Role of Heifer In-Trust schemes in Smallholder Household’s Well-Being in Semi-Arid Region of Shinyanga, Tanzania


Livestock-In-Kind Credit schemes has been used all-over the world to help the rural poor invest and save. Investment in livestock enables the rural poor to overcome shocks/risks and alleviate poverty. The Heifer in-Trust Schemes (HIS) was initiated in Shinyanga Region (semi-arid) to help reduce food and income insecurity of smallholder households. However, there exists an information gap on the schemes role to the beneficiaries’ well-being. As such, this study aimed at determining the role of heifer-in-trust schemes in smallholder household’s wellbeing. It adopted a cross-sectional research design. Data from 202 randomly selected HIS beneficiaries were collected using a structured questionnaire. In addition, five focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to supplement the data collected through the questionnaire. Results showed that the dairy enterprise was the major source of food and income. Results further show that households’ food security increased in terms of the number and diversity of meals taken per day and income increased from milk and animal sales. It is concluded that investing in dairy farming is vital for smallholder households’ well-being.




Heifer in-trust schemes, Smallholder farming households, Well-being, Semi-arid, Tanzania