Small ruminants play an important role in the development of rural mass and contribute to the livelihood of millions of poor by offering immense opportunities and potential for improvement of income and employment generation. They have maintained almost steady growth rate over the years. The socio-economic status of small ruminant farmers of three different agro-climatic zones of Karnataka was studied using a structured interview schedule. This study confirms that small ruminants are most suitable livestock for landless and small farmers. Majority of the farmers belonged to backward castes, illiterates, had small family size and gaining handful of income from small ruminants. Sheep and goats act as cash buffer and reduce the risk of crop failure in mixed farming systems. So, these species have an impact on livelihood of the rearers.
socio-economic status, small ruminants