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Open AccessArticle

Beef Production in the Rangelands: A Comparative Assessment between Pastoralism and Large-Scale Ranching in Laikipia County, Kenya

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Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
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Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development, P.O. Box 144, 10400 Nanyuki, Kenya
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Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(9), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10090399
Received: 20 July 2020 / Revised: 25 August 2020 / Accepted: 28 August 2020 / Published: 11 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
Beef production in Kenya is the forte of pastoralists and large-scale ranches in the Arid and Semi-Arid areas. Cross sectional data was collected from 67 pastoralists and seven large-scale ranches, selected through multistage stratified sampling. Comparative descriptive statistics, gross margin analysis and analysis of production constraints were done with the objective of assessing the pastoralists and large-scale ranches direct economic gains, constraints to production and potential for upgrading. Gross margin analysis showed that beef production is profitable for both pastoralists and large-scale ranches. However, large-scale ranches had much higher gross margins of up to six times more. There were significant differences in the live weight of cattle, prices and livestock selling channels and cost of production. Drought, livestock diseases, invasive plant species, lack of water and human-wildlife conflict were among factors limiting productivity of pastoralists. The difference in gross margins indicates existing potential for pastoralists to improve their earnings through a combination of product, process, and functional upgrading. Addressing key constraints to production can contribute to better gains and strengthen coexistence between pastoralists and large-scale ranches. Strategies and programmes to enhance cattle fattening, provision of livestock extension services, affordable feed inputs and collaboration between the two production systems should be considered in upgrading. View Full-Text
Keywords: pastoralists; constraints; large-ranches; gross margin pastoralists; constraints; large-ranches; gross margin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mwangi, V.; Owuor, S.; Kiteme, B.; Giger, M. Beef Production in the Rangelands: A Comparative Assessment between Pastoralism and Large-Scale Ranching in Laikipia County, Kenya. Agriculture 2020, 10, 399. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10090399

AMA Style

Mwangi V, Owuor S, Kiteme B, Giger M. Beef Production in the Rangelands: A Comparative Assessment between Pastoralism and Large-Scale Ranching in Laikipia County, Kenya. Agriculture. 2020; 10(9):399. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10090399

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mwangi, Veronica; Owuor, Samuel; Kiteme, Boniface; Giger, Markus. 2020. "Beef Production in the Rangelands: A Comparative Assessment between Pastoralism and Large-Scale Ranching in Laikipia County, Kenya" Agriculture 10, no. 9: 399. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10090399

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