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Management and socio-economics of tsetse control

Cashflow

Livestock-owners not only need to be willing to pay (for pour-ons, or inputs for targets), but to be able to pay when payment is needed. Many livestock-owners have low reserves of cash, and are unable or unwilling to liquidate other assets when required to pay contributions to tsetse control.

Cashflow is a distinct problem, but is closely connected with other problems:


• A lack of belief in the specific technology on offer, and/or a general reluctance to accept new technologies (dealt with under knowledge and attitudes).


• A bias towards treatment following the sickness of an animal and against spending money on preventive care

These different issues can best be disentangled by careful participatory investigation, during the programme design phase and during programme implementation. This will allow beneficiaries to discuss their beliefs and attitudes towards new technology and treatment/prevention. It will also determine what the sources of cash income and sources of credit (if any) are for cattle-owners. The use of seasonal calendars, either in an informal participatory manner, or through a more structured questionnaire survey, may gain an overall idea of the amount of cash that might pass through cattle-owners’ hands in a particular year, and will pick up information on particular seasonal peaks in cash income and in needs for cash, or demonstrate that such peaks are more random, e.g. tied to non-seasonal sales of animals or sudden needs for healthcare.


Managing cashflow

If resources permit, the most effective way for an outside agency to manage the problem of cashflow is to create a revolving fund. Typically, the external agency provides the first supply of the input free of charge, preferably to local institutions established or adapted to manage tsetse control. In the case of inputs for targets these are then used by the local institutions, in the case of pour-ons they are distributed to individual cattle-owners. In either case, payment can then be collected over a period of time by the agency or the local institution, and used to purchase further inputs. In principle, this arrangement can be managed indefinitely, provided that prices collected from beneficiaries anticipate increases in the market prices of the inputs. Such an arrangement has several advantages:


• It manages the cashflow problem itself, that is it gives cattle-owners a longer period to find cash to repay.

• By allowing a period during which cattle-owners can see some benefits from tsetse control (although initially this will probably be more manifested in absence of nuisance flies than a decrease in trypanosomiasis), it helps to overcome any conservatism around new technology.

• In the case of pour-ons, it will fit well with arrangements for raising awareness of the new technology and mobilizing cattle-owners for collective action.

• It gives economies of scale in purchasing inputs.

However, several points need to be taken into consideration:


• The initial investment in the revolving fund needs to be significant. In the case of pour-ons, it needs to be at least enough for one application to the recommended proportion of the entire herd. If any problems in repayment are anticipated, either because of cashflow, or lack of confidence in the technology, or logistical difficulties (e.g. widely scattered cattle-owners, lack of transport) in distributing the pour-on or collecting payment, the initial investment may have to cover two or more initial applications. It will be better for an external agency to provide too large an initial fund, than to provide one too small, and then have to increase it before the required payment is collected.
• A revolving fund will require careful training of those operating it, and a system of operation transparent to others.

Reference

DFID (1999). Sustainable Livelihoods Guidance Sheet 4.10 Livelihoods Assets II. Available as a pdf file here or in rtf format here.




 

 


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