EXPERT CONSULTATION ON WOMEN IN FOOD PRODUCTION
Rome, Italy, 7-14 December 1983
WOMEN IN LIVESTOCK
PRODUCTION WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO DAIRYING
Compiled from papers by
N.A. Chavangi and A. Hanssen
F FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION ESH:WIFP/83/10
SOF THE UNITED NATIONS
ORGANISATION DES NATIONS UNIES POUR
T L'ALIMENTATION. ET L'AGRICULTURE September 1983
ORGANIZATION DE LAS NACIONES UN1DAS
PARA LA AGRICULTURE Y LA ALIMENTACION
Women's role has chiefly been in milking and
processing dairy products. With increased
commercialization of milk processing higher
labour inputs are required to raise and
stabilize milk yields but the returns to
women may be reduced and it is possible that
family nutrition also suffers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. NOMADIC PASTORAL SYSTEMS
III. CATTLE ON SMALL-SCALE FAMILY FARMS
Use of Milk Processing Centres
(A) Increase in Labour Requirements
(B) Increase in Requirements for Services and
(C) Payment to "owners" of the Livestock
IV. LARGE FARM SECTOR
V. RECOGNIZING WOMEN'S ROLE IN DAIRY
The designations employed and the presentation
of material in this paper do not imply the
expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part
of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations concerning the legal status of
any country, territory, city or area or of its
authorities, or concerning the delimitation of
its frontiers or boundaries.
1. Livestock farming patterns are greatly influenced by ecological conditions, ranging
from nomadic, semi-nomadic and settled-extensive to intensive farming systems. Major
features in livestock farming are dictated by environmental factors including natural
herbage (which is governed by rainfall and temperature), soil types and water. Generally,
herbage becomes a major limiting factor during the dry season when natural plant growth
is restricted resulting in the annual migration of the nomads and greatly reduced levels
of production for both beef and dairy stock within settled areas, unless supplementary
feeding is introduced.
2. In general, the required changes in husbandry for improved livestock farming involve
control of disease, improved nutrition (especially in the dry season), improved manage-
ment and breed improvement. In arid areas the provision of water can also be necessary
as well as marketing services to encourage the sale of animals so that only the fittest
animals are kept to feed in the finely-balanced ecological conditions which are vulner-
able to overstocking.
3. Pastoral systems apart, the common livestock system throughout the developing coun-
tries is smallholder herds. There are also some large-scale ranching (for beef) and a
few countries have large dairy herds managed in capital-intensive, skill-intensive systems.
4. In smallholder systems throughout the world, cattle are kept for multiple purposes;
they provide draught, manure, milk, and beef. One study in Zimbabwe attempted to value
these products in a mixed farming area of smallholder agriculture; draught provided
42 percent of gross income, manure provided 7 percent and food products about 50 percent
(Danckwerts, 1974). Women have mainly been concerned with milk and milk products. This
paper therefore mostly considers women's role in the production, processing and sale of
these dairy products. It should not be forgotten, however, that they are also involved
in ploughing, in the collection and spread of manure and in general husbandry and herding.
5. The role of women in pastoral, smallholder and large-scale farming systems will be
II. NOMADIC PASTORAL SYSTEMS
6. There are several of these in Africa, generally in areas with harsh environmental
conditions. The ecology is vulnerable to overpopulation and overgrazing and there have
been attempts with little effect to encourage herd size reductions and the keeping
of more productive animals, both in terms of milk and beef. However, the structure of
herds remains unchanged and includes a high proportion of female cattle as a strategy
to increase survival of the herd during drought. This favours milk production over beef
production but, in fact, for several reasons, including current husbandry practices, milk
yields are low.
7. In most of these societies women are only concerned with milking and the subsequent
processing of the milk, and perhaps with marketing of the various dairy products. Common
products are fermented milk, butter and ghee. In some societies such as the Fulani in
Nigeria, such proceeds are used by the women to buy family food. In others, such as the
Masai of Kenya, the proceeds are handed over to the husbands.
