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Donkey ownership provides a range of income benefits to the livelihoods of rural households in northern Ghana

Maggs, H. C. ORCID:, Ainslie, A. and Bennett, R. M. (2021) Donkey ownership provides a range of income benefits to the livelihoods of rural households in northern Ghana. Animals, 11 (11). ISSN 2076-2615

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/ani11113154


Donkeys provide important resources and benefits for millions of people worldwide. However, global donkey populations are under increasing pressure from the growing demand for a traditional Chinese medicine, e’jiao, made from donkey-skin. The objective of this reflexive, qualitative thematic analysis was to examine the role of donkeys with 262 participants in northern Ghana and how donkeys contribute to livelihood outcomes, especially their use by women and children. Data was collected from four surveys, 12 in-depth interviews and 84 daily time budgets with the same participants, plus 16 focus groups, during one wet and one dry season across 2018-19. Uniquely, boys and girls between the ages of 10–16-years old were interviewed. Donkeys are highly valued by their owners as they play a valuable role in providing a pathway out of ultra-poverty. Donkeys’ contributions to livelihoods are significant and more complex than previously understood and documented in the literature. Donkey ownership confers up to six different income benefits in comparison to non-donkey owners. Female owners of donkeys reported that donkeys can contribute between 30–60% of their income. Children of both sexes can play an important role in the efficient deployment of one of these income generating activities.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of International Development
ID Code:101178
Uncontrolled Keywords:income generation, gender, children, donkey hire, human-animal interaction


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