Climate Change / East Africa / ILRI / Pastoralism

Livestock Value Chain Analysis in the Athi Kaputiei Plains

The livestock value chain analysis is part of a larger project within the Kaputiei Open Plains Project (KOPP).  KOPP Area is located in Kajiado District, in an area referred to as the three triangles. Here the local communities are pastoralists capitalizing on extensive grazing under communal land ownership. However, land privatization and subdivision of rangeland has reduced landholdings to units which are insufficient to enable them to meet their basic food and household requirements under typical rangeland conditions.

The KOPP’s overriding objective is to lay the necessary foundation to secure open rangelands and sustainable livelihoods in Kaputiei over the long-term. The main targets of the project include: securing 60,000 hectares of priority conservation land; and generating $500,000 in livestock value chain improvement and $300,000 through tourism deals. 

Towards achieving the goal to generate $500,000 from an improved livestock value chain, the value chain in the KOPP area was analysed.  The strategy is to find ways to exploit the potential of livestock production under this pastoral system that is undergoing rapid changes with regard to climate change and land tenure, use and management in Kajiado in order to improve:- (a) quality of livestock, (b) efficiency of livestock and livestock markets, (c) support relevant production and value addition technologies and hygiene for livestock and their products.

To generate this information that would inform on the above interventions, the value chain analysis carried out the following activities: (a) Identified the markets, (b) Determined market channels and trends within the market, (c) Identified the primary actors, (d) Value Chain data analysis, (e) Identified the barriers to performance within and between chains.

The livestock value chain in the KOPP areas can be summarized in three major steps, livestock production, livestock marketing and meat marketing between production zone and livestock markets near urban towns mainly Nairobi and its environs. Three terminal markets, Isinya, Kitengela and Kiserian were identified in the area and they are based outside informal private slaughter houses.  These were the main sales points though some animals were bought at village markets outside.  Overall the livestock sector is still poorly developed with low a degree of differentiation. However, it emerged that the main actors were: producers, livestock traders, meat wholesalers, slaughter houses, meat traders/agents, retailers/processors, large retailers.

Livestock prices in the KOPP area vary depending on species, age and sex. Breeding bulls and rams carry the highest price tags in all species. There was no clear pattern in the main purchase and sales months between all the actors. However, in the attributes that they looked for between each group, there was upto 80% correlation in the sought after characteristics with apparent weight, measured weight and animal condition being very important attributes at purchase.  Most information on production and marketing was got through word of mouth.  The risks that were ranked the highest by all actors in the chain were climate and disease.  The greatest constraint in this value chain was the variability in prices.

Establishment of a Market Access Company (MAC), Market Information Systems (MIS) and fair trade systems will lead to the achievement of the goals of improved livestock values chain in the KOPP area as well as contributing to the main objective of securing open rangelands and sustainable livelihoods of the community.

Presented by: Michael Kibue

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