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Livestock Income of Mongolian Herders: A Path to Rural Prosperity?

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Over the post-socialist period in Mongolia, the future of the herding sector has received significant attention. We draw on nationally representative survey data from 2007-2008 to examine the extent and type of herders' engagement with markets for livestock and livestock products, and factors associated with higher earnings from livestock. We show that nearly all Mongolian herding households participate in markets for livestock and livestock products. Some herding households earn limited amounts. Others are highly market-oriented, although most produce a diverse set of products from different types of animals. Regression analysis provides evidence that better access to water, information and transportation is associated with more income from livestock sales. The needed assets remain beyond the reach of many herding households, however. We note ways in which the work of Russian agronomist Alexander Chayanov may inform policies by international funding organisations to improve herder access to the necessary assets, promoting rural prosperity.
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Keywords: Chayanov; commercial production; herding; household; livestock

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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