8. In Botswana, beef production takes priority over milk production. Here the women
have little to do with the herds but their role may become more significant if efforts
to increase milk production in the country lead pastoralists to try to raise yields.
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III. CATTLE ON SMALL-SCALE FAMILY FARMS
9. There are two systems to consider here. The major one, found throughout the Third
World, involves cattle as an integral part of a mixed farming system (crops and livestock)
providing some milk, manure, draught power, and beef. The second system is one in which
the farm is more specifically orientated towards milk production for sale. This is some-
times as a result of government efforts to raise national milk production since demand
has outstripped supply in many countries and milk has to be imported or requested as aid
unless domestic production can be raised. The more general peasant farming system will
be considered first.
10. At one end of the spectrum are marginal or landless peasants whose herds of cattle
or buffalo are restricted to the extent to which fodder is available. Most of India's
peasant families belong to this group. There the women feed the animals with, for
example, crop residues, through the cutting and carrying of fodder from communal fields,
or along the sides of roads. In addition, the animals must be taken to water regularly.
They are milked twice daily. Measurements taken in studies in two Punjabi villages showed
that these activities averaged 1.75 hours and 3.75 hours per day per woman (Hanssen).
11. More commonly, cattle are kept by families who either have the right to graze them
over common land or who have their own fields. Unless fields are fenced this requires
herding, at least during the crop growing season, to prevent the livestock marauding the
fields. Everywhere herding is the children's job when they are not in school but with
the increasing number of hours, and years, spent at school this can also fall to the
wife, especially if the husband is a labour migrant.
12. At a less general level, however, it must be said that the division of labour con-
cerning cattle management and the processing of milk products is partly culturally
determined, though, as usual, cultural practices and norms are being affected by economic
13. In South Darfour (Sudan) among non-Arabic families, wives cultivate a part of the
land independently of their husbands and have their own cattle. But they milk and manage
the processing and marketing of the milk products of all the family's cattle (Viadyanathan,
14. At the village of Kafr'al Bahr in one of the most fertile, most densely populated
regions of the Nile Delta, cattle and buffalo are stabled near the house (Zimmerman, 1982).
They may be taken to some shaded spot for tethering for the day. Clover must be cut for
fodder up to three times a day, usually by women. The livestock must also be watered,
either by the women bringing water or by taking the animals to the river. Regularly the
dung from the stable is collected either for manure or fuel. Women may contribute labour
for this. The milking and processing is exclusively the women's job. For an average farm
of 1.3 feddan and one or two cows or buffaloes, dairy products make up a third of total
cash income, as well as contributing to family consumption.
15. It has been calculated in North Yemen that women spend five hours a day, on average,
in managing cattle, making butter and preparing manure (Maarse, 1981). Men purchase and
sell cattle, and manage the breeding. This is a very common division of labour.
16. In northwest Jordan women process milk into gemead, yoghurt, ghee and cheese. These
may be sold by women in their houses to other villagers, or may be sold by their husbands
or village traders to distribution centres in towns.
17. On minifundia farms in Peru women are estimated in one study to spend, on average,
38 hours per week caring for cattle (Buvinic, 1979). Most of this time is for herding,
although, as elsewhere, children herd when they are not in school. In general, women see
to all management of the herds except sales. This varies, however, according to income
class; among the very poorest families the role of women is greater and they take more
decisions concerning herd management. In addition, many men are labour migrants for
several months a year so there is a high proportion of families that are either truly
or effectively headed by women who make all decisions on management and transactions.
18. The 1970 Population Census of the Commonwealth Caribbean showed that between 21 per-
cent and 46 percent of the families were female headed. This is partly due to the high
proportion of informal unions. While there is a decline in labour in agriculture as a
whole, the number of women engaged in agriculture has apparently increased. In many of
these islands (and others of the non-English speaking Caribbean) women are involved in
cattle management and milk production. But such women often cannot receive technical
assistance and extension (Yates, 1980). Since they do not conform to the expected stereo-
type of the farmer-the necessary services are not open to them. As usual women make up
a high percentage of the poor.
