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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2018 → An actor-oriented approach to analyze post-harvest losses : reducing economic loss in pastoral sheep and goat supply chains from northern Kenya

University of Kassel (2018)

An actor-oriented approach to analyze post-harvest losses : reducing economic loss in pastoral sheep and goat supply chains from northern Kenya

Roba, Guyo Malicha

Titre : An actor-oriented approach to analyze post-harvest losses : reducing economic loss in pastoral sheep and goat supply chains from northern Kenya

Auteur : Roba, Guyo Malicha

Université de soutenance : University of Kassel

Grade : Doktor der Agrarwissenschaften (Dr. Agr.) 2018

Sommaire partiel
Livestock production is crucial to the livelihoods of up to 8 million pastoralists in Kenya and contributes an estimated 35-40% of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In particular, sale of small ruminants (sheep and goats) are important for ensuring regular household income to cover day-to-day expenses or for diversifying production when funds are used for the purchase of large ruminants. Despite the importance of livestock marketing in pastoral areas of Kenya, currently livestock trade is not very profitable for pastoralists and local traders. The unfavourable terms of trade along the pastoral livestock supply chains are attributed to many structural challenges, such as, price volatility, information asymmetries, high transaction costs, and weak livestock marketing policies. These result in post-harvest losses (PHLs), in the form of quantity (reduced weight and number), quality (altered physical characteristics) and economic losses (difference between the potential economic benefit and actual economic benefit). Altogether, the aforementioned challenges create unfavourable market conditions that disadvantage both pastoralists and local traders. In northern Kenya, the interest of development practitioners and researchers to resolve these multiple challenges in pastoral livestock supply chains led to development projects to “link pastoralists to market”. In this search for solutions, a common approach was the development of market infrastructures, which were thought to translate into benefits for pastoralists. However, such measures have had little success in addressing problematic situations affecting pastoral livestock marketing. Reasons for such failures can be attributed to limited understanding of how pastoral livestock supply chains function. In particular, little is known about specific activities and relations of inter-connected actors that shape supply chain operations in pastoral contexts. Knowledge on the actors and their activities connecting the ‘upstream’ (closer to producers) and ‘downstream’ (closer to terminal market) of the chain is necessary to understand the ‘flow’ of livestock from pastoral areas, in relation to specific market demands. To account for the importance of the views, interests and values of the actors involved in the sheep and goat supply chains, this thesis used an actor-oriented approach and conceptualized the supply chain as a human activity system. The broader aim of this thesis is to contribute towards the reduction of post-harvest losses in sheep and goat supply chains in northern Kenya by applying an actor-oriented analysis to improve the understanding of the operation and functioning of this chain. Emphasize is put on the investigation of producers’ and traders’ perspectives on their activities, relations, information needs and information gaps and their economic performance to identify constraints and improvements that are relevant within their context of activities. Thereby, this thesis also aims at generating knowledge relevant for actions by the government, NGOs and others development organizations in northern Kenya which can contribute to the improvement of pastoral livestock supply chains. The thesis has three specific objectives : 1. To examine the activity system of traders and to differentiate the roles of different types of local traders in linking pastoralists to markets ; 2. To assess relationships between actors in sheep and goat supply chains in northern Kenya, with special attention to information flow along the chain ; 3. To analyze economic performance in pastoral sheep and goat supply chains with specific focus on local traders’ marketing costs and profits. Mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) have been used for data collection and analysis. Field work was conducted over 12 months. Between July 2014 and October 2016 data was collected in lower Laisamis sub-county in southern Marsabit and subsequently worked up along the chain towards the downstream terminal market in Nairobi.


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