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Although Livestock Development Programmes (LDPs) increase production, their impact on production risk needs consideration, with most impact assessments in literature devoid of this. The objective of the study was to highlight the risk introduced by participating in a LDP and its impact on productivity. A cross-sectional survey of 164 Kaonafatso ya Dikgomo (KyD) programme and 81 non-programme participants from KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Eastern Cape Provinces, South Africa was utilised. Non-probability convenience sampling was used to collect primary data through a structured questionnaire. Propensity Score Matching and Monte Carlo Simulations were utilised to analyse data. The study found that the KyD programme reduces calving risk by 21.7% whilst it doubles the off-take risk. Furthermore, larger herd sizes, access to veterinary services and frequency of extension contact were risk-increasing determinants, whilst access to dipping services was risk-reducing. The study concludes that the KyD programme has significant impact on production risk. The study recommends that to reduce the risks, farmers should be encouraged to commercialise and become part of farmer organizations. The programme should also maintain a farmer-extension-contact of between 2-5 visits per month as well as target farmers within a 30km-90km radius from a market, with herd sizes of between 50-120 cattle. Key words: calving, off-take, risk, impact, Propensity Score Matching, Monte Carlo Simulation. JEL Codes: O220, Q120, Q160, Q180


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