19. It can be said in general, therefore, that women in many of the developing countries
spend many hours a week in the care of livestock herds, in milking the animals, and in
processing milk. While the processing of milk is nearly always the women's job before
mechanization, control of the product or proceeds from sale varies. In some societies
much is sold, in others little, or none. A study in Gujarat, India showed that sales
depended on the family's need for cash, the current milk price, and the prices of differ-
ent products derived from milk (Hanssen). Often when milk or milk products are sold in
a small way women keep the proceeds for household expenses. Then they will be particu-
larly aware of price differentials and may prefer to receive the higher prices of ready-
processed products. This clearly occurred in Kafr al Bahr (Zimmerman, 1982). However,
it appears that the sale of milk to distribution centres for commercial distribution
or processing is becoming more common worldwide.
20. Access to support services by female livestock producers tends to be limited in
spite of their major contribution to care and management. This is more marked when
attempts are made to intensify milk production. This will be described in the next
Use of Milk Processing Centres
21. Most developing countries are net importers of milk and dairy products. The response
of many governments has been to set up milk collection and processing centres or to
encourage the growth of cooperatives with such services. These have a number of effects
for women that are common in many countries.
A'A Increase in Labour Requirements
22. In order to be profitable, the use of milk processing centres by smallholders must
be accompanied by measures to reduce the seasonality of milk production which varies
with the availability of fodder. Major efforts must therefore be directed towards
improved nutrition in the dry season when yields are low. Activities include pasture and
fodder management and the conservation of feed materials, all of which are labour
intensive. As an extreme example, in Kenya at present there is a strategy in high
potential but highly populated areas to intensify the livestock production systems on
small farms to the point of "zero grazing" (Chavangi, 1983).
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23. As would be expected, these activities greatly increase the work load of those who
care for the animals, usually women. Crops may be cultivated, cut and taken to the
animals and methods must be developed to store fodder also, for use in the dry season.
There are not always attempts to grow fodder crops since the waste from other crops may
be used if they are sufficient, but where fodder crops are grown they may compete for
land with other crops, including those for consumption by the family. There is a need
in many areas to further develop the use of local byproducts such as cotton seed meal or
grains (following beer making) as supplementary feed. The need for extra feed rises
as breeds of greater productive potential are used by smallholders.
24. There is another aspect of the increased work load that deserves mention. This is
the problem of getting the milk to distribution centres quickly. It is reported that in
Kenya it is common for women to have to wait for many hours at the roadside if there are
problems with the collection lorry or the roads are impassable (Chavangi, 1983). This
points to the need for careful analysis of the appropriate siting and scale of plants.
The use of co-operative coolers may be helpful, for instance, for holding the evening
milk or allowing deliveries to the plant to be reduced to every two days, but again the
financial returns on these expensive items must be carefully calculated.
(B) Increase in Requirements for Services and Technical Skills
25. Accompanying the need to improve animal nutrition is a need for greater technical
information, training, and access to technical services such as veterinary services
and artificial insemination (AI). Credit may also be required to improve buildings or
buy supplementary feed and other inputs. Women are disadvantaged in several respects
here for, as usual, access to technical and bureaucratic services is not considered their
domain, however much they are the ones who need these services.
26. Technical information is required in the fields of animal breeding and health,
nutrition, housing, milking procedures and calf rearing. All of these may need upgrading
as the emphasis moves from cattle or buffalo as general purpose animals to dairy animals.
Not only must productivity be raised, requiring for the first time, for instance, a
knowledge of the economic use of concentrates and minerals as supplementary feed, but
the milk must be presented to the collection centre in an acceptably pure form, free
from adulterations and bacteria. This requires new levels of hygiene and an understanding
of the prevention of diseases such as mastitis which is greatly reduced just by the use
of a strip cup. In addition, as better breeds are used and milk yields are raised, there
needs to be understanding of the quantity of milk that calves need. Inadequate milk given
to calves is a major cause of calf mortality in developing countries. However, as yields
rise, calves need a smaller proportion of total yield so that it can be wasteful to
give more, as happens in some systems where calves run with the dams for half the day.
