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Determinants of dairy cattle breed biodiversity in rural traditional smallholder farms: Case of Kibugu in Kenya

By: Mutembei Henry M’Ikiugu, Emily Kilonzi

Key Words: Traditional small holder dairy farms, Negative and positive externalities, Dairy cattle breed biodiversity

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 12(1), 12-21, January 2018.

Certification: jbes 2018 0164 [Generate Certificate]


The livestock biodiversity suffers a threat from human civilization through abandonment and/or intensification of agricultural activities. This paper documents dynamism of dairy breed biodiversity and its determinants. Data was collected by surveying 93 households and five key informants using semi-structured questionnaires, interviews and observations. The nonparametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) was used to determine the dairy practice frontier on breed conservation. The average farm size was 0.5-1 acres of land and 53.3% of the respondents perceived this to be small for dairying but majority (67.8%) still practiced the enterprise despite also majority (72%) feeling it wasn’t worthy. The 10-year dynamism indicated that 19% of the respondents intensified on dairying while 13% abandoned the enterprise in favour of other livestock. In a scale of 1-6, dairying was ranked 6 as a source of income, 6 as a symbol of society status and 1 on ease of care for the enterprise. Big breeds (Friesian, Ayrshire and Guernsey) were perceived highly (6-4) as symbols of beauty and society status while small breeds (Jersey and crossbreeds) were ranked highly (6-5) on ease of care and disease tolerance. Intensification and/or abandonment of the dairy practice as influenced by societal expectations and/or challenges of farming were noted to be the main determinants of the dynamisms of the breed biodiversity in Kibugu; intensification caused a positive externality on breed biodiversity while abandonment caused the negative externality on breed biodiversity. This serves to providing evidence to inform policy decisions that support sustainable dairying in rural areas.

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Determinants of dairy cattle breed biodiversity in rural traditional smallholder farms: Case of Kibugu in Kenya

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Mutembei Henry M’Ikiugu, Emily Kilonzi.
Determinants of dairy cattle breed biodiversity in rural traditional smallholder farms: Case of Kibugu in Kenya.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 12(1), 12-21, January 2018.
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