The role of camel production on household resilience to droughts in pastoral and agro-pastoral households in Uganda

Recurrent and prolonged droughts have exacerbated the problems of pasture and water scarcity in arid and semiarid lands (ASALs), hence, the need for immediate and long-term adaption strategies to such shocks. Camels are increasingly being integrated into mainstream livestock production systems as an adaptation strategy to droughts. However, rigorous empirical evidence remains scarce on the role of camel-rearing in household resilience to droughts. This study used cross-sectional data from 116 households in the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda to examine the effect of camel adoption on household resilience to drought. Resilience to drought was measured as an index constructed from consumption- and income-smoothing indicators using the principal component analysis (PCA) method. The effect of camel adoption on household resilience to droughts was estimated using Lewbel’s estimator. Descriptive statistics show that camel tropical livestock units (TLUs) constituted 25% of the total TLUs of the herd among adopting households. PCA analysis shows that income-smoothing factors (increased off-farm income and alternative sources of income) had the greatest contribution to resilience. Econometric results show that a unit increase in the proportion of camel TLUs significantly increased household resilience to droughts by 20%. The study recommends increased emphasis on income diversification both on-farm and off-farm across programmes that aim to build pastoral household resilience to droughts.
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East Africa
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