27. Dairying therefore requires more technical expertise than is required during
intensification of many other agricultural enterprises. It may also require the
suppression of some myths, as Chavangi points out: due to erroneous beliefs some calves
are denied colostrum which contains antibodies against many of the infections to
which they will be exposed. It is essential that herd managers obtain such information
directly, but women often do not.
28. An extreme example of these difficulties can be seen in rural India (Hanssen, 1983).
There the women can be in charge of calf rearing, oestrous detection (before AI), and
animal health. But women affected by the rules of purdah (and many who are not) cannot
easily talk to male veterinary technicians about problems concerning their buffalo, and
certainly not when issues are related to animal fertility. The result in Gujarat was
that the technician visited milk cooperatives weekly but animals were taken there by men.
Not only did the men deal clumsily with the animals, they had difficulty in acting as
efficient intermediaries because they were unfamiliar with the practical problems of
husbandry, and less interested in them than women. A similar situation was recorded in
North Yemen (Maarse, 1981); in spite of the fact that women's duties associated with
cattle occupied five hours a day, contracts with the agricultural cooperative society
and the veterinary unit were almost exclusively made by men. Nor were there any women
among the management or employees of the cooperative. Men also arranged the servicing
of the cows by bulls.
29. In Peru rural services are intended to reach all people needing credit and technical
services. In practice in one area visited services were only available to heads of house-
holds in spite of the fact that in that area male heads of households migrate in search of
labour for a few months each year (Hanssen, 1983). This biased availability implied that
new possibilities for cattle breeding were greatly restricted.
30. It is not only in obtaining public services that women are at a disadvantage. This
can also be seen in cooperatives. In one country a condition for belonging to a dairy
cooperative was that the applicant owns cattle. In this country, therefore, although
women care for cattle in all households, only 10 percent can themselves go to obtain
cooperative services because only 10 percent of co-operators are women. All 9 000
cooperative staff in the country are men.
31. A similar percentage of male staff is usually seen on international technical teams
setting up technical and extension services. This can be particularly unhelpful when
such teams work in countries where women work with cattle but are segregated in public
life, as reported from one country. Such teams cannot possibly understand the farming
system and its constraints well since they cannot speak to the managers of the herds.
32. Examples of the difficulties women face in obtaining technical information and services
could have been cited in many developing countries. Large livestock are often the most
valuable asset that a smallholding family owns. It is not surprising, therefore, that the
ownership, management and transactions in livestock are seen to be the male domain even
though women provide much of the labour and expertise that makes them profitable. It is
awasteof scarce technical resources to provide them to the wrong people.
33. Kenya provides a slightly different example. There a study showed that extension
workers visiting farms found and spoke to women much more often than men (Chavangi, 1983).
However, since men still had much more technical information than their wives and were
making technical decisions, the wives had to act as intermediaries so that information was
inefficiently conveyed. This shows the need for more training for women so that they can
take a more positive role in decision making, and use technical information more
effectively. Because women cannot leave family or farm for extended periods, this will
require appropriate short or on-farm training courses. It may also require training in
an appropriate language; in Peru, for instance, many Quechua-speaking women do not speak
Spanish, the official language (Hanssen, 1983). It is possible that self-taught courses
could be useful in countries with high rates of literacy, such as many in the Caribbean.
(C) Payment to "owners" of the Livestock
34. Women often lose control of the product and the proceeds from sale as an accompaniment
to losing their role as processors or direct users of the milk. Family nutrition can
decline in consequence.
