysis of the structure of the farm income from livestock holding on farm shows that whereas, the gross margin per feddan was around L.E. 3618 on farms operated by men, it jumped to L.E. 4172 on those farms operated by women. The monetary income per feddan went up at to its maximum by dairy sales. This value reaches around L.E. 2888, representing 46% in the case of farms run by men. In the case of farms managed by women amounted to L.E. 4038 from dairy sales, representing 76% of the total costs. Purchased feed costs calculated per feddan, in the case of farms run by men, amounted to a maximum costs item of L.E. 1008, representing 37.33% of the total costs. Such costs item decreased to L.E. 430 per feddan on farms managed by women, representing 42.34% of cash operating costs. Therefore, net farm income in farms managed by women amounted to L.E. 3453 which surpassed the farms operated by men, that .reached L.E. 2391, but after deducting imputed costs of farm household labor and owned capital invested, such profit declined much due to family labor. Therefore, the study recommends to focus upon supporting the dairy enterprise on small traditional farms in rural Egypt. The farms operated by women should get the priority, to empower the women towards generating reasonable income to sponsor their households. Such support may include soft loans at low interest rate with facilities in repayment schedule. It includes also training course in animal husbandry and farm management. Veterinary care services should be accessible to these target groups at minimum costs. Such proposed socio-economic programs overcome the social obstacle that prevents rural women from working outside their farms and/or villages to earn livings for their household, particularly when the female-headed household is only a rural woman.

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