Economic impact of foot and mouth disease outbreaks onsmallholder farmers in Ethiopia

W.T. Jemberu, Monique C.M. Mourits, T. Woldehanna, H. Hogeveen

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Foot and mouth disease is endemic in Ethiopia with occurrences of several outbreaks everyyear. Quantitative information about the impact of the disease on smallholder farming sys-tems in the country is, however, scarce. This study presents a quantitative assessment ofthe clinical and direct economic impacts of foot and mouth disease outbreaks on house-hold level in smallholder livestock farming systems. Impacts were assessed based on dataobtained from case outbreaks in cattle in crop–livestock mixed and pastoral smallholderfarming systems that occurred in 2012 and 2013. Data were collected by using question-naires administered to 512 smallholder farmers in six districts within two administratezones that represent the two smallholder farming systems. Foot and mouth disease morbid-ity rates of 85.2% and 94.9% at herd level; and 74.3% and 60.8% at animal level in the affectedherds were determined for crop–livestock mixed system and pastoral system, respectively.The overall and calf specific mortality rates were 2.4% and 9.7% for the crop–livestock mixedsystem, and 0.7% and 2.6% for the pastoral system, respectively. Herd level morbidity ratewas statistically significantly higher in the pastoral system than in the crop–livestock mixedsystem (P <0.001). The economic losses of foot and mouth disease outbreak due to milkloss, draft power loss and mortality were on average USD 76 per affected herd and USD 9.8per head of cattle in the affected herds in crop–livestock mixed system; and USD 174 peraffected herd and USD 5.3 per head of cattle in the affected herds in the pastoral system.The herd level economic losses were statistically significantly higher for the pastoral sys-tem than for the crop–livestock mixed system (P <0.001). The major loss due to the diseaseoccurred as a result of milk losses and draft power losses whereas mortality losses wererelatively low. Although the presented estimates on the economic losses accounted only forthe visible direct impacts of the disease on herd level, these conservative estimates signifya potential socioeconomic gain from a control intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-36
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • southern cambodia
  • livelihoods
  • vaccination


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