35. At a cooperative in Gujerat money.paid to the family for milk was sometimes claimed
by husbands where formerly the wives had sold the milk and received the cash. For many
women, therefore, cash in hand was reduced, and so was their purchasing power to buy
other foods. Furthermore, because men had formal ownership of cattle they were the
official cooperative members, and received the annual cash dividend on produce marketed,
despite the fact that women still performed most of the labour. In this case total
family income was considerably raised by the activities of the cooperative; whereas for
families with no cooperative membership sales of milk products constituted about 20 per-
cent of cash income, for cooperativemembers this rose to 50 percent (so that women were
providing half the family's earned income). However, it was not clear that this increased
marketing was improving family nutrition. Many families, particularly the poorest, were
selling a high proportion of their production and then buying other foods of perhaps less
nutritive value with the proceeds.
36. ti northwest Jordan the women's role in processing and trading in gemead, yoghurt,
ghee and cottage cheese has declined with greater commercialization. Families now sell
milk directly to the processing plants. Many older women, who used to work for other
women farmers processing milk, have lost employment and incomes partly because they lack
the literacy demanded by new processing and marketing methods. Families now have to buy
the processed foods they require, but instead often choose to reduce consumption (Basson,
1981). Once again, commercialization has led to a loss of earned income for women, and
reduced purchasing power for family welfare.
37. A similar situation is recorded in Kenya (Chavangi, 1983). Approximately 80 percent
of the national milk yield is produced in the small farm sector and it is estimated that
women contribute 85 percent of total labour input. Nevertheless, returns from milk sales
are not paid to them from the plants unless they are heads of households. On average
throughout the country such small farms sell 38 percent of the production (Raikes, 1981).
There are two interest points here. The first is that milk sales do not necessarily widen
the distribution of consumers of milk. Raikes has shown that in rural areas, "most milk
is drunk by richer rural inhabitants with their own cattle and the surplus is sold to the
inhabitants of smaller rural towns and villages" (p. 228).
38. The second point is one often overlooked in the discussion of price incentives; that
the price must in fact be obtained by the producers themselves if change in the price is
to cause change in productivity (Chavangi, 1983). If women are becoming unpaid labourers
within the family unit they will be unaffected by changes in milk (or even input) prices.
As Chavangi points out:
39. "Changes in economic incentives rarely influence the involvement of women in live-
stock activities as such changes rarely benefit the women directly. The women as indi-
viduals must be seen to directly benefit from any price incentives in order for their
input in terms of labour to be directed towards increased productivity. So long as the
men continue to enjoy any benefits arising from price incentives, then such incentives
fall short of encouraging increased labour input of the women aimed at increased produc-
tivity. This whole concept is governed by the ownership status of women in relation to
family properties. A need exists for the women to be legally supported in their demand
of a fair share of the family property as individuals in their own right and not just as
wives to the men."
40. A slightly different example also illustrates this point. Chavangi reports that
among the Luo tribe of Kenya where polygamy is still very prominent, the family herd is
divided among the wives so that each wife has her own herd. She is therefore responsible
for looking after the herd and any income from milk or milk products is theoretically hers.
In practice, however, the husband has a right to such income. The wife will not be allowed
to dispose of any of the cattle in her herd, but she is free to purchase additional cattle
and bring it into the herd. The women therefore have no legal ownership of the cattle and
should a wife, for any reason, leave the husband she cannot take away with her any animal,
including any that she may have purchased on her own.
41. It is reported that in Kenya the lack of rights to ownership of "family" cattle by
women has stimulated some women to form themselves into groups to run joint livestock
enterprises (Chavangi). Both the livestock and the proceeds are then unequivocally their
own. The issue of ownership is so important to them that even where the group activities
have not proved successful or profitable many women have preferred to continue them.
IV. LARGE FARM SECTOR
42. Brief mention will be made of the large farm sector. In a few developing countries
dairying occurs on large farms using highly capitalized production systems. This used
to be the case in Kenya, but output from this sector has shrunk to 20 percent now. In
Zimbabawe more than 97 percent of milk passing through the statutory dairy marketing board
comes from this sector but this too can be expected to decline as arrangements are made
for the collection of milk and butter fat from the small farm sector previously denied
this market. Women are rarely employed in such enterprises though it is reported from
Peru that they are sometimes employed as milkmaids as a cheaper alternative to expensive
machinery (Hanssen, 1983).
