Animals play a very huge role in the agricultural economy in developing countries like Kenya. Improved efficiency of animal agriculture is crucial to achieving sustainable agricultural development and food security, particularly in low-income, food-deficit countries.
Animals contribute to development of an economy in the following ways;
- Animals are a source of food – Humans depend on animals for food at a rate of 70%
- Source of income – Animals are a source of income to many small scale farmers. They generate income through selling animal products such as meat, milk and eggs
- Generator of employment – sectors like the processing units in factories are great generators of employment to people.
- Source of energy – animals like the donkeys are used to pull carts and plough, which results to high returns in the agricultural sector. Also, their dung is used in biogas production, which saves on fuel
- Weed control – animals are used to clear weeds on farms, resulting to high production and a stable economy in return
- A source of investment and savings – animals are seen as a source of investment. This is because animals can be sold to meet petty cash requirements
- Social – Cultural significance – In many societies, animals are used for rituals and religious purposes. This role may not be attached to monetary values but events that involve animals in cultural and social events command very high prices.