Determinants of farmers’ preference for alternative animal health service providers in Kenya: a proportional hazard application
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One hundred and eighty farmers in the semiarid Makueni district, Kenya, were surveyed using a structured questionnaire. The objective was to assess factors that influence farmers' preference for alternative veterinary service providers following the liberalization of veterinary services. A proportional hazard model was fitted to the data because of its ability to accommodate simultaneously the attributes of both the chooser and the choice. Of the three service providers considered in the study, community-based animal health workers were the most preferred followed by veterinary surgeons and animal health assistants. Farmers' age and education level were inversely but significantly related to the probability of choosing any of the three service providers. Distance to the preferred service provider was the main choice-specific attribute with a significant impact on the choice probability. A high preference for community-based animal health workers was noted suggesting the possibility of poorly trained animal health workers dominating the veterinary services market in remote areas of Kenya. Efforts geared toward the legalization of community-based animal health workers in Kenya and elsewhere in the developing countries should first address the constraints that hinder the penetration of professional veterinary service providers in remote areas.