Factors influencing camel production in Kenya: a case of Gabra pastoralist community of Marsabit North district, Marsabit county
Despite being very important animal to pastoralist livelihood in arid and semi arid rangeland of northern Kenya, camel production as domestic livestock had little attention from the extension services agents and researchers in the past. This research study established the relationship between camel production management system by considering factors like breeds, feeds, extension services, disease control and marketing of camel and camel's products among Gabra pastoralist community in Marsabit North District of Marsabit County. However little has been done on camel production and marketing inorder to benefit the Gabra pastoralist community of Marsabit North District of Marsbat County in order to maximize their economic gain from camel. Camel returns are low due to poor access to market, lack of extension service and poor disease control. The objectives of the study were to establish the relationship between breeds and camel production, feeds and camel production, diseases and camel production, extension services and marketing in relation to Camel production. A descriptive survey was used in this study and use of questionnaires, interviews and focal group discussion was the instrument for this study. In the study data was collected from 150 respondents which were 15% of the target population through Random and cluster sampling. The collected data was coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science. Descriptive statistic, frequency tables and percentages were used to present the data. The study found that most Gabra herders keep Gabra camel (51.7%), breeds. Camel herders normally go round looking for browses and water for their camel (78.1 %), with an intension of moving the camel to the selected preferred browse. Different browses have different nutritive value that has vitamins, mineral elements, high moisture content, protein and carbohydrates. The study findings report showed strong relationship between all the factors influence camel production studied. Camel diseases had strong relationship with correlation coefficient of 0.92, feeds with 0.82, extension services with 0.78, camel and camel products marketing with 0.69 and breeds least with 0.64. The study also showed that all the variables are positively significant ranging from 0.021 to 0.025. The study therefore recommends that the government, NGO's and community leaders should take the initiative of training the camel keepers on camel production. This research study is important to policy makers, ministry of livestock, researcher and other stakeholders to be informed and make decision on camel production interventions.
University of Nairobi, Kenya