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Abstract

The economics of sheep-farming and its economic efficiency have been reported using field level data collected from the semi-arid regions of Rajasthan in 2005. The net return per average flock of 54 has been found Rs 25000 per year. The sheep-farming activity attracts labour employment of 581 mandays per annum, more than three-fourths of which is engaged in grazing. The female labour has been found to contribute 12 per cent of the total labour requirement. The main items of expenditure are feed and fodder, veterinary care, hired labour charges and interest. The major modes of return are sale of live-animals, wool, milk and manure. The overall average economic efficiency has been found to be 75 per cent, indicating that the returns could be improved by another 25 per cent with the present resource-use level. More than two-thirds of the farmers have been recorded distributed in the economic efficiency range of 70-85 per cent. The resource-poor farmers have been observed to realize higher economic efficiency than their rich counterparts. The major factor responsible for inducing improvement in efficiency has been identified as membership in farmers’ organisations, which probably provides them better access to technical knowledge and improves their bargaining power.

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