The marketing of sheep and goats from two pastoral systems in Kenya
The problem of sub-optimal offtake of sheep and boats from the maasai production system is investigated. The study uses a comparative approach, taking the Baringo livestock production system as an example from which offtake of sheep and goats has largely been commercialised. Forty-six livestock producers (sellers) and fifty-six buyers were interviewed as they transacted livestock at the Baringo and Kajiado markets. A structure - Conduct - Performance model has been applied in comparing the results. Further, ordinary least squares regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA) techniques have been applied in analysing the main variables that determine prices and liveweights of the small ruminants transacted in Baringo auction markets. A total of 1481 ruminant market transactions were used in these analyses, The results showed that Baringo producers routinely sold their smaLl ruminants at competitive auction markets spread in the major production areas of the district. The concentration of the sellers at these markets was low and the buyers were moderately concentrated. The Kajiado small ruminant markets were characterised by irregular and insufficient supplies. Non-Maasai traders rarely hud direct access to the producers in Kajiado and market prices were aetermined through a one-to-one bargaining method at all the livestock markets. Marketing efficiencies were largely determIned by the mode employed in transporting livestock and the extent to which traders integrated vertically. Body condition, a proxy for weight and meat quality, was a major determinant of market pr ice. Consequently, the castrates, most of them in good to excellent body condition, commanded premium prices.