A new set of state-of-the art maps will help Uganda target livestock infrastructure investments and reduce poverty.
Livestock is an essential part of Uganda’s culture, diet, and economy. Because more than 70 percent of Ugandans own livestock, improvements in livestock health and productivity can have a direct effect on the incomes and economic prospects of many of the nation’s residents—particularly the rural poor.
But where should the government focus investments? New spatial analysis can help reveal the answer.
A primary challenge for government agencies working on development issues is coordination – planning and implementing effective interventions across multiple sectors and actors. Data is often siloed, with poverty figures kept separately from information on livestock.
Mapping a Better Future: Spatial Analysis and Pro-Poor Livestock Strategies in Uganda, published last week by the Ugandan government and the World Resources Institute, combines social data and livestock information to yield new insights into the poverty-livestock relationship.
By examining the spatial relationships between poverty, current livestock systems and services, and animal-borne disease hotspots, the maps illustrate economic opportunities, and will help the government target the right areas for new infrastructure, health interventions, and livestock land management.
For instance, maps showing milk surplus and deficit areas highlight geographic differences in market opportunities for poor dairy farmers. About 3.5 million Ugandans currently live in areas that produce more milk than their residents consume. At the same time, approximately 800,000 poor people live in areas that do not produce enough milk. This information can help policymakers, dairy researchers and development agencies support poor farmers and invest in appropriate infrastructure in regions where it is most needed – including infrastructure to help farmers with surplus get their products to other markets.
Dairy development hubs, where farmers’ milk is bulked and cooled, and where they can access credit and training, serve as community anchors. This map shows that these hubs are more likely to be located in more prosperous areas.
Mapping a Better Future is the third installment in a series of publications using maps and spatial analysis to reduce poverty in Uganda. Two previous reports targeted wetlands and water and sanitation. By providing illustrative maps and analyses of their policy repercussions, the reports demonstrate how information on the location and severity of poverty can assist decision-makers in all sectors to set intervention priorities, stimulate economic growth, and protect the Uganda’s most vulnerable citizens.