Article written by Eshwer Kale published in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) (Vol. 52, Issue No. 3 dated 21 Jan, 2017)
This study is part of a larger pilot project of the Rainfed Livestock Network (RLN) on “Strengthening Primary Animal Health Services for Improved Livestock Productivity in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of India” being implemented by the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) in collaboration with the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES). To support the main objective of the pilot project, a study on estimating the economic losses incurred by farmers due to animal mortality and morbidity was undertaken. Although several disease-specific economic loss studies have been done, understanding the farmers’ perspective on the losses associated with morbidity, irrespective of the type of disease and the veterinary services availed when diseases occur, was critical. Hence, the approach taken in the present study computes the losses from diseases based on symptoms as indicated by the farmers, rather than focusing on one specific disease.