A sociological appraisal is essential in determining strategies for development. Technical and economic appraisals are also necessary, but are insufficient on their own.
Socio-cultural factors contribute to the wide variety of response of livestock keepers even under identical economic conditions. Many socio-cultural factors affect livestock production.
Below are a few effects that I have found out for you to avoid or change if you can.
Perception of species
For example, some communities ban ducks, as they are presumed dirty and destructive to drinking water supplies. Some communities regard pigeons as a sign of peace and concord. In such communities, the presence of pigeons is regarded as a good omen, and their departure would presage disaster.
In other communities, pigeons are regarded as an evil omen, since they are used by native doctors in sinister rituals.
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Ceremonial use of poultry
The value placed upon poultry for use at ceremonies and festivals or even as a source of income in times of need but not as a source of daily food nor as a regular source of income.
Some regard chickens as their pets or part of the family, thus it is only the arrival of an important unexpected visitor that could allow their use as food, although they can be sold without regret and the money utilized.
High value placed on crop production
Another major constraint to poultry production is the high value placed upon crop production rather than livestock production. This affects the willingness to put much time, expense and effort into livestock production.
Theft is also a great constraint. Villagers who have lost all their poultry to theft may be reluctant to face the expense of starting again.
The social norm that determines ownership of livestock. Typically, where crop farming is the men’s main activity, keeping livestock is perceived as a peripheral activity relegated to women and children. However, when the number of livestock increases, men usually take over the activity.
It should not be assumed that socio-cultural factors can be changed. However, by incorporating socio-cultural factors into development strategies, the programmes and technologies may encounter less resistance. Development programmes, which combine local knowledge with western science, yield strategies which are culturally more acceptable.
Sociocultural factors are thus not seen as a problem, but rather as a factor to be considered or used in finding a solution.
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