43. Many governments of developing countries have assumed that state farms would be much
more productive than the small farm sector or pastoralists, especially for beef produc-
tion. There has been high levels of investment by both governments and international aid
organizations into state-run ranching concerns. These have often failed to produce
profits despite high levels of investment. (See evidence for East Africa in Raikes,
1981). They have also competed for rangeland with family producers. It can be argued
that investment would be better spent in supporting small producers. This paper would
also argue that more understanding is required of just who the small producers really
are so that support can be better allocated. This is not to be taken as an argument.
against socialist collectivization, however exactly the same care is required in produc-
ing livestock policies in socialist countries so that cooperating members and their needs
are well identified.
V. RECOGNIZING WOMEN'S ROLE IN DAIRY PRODUCTION
44. Most developing countries are having trouble in keeping up with increasing demand for
milk and milk products, and many of them have to import (mainly from the EC) or receive
aid. There is no doubt that these countries will need to continue to pursue policies
to increase milk production in order to save valuable foreign exchange. As the examples
in this paper have shown, policies, projects and cooperative ventures will be undercut
if steps are not taken to improve the rewards to the actual managers of herds. This
would be unfortunate when such large sums of foreign aid are being currently spent in an
effort to increase productivity.
45. The evidence that has been presented may be briefly summarised:
(1) Due to their formal lack of rights of ownership, or even joint ownership,
of cattle or land, women who manage dairy cattle are often:
(a) not able to join dairy cooperatives themselves;
(b) not able to receive themselves the returns on sales to processing plants;
(c) not able to seek technical assistance or training themselves or, due
to lack of training, are not able to benefit properly from technical
assistance that is available;
(d) not able to apply for credit themselves.
(2) In some societies the difficulty of approaching technical staff is exacer-
bated by rules of modesty which do not allow women to discuss breeding
matters with male technical staff. In any society this may be difficult.
(3) With increased commercialization of processing of dairy products, either
through private enterprise or through the use of cooperatives or state-run
processing plants, women lose their role in processing and they lose the
income this generates, either in their own homes or working for others in
theirs. Again this is due to lack of access to technical expertise and
training, as well as to capital and credit. In most societies the world of
mechanization and business is considered the male domain. With generally
lower levels of education and with family responsibilities it is not easy
for women to gain employment in processing plants. So a traditional source
of petty cash is lost but the need for women to meet certain types of
family expenditure is not.
(4) In spite of reduced rewards the workload of women as the managers of the
herds and their milking is raised. This applies particularly to efforts
to improve nutrition, but improvement in disease control, management,
husbandry and breed improvement can all require greater labour intensity
(5) When women do not receive the returns for their production the link
between incentive and productivity can be lost so that the supply response
to a change in price in inhibited.
46. The result of the failure to appreciate the importance of women's role in dairy
production is that extension, technical and credit services are inefficiently delivered
since they do not reach the correct target group. Furthermore, technical offices are
not likely to understand production constraints since they will probably be unaware of
the very long hours many women work and the conflicts women face in allocating their
time. All this is likely to lead to unnecessary inefficiency in production.
47. Extension services and credit organizations wishing to reduce the bias in the
delivery of their services may need to find times and venues that do not conflict with
women's time constraints. Any technologies that improve labour productivity will be
particularly welcomed. For instance chaff cutters have proved useful even on fairly
small farms with ley systems in the Kenya Highlands (Chavangi).
48. Extension services which need to reach women farmers should also be encouraged
to train more women technical officers, especially veterinary technicians, so that women
can more easily discuss issues of oestrous detection, artificial insemination and breeding.
Interestingly here, it was seen in one case in India that both men and women would seek
such information from women veterinary officers but not both from men (Hanssen, 1983).
