Income inequality in Malaysian livestock sector

Livestock farming is one of the sources of rural income in Malaysia. However, opportunities for extra income from non-farm activities are expanding in parallel with economic growth. This study aimed to identify the contribution of each income source to overall income and the level of income inequality in each livestock farmers’ economic activity. It also attempted to examine the relationship between the socio-economic parameters and the participation in farm and non- farm activities. Survey questionnaires from 719 livestock operators from the Study of Agriculture Modernization in Malaysia (2005/2006) obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry were used. The relationships were discussed using the descriptive analysis, Gini index measurement and probit estimation. Analysis showed that the portion of non-farm income in total income was relatively small although it contributed to the reduction of income inequality. The focus of improvements should be more to ruminant farmers because of their tendency to be involved in non-farm activities. Intensive system with the appropriate scale of production would ensure better prospects of income. Opportunities for non-farm income were mostly available for educated and experienced farmers, lived longer in specific location as well as the adequacy of farm labour in their livestock enterprise.

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