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Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences (2011)

Investigating the economic potential of pastoralism : the case of Maasai pastoral beef chain in Kajiado district Kenya

Ngochembo Gaston G.

Titre : Investigating the economic potential of pastoralism : the case of Maasai pastoral beef chain in Kajiado district Kenya

Auteur : Ngochembo Gaston G.

Université de soutenance : Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences

Grade : Master in Agricultural Production Chain management, specializing in livestock production chains 2011

Résumé partiel
This research investigated the economic viability of pastoral cattle producers in the Rift Valley Province Kajiado District of Kenya, with the aim to make recommendation for possible improvement strategies and contribute to the debate about pastoralism at KIT. The main research problem was low productivity of Maasai pastoral cattle in which, over 75% of the herd size usually has low body weight at point of sales. Low body weight of cattle in the region is attributed to poor management, insufficient feeding and deficient water supply, consequently pastoralists are offered low price per animal. Therefore, survey questionnaires were administered to 45 pastoral producers as the primary method to gather data. A case study was also implemented with three pastoralists to gather more in-depth information as well as in-depth interview with 15 other stakeholders amongst which were, traders, butchers, transporters, restaurants and services providers. From the findings, it can be argued that cattle production in Kajiado is one of the main economic activities in the region, and pastoral producers have not only been able to transformed ways in which production is conducted, through migration in search for water and forage but also to mitigate production risks irrespective of age. It was also observed that, pastoral producers have become resilient to climate change based on their flexible and opportunistic life style. Some have succeeded in diversifying along the beef chain by taking on trading and butchering function, that in the past many have had to abandon cattle production. Diversifications was observed to be possible as a result of embedded trust pastoralists have in their social networks and relationships, which had help them to reinforced the adoption of risk-minimizing strategies such as sharing/swapping of production resources, donations of cattle to poorer members of the family and search for more profit activities around livestock production. It can be conclude that, pastoralists are able to deal with some major production challenges with their own efforts.

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