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Research, Policy and Practice

Table 1 Model components and assumptions

From: Applying livestock thresholds to examine poverty in Karamoja

Model component Assumptions
Household characteristics and food needs • The model used a household of six people, comprising two adults and four children (UBOS 2018).
• Food energy needs per person were assumed to be 2100 kcal/day.
Livestock herd and production • Milk in agro-pastoralist households in Karamoja is derived mainly from cows and goats.
• Milk production and offtake depend on the number of cows and does of breeding age, reproductive performance, production, and herd management.
• Production losses include losses due to disease and drought.
• Information on livestock herd production in Karamoja is limited, but relevant information is available from comparable pastoralist systems in East Africa.
• The food energy value of cow and goat milk is known.
Land and crop production • The area of land available from cropping is limited by the use of hand tools and manual labour; the model used a land area of 0.4 ha cultivated.
• For the sake of simplicity, the model used sorghum as the single crop produced by the household.
• Limited information is available on sorghum yields in Karamoja, or losses due to pests, rainfall variability, and other causes; information on post-harvest losses is also limited. Sorghum yields were averaged from estimates provided by the Nabuin Zonal Agricultural and Research Development Institute.
• The food energy value of sorghum is known.
Market behaviour and price data • Good information is available on the prices of livestock and cereals in Karamoja; the model used average prices for 2017.
• The model assumed that the household sold young male goats and bulls and retained breeding females; this approach is consistent with maximizing herd growth while also selling animals to meet domestic needs.