Characteristics Of Ruminant Production Systems In Southeastern Kenya PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 03 August 2011 06:03
Ndathi A. J.N. 1*, Moses M Nyangito2, Nashon K.R. Musimba3 and Barnabas N. Mitaru4

1Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kiboko

2UoN, Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology

3South Eastern University College, Kitui, Kenya.

4Department of Animal Production, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

* corresponding author: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


A survey was conducted to characterize the ruminant livestock production systems in the agropastoral area of southeastern Kenya. The characterization was to identify the determinants of the key ruminant production systems. Systematic sampling was to collect data on main transect cutting through each of the three major Agroecological zone in the study area. Sampling was done after every one Mile. Farming is the main occupation and livestock production the main source of income. Cattle and goats were identified as the most important ruminants with the goat being the more preferred species. The ruminants were kept mainly as a store of value that would be converted to cash whenever a need arise. Among the products and services from the ruminants, milk was most valued for both cattle and goats. Livestock were raised through the free ranging system on natural pastures on largely individually owned land parcels. The most important factors influencing the household choice between the cattle and the goats were found to be the Agroecological zone, the land size per Adult Equivalent and the land ownership rights.

Key words: Drylands, Agro-pastoral, Ruminants, Production systems, Kenya

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