Are integrated livestock disease-management practices complements or substitutes? The case of AAT control in rural Ethiopia

Livestock, particularly cattle, are an integral part of livelihoods in rural sub-Saharan Africa. However, diseases such as African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) have limited the potential of this important sector in the rural household economy. Using a representative sample of small-scale cattle farmers, this study investigates the adoption of modern AAT-management technologies in rural Ethiopia. Specifically, this study investigates the adoption of so-called ‘best-bet technologies’ (BBTs), recommended by veterinary experts as complementary measures to manage AAT. The results show that the multiple adoption of BBTs was low. In addition, BBTs were adopted as substitutes, and not as complements as suggested by veterinary experts. The results suggest budgetary constraints are proxied by wealth, and information asymmetry explains the substitution effects. The training and re-education of veterinary personnel, as well as programmes and interventions that would improve access to livestock-management inputs, should be pursued vigorously by policy makers to increase the adoption of modern AAT-management technologies to improve cattle productivity.