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Stratified Livestock Production Adds Value to Pastoral Cattle: Evidence from the Drylands of Kenya
Abstract and Figures
In Africa’s pastoral production systems, the body condition of livestock declines during the dry season when grazing resources become scarce, resulting in lean animals that fail to meet terminal market requirements and therefore fetch low prices. In Kenya, stratified livestock production (SLP) systems in which cattle are purchased from pastoral areas and fattened in other areas where the conditions are more favourable for their growth, are increasingly being adopted. This study evaluated the existing SLP systems practised by ranchers, traders, and agro-pastoralists as options for improving the body condition and market value of cattle produced in the arid and semi-arid pastoral areas. Data on the live weights of cattle at the time of purchase and sale, the costs of purchase and fattening, and the selling prices were collected for the period of January 2010 to June 2016. The results showed that the cattle fattened by the ranchers, traders and agro-pastoralists had average daily weight gains (± SD per animal) of 0.24 ± 0.07 kg (n = 601), 0.39 ± 0.13 kg (n = 240), 0.24 ± 0.08 kg (n = 140), respectively. In addition, the average net revenues (± SD per animal) (in USD) for the ranchers, traders and agro-pastoralists were 61.7 ± 34.2, 81.3 ± 44.0, and 55.9 ± 36.6, respectively. The results imply that SLP is effective in improving body condition and market value of lean cattle from pastoral areas. The findings are expected to inform the development of pastoral cattle value chain in Kenya and other areas with a similar condition. Keywords: Livestock fattening, Weight gain, Net revenue, Pastoral production, Marketing
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