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Title: Socio-economic factors influencing livestock keeping dynamics in a smallholder crop-livestock system in Western Kenya
Author: Thuranira, C. M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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The purpose of the work was to gain an understanding of the factors that influence household decision-making on the allocation of household resources and how these impact on the ability to own and successfully look after livestock. Livestock keeping dynamics were examined in terms of factors such as herd structures, production parameters, the ways in which households acquired and lost livestock and the characteristics of households entering and leaving livestock keeping. The study was undertaken in Funyula and Butula Divisions in Busia, Western Kenya and was carried out by means of a two-year longitudinal survey. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were employed in the form of questionnaires and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercises. Busia district has a typical smallholder crop-livestock production system with most households relying on crops as their main livelihood strategy and livestock being kept as a means of income diversification. The majority of animals entering livestock holdings were born into the holdings and there was only a 3% increase in the number of livestock keeping households over 2 years. Households purchasing animals generally bought the same species as they had sold. The proportion of animals lost through death ranged from 27% to 33% among the all livestock species and the majority of these deaths were disease related. A quarter of cattle sales were directly attributed to disease and between 5% and 7% of cattle and small ruminants were sold because they were ‘unproductive’, a factor that can often be linked to the presence of disease. Livestock disease episodes were higher during the long rains than the dry season, but more money was spent during the dry season when numbers of disease episodes were low. The provision of credit to farmers would help enable farmers make the initial investment in livestock and in the appropriate management of their animals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available