Mavuno discovered that 71% of community members have some form of domestic livestock, but 98% share the same house with their animals (a practice detrimental to public health). In addition, many households reported challenges properly caring for their animals, particularly in terms of preventing and treating disease and frequency lose animals that are valuable assets to the family. They often lack access to technical training and markets needed to support income generation.
Raising livestock as an additional opportunity to support food security and increase income. For many smallholder farmers, livestock can serve as a source of cash to buy inputs for crop production, can supplement nutrition, and animals are more mobile in the event of population displacement. Income from agriculture is highly seasonal, but livestock can provide community members with a regular source of income that can be invested in school fees, health and sanitation, and other household needs.
Mavuno's theory of change states that a combination of human and economic develop leads to ending extreme poverty. Equipping communities with the knowledge, skills, and basic inputs needed to develop livestock businesses produces sustainable results. Incorporating livestock into other economic opportunities gives villages the ability to diversify income and invest more in school fees, healthcare costs, or savings.