The role of women in the sheep and goat sector
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In this paper the authors examine the role of women in the field of sheep and goat production by highlighting five different studies of goat projects located in developing countries. Goats and sheep were chosen for this study because of the nature of their grazing since they are able to feed off limited resources, they coexist well with other livestock due to little direct food competition and because they are smaller and need less food than larger livestock. Also, early sexual maturity and short gestation terms creates abbreviated generation intervals. This generates an immediate source of cash and allows goats and sheep to be swiftly re-stocked. Almost everyone in the family can raise them and there are few cultural and religious restrictions on the consumption of goats and sheep. Finally, because goats and sheep are less prestigious to raise than cattle and other large livestock, men are less likely to interfere with female authority in their production. Looking at studies in Lake Yojoa, Honduras, Tontolo, Honduras, San Jose Llanga, Bolivia, Mantaro Valley, Peru, and Hebei Province, China, the authors concluded that goats and sheep are an important instrument for women to have their own income and contribute to the food security of their families. They suggest that goat and sheep enterprises have become a focal point for development programs.