Determinants Of Cattle Market Prices In Maasailand: A Garch-M Application
Mbogoh, Stephen G.
Gathuma, Joseph M.
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Livestock keepers namely, pastoralists in the arid and semi-arid land areas (ASALs) of Kenya face many marketing constraints. The imposition of livestock movement restrictions by the veterinary authorities as a strategy for livestock diseases control is one of them. There a number of life-threatening livestock diseases that are endemic in the ASALs of Kenya such as Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP) that justify the case for livestock diseases control, A CBPP Control Quarantine Line (CQL) that is intended to help prevent the spread of the CBPP from the arid districts of north-eastern Kenya to the rest of the country has been in existence in Kenya since the colonial (pre-1963) times. However, this CQL has been of great concern to the pastoralists from the arid north-eastern Kenya because they view it as an impediment to their main source of livelihoods. Available literature indicates that there is a dearth of information on the economics of livestock diseases control and the impacts of this control on the welfare of the pastoralists in the ASALs of Kenya. Therefore, this article attempts to narrow down that information gap by examining the efficacy and economics of livestock diseases control in the ASALs of Kenya, using the CQL as a case study. The study is based on the review of relevant literature and interviews with key stakeholders in the livestock industry in Kenya. Data analysis included modelling disease, risk and cost-benefit. A key finding of the study is that there is a widely held view among the pastoralists and livestock traders that CBPP is not a serious problem despite some officially recorded evidence that CBPP is a major threat to the cattle industry, especially in the arid border districts of Kenya. To contain the CBPP menace in Kenya, the government incurs a fairly high annual expenditure in excess of Kenya Shillings (KShs) 287.5 million on CBPP surveillance and control in the arid north-eastern districts of the country, in addition to the costs of operating and maintaining the CQL. This study finds that Isiolo still remains the main base for the CQL and that the majority of the cattle traded out of the Isiolo District are sold under permissive conditions that allow cattle to cross the CQL without observing the laid down CQL regulations. The CQL stipulations are further weakened by the fact that there is no CBPP testing at all for the cattle destined either for slaughter in the Mombasa market or for fattening in the Coastal region ranches that are traded along the Mandera-Wajir- Garissa-Ijara-Tana River-Malindi stock route. Therefore, this study concludes that the current CQL requirements in Kenya are characterized by operational difficulties and inefficiencies. It would be more cost effective to shift the current CQL from Isiolo to the international borders of the arid districts of north-eastern Kenya.