Village level or cooperative women technical aids might also be useful here.
49. Steps should be taken to prevent the loss of the link between work and reward by
making payments for milk to those responsible for managing the herds. It may also be
possible for collection plants to consider making smaller payments at shorter intervals
in order to hand petty cash to those responsible for family nutrition. However, it would
be better to ask women about this. They too have a need to collect money for investments
as the popularity of saving groups among women shows, so they may prefer lump sum payments
provided that they themselves receive them.
50. There are many examples of families holding back less of a food product once a market
has been created. This is of concern to nutritionists when the food has high nutritional
value, as milk has, and is not easily replaced by other foods. A great deal of research
is required in different countries to estimate the exact gains and losses to different
income strata, to families of different types and at different stages in the life cycle.
If the infants of the poorest families do suffer nutritionally when milk sales rise, as
some suspect, some new policy will be required.
51. Indian evidence indicates that the nutrition of children is more strongly correlated
with mother's income than aggregate family income (Kumar, 1977). If a higher proportion
of milk is sold than before and the mothers do not necessarily obtain access to this
income it can indeed be expected that nutrition levels will fall.
52. 1. Many different government departments and parastatals, such as credit institu-
tions, need to take measures to reduce "head of household" bias, and to find ways of
getting technical assistance and training to the appropriate people. It should be
recognized also that even when women are heads of households, or effective heads of
households in labour migrating economies, access to many services is either proscribed
2. In the short term it may be necessary to provide some services on a "women only"
basis. These might be credit to women's groups, technical training for women, extension
to women's groups, training in the bureaucratic aspects of running cooperatives, etc.
The services and courses must be run by the relevant technical ministries, such as the
Ministry of Livestock, not the Ministry of Women's Affairs. The provision of such ser-
vices would achieve two objectives:
(a) To reinforce in the minds of technical officers the fact that these people
were also their clients and required the services. It would also show them
that they may need to alter the mehtods of dissemination of the services so
that women can more easily benefit;
(b) to show women they have a need for the services themselves and the right to
ask for them, and that they need to upgrade their own (and their daughters')
literacy, numeracy and assertiveness in joint ventures.
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3. There is a need for many more women technical officers, especially veterinary
technicians and aids.
4. Processing plants under all types of management could consider paying returns to
milk producers at shorter intervals for use in the household, and could investigate
methods of payment to herd managers instead of those culturally considered the owners.
5. Many national governments may want to consider legislation which gives women
some rights to family property and to the returns from enterprises which they manage.
For some countries this will first require that women have majority status under law. In
addition, joint rights to land and livestock ownership would begin to give women the right
to claim income.
6. International organizations could do much to encourage the awareness of women's
major role in milk production at the small farm level, and its implications, for instance
for the orientation of research to encourage simple, labour saving technologies or to
evaluate the costs and benefits of different methods of milk collection. Where they are
helping to set up credit programmes or training courses they could encourage national
organizations to positively include women at all levels from courses for farmers to
7. There is a major gap in research concerning the behaviour of families provided
with a new market for their food products. In the case of milk, the product is of high
nutritional value and therefore particularly important.
Women and traditional food technologies: changes in rural
Jordan, In: Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 1981, Vol. 11,
Credit for rural women, some facts and lessons. Washington, D.C.
Office of Rural Development, August 1979.
The Kenyan Rural Woman in Milk Prodction and Village-Level
Milk Processing, FAO, May 1983.
Women's Role in the Livestock Sector in Africa with Special
Reference to Kenya, FAO, July 1983.
A Global Paper on Women's Role in the Livestock Sector: Milk
Animals Cows and Buffalo, FAO, July 1983.
A Socio-economic Study of Veld Management in the Tribal Areas
of Victoria Province, University of Rhodesia, Department of
Peruvian peasant women's work. In: Women in Latin America.
An anthology from Latin American Perspectives. California,
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Hanssen, A. and M.
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