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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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... Nevertheless, other forms of SCP have increasingly been adopted since 1999/2000, especially in the country's coastal region, where traders lease ranches to fatten pastoral cattle (Mahmoud 2006;Farmer and Mbwika 2012). This was triggered by the profitability of fattening pastoral cattle, which is approximately US$55À81 per animal (Dabasso et al. 2019). Three forms of SCP were being adopted À that practiced by ranchers, by traders and by agro-pastoralists. ...
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Context Stratified cattle production (SCP) systems, which involve buying lean animals from pastoral areas and fattening them in locations that have better production conditions, are re-emerging in Kenya’s drylands. Aims This study investigated how pastoralists in the drylands of Kenya endeavour to fulfil cattle marketing requirements under the SCP systems. Methods Purposefully identified cattle fattening entrepreneurs in Tana River (n = 10) and Narok (n = 12) counties were interviewed on the requirements they demand in buying animals from pastoralists. Using the information generated from the entrepreneurs, pastoralists (Tana River, n = 10; Narok, n = 12) were interviewed on how they respond to the entrepreneurs’ requirements and make sales. The information was triangulated with a focus group discussion in each county whose members were knowledgeable traders and pastoralists. Using a semi-structured questionnaire, randomly selected pastoral households (Tana River, n = 86; Narok, n = 69) were interviewed on cattle sales made through SCP systems. Key results The results showed that under the SCP systems, pastoralists in the two counties were required to sell cattle of particular qualities, comply with unpredictable supply orders, sell in secondary markets or near urban centres, use sale agents and undertake high commercial off-take rates if the demand arose. To meet these requirements, the pastoralists devised several strategies and practices, including changes in the animal husbandry practices, keeping ‘emergency’ animals in the home-based herds to comply with unpredictable demands, arrangements with market intermediaries to sell in secondary markets and building buyer–seller trust to facilitate sales through agents. In adopting these practices, pastoralists in both counties managed to sell approximately one or two animals per household through the SCP systems over a period of 12 months, which accounted for ~28% of the annual commercial cattle off-take from the households. Conclusion Pastoralists change their management practices in response to livestock marketing requirements and challenges, enhancing their integration into the market economy. Implication The information could guide stakeholders to formulate strategies for improving pastoralists’ involvement in cattle marketing through SCP systems.
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Helminths include one of the most diverse and geographically widespread groups of parasites which infect humans and animals. About 100 species have been reported from humans, usually producing asymptomatic infection or mild symptoms. However, about 20 species are of public health importance causing severe or even fatal infections. In many parts of Africa parasitic helminths are responsible for enormous economic losses, hampering rural development programmes and reducing the pace of economic growth. Many parasitic helminths are either zoonoses (diseases naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man) or have evolved from animal parasites. The modification of the environment through wars, famine and the ever expanding and increasingly mobile human population brings people into close contact with new environments and wildlife species which makes the study and control of zoonoses of special interest and complexity. In Africa, the transmission of helminth parasites is highly influenced by the ever changing social and cultural differences between diverse groups of peoples and their interaction with wild and domestic animals. It is not surprising, therefore, that approaches to the study and control of parasitic zoonoses require intersectoral cooperation between physicians, veterinarians, parasitologists, zoologists, demographers, anthropologists, engineers and economists to provide the breadth of knowledge and expertise required to develop our understanding of these diseases and to devise methods for their control. This book provides a selective compilation of parasitic helminths, many of which are zoonoses which create important economic and public health problems in Africa.