Market-driven value chain for the livestock sector Turkana County

Goats drinking water from a borehole. Photo Credit: Benson Guantai
Paper author: 
George Matete & Conisia Shumba
Paper publication date: 
Monday, January 5, 2015

Turkana district’s food security situation is unstable, deteriorates rapidly in face of covariant shocks such as droughts. The livestock is the most critical components for sustainable livelihoods and food security directly or indirectly. However, livestock off-take rates remain incredibly low in Turkana, donors and policymakers are keen to implement interventions market driven solutions that are likely to increase livestock marketing in order to increase pastoralists’ incomes and wealth and their capacity to manage regular climatic shocks. The creation of Lomidat Abbattior as well as new livestock sale yards in feeder markets, with institutionalized market days,have stimulated livestock marketing  from the county but more is yet to be done.

Oxfam GB together with the County Livestock Production Office financed a livestock marketing study combining the use of Rapid Participatory Rural Appraisal (RPRA) and Value Chain Analysis and Mapping (VCAM). The respondents were limited to key informants within various markets who were interviewed through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) of between 5 to 8 persons in each market. The livestock populations estimated from this study were Goats 2,619,323 Sheep 931,323 Cattle 89,832 and Camels 175, 851. The new knowledge from these estimates is that the livestock population do not exceed the carrying capacity of the County. The study revealed that only 2% of the livestock offtake was exported out of the county. In the short term, the implication is that there is limited value of investing in extra county markets compared to intra-county markets.