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Improving Access to Livestock Markets for Sustainable Rangeland Management

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Document pages: 45 pages

Abstract: Productivity of range lands in Kenya is affected by increasing crop farming especially in more fertile range areas. Among the key factors driving the encroachment of crops on range lands are the changing opportunities brought about by markets. We hypothesize that the existing market inefficiencies characterizing livestock markets, especially the price disincentives that livestock producers face, are major risks range lands face. To analyze the effect of livestock market conditions on range land management, we draw on household survey and economic modeling tools. We find that traders’ rent seeking behavior and high transport costs act as disincentives to livestock producers’ participation in livestock markets and influence their decisions in seeking alternative range land uses to sustain livelihoods. However, improved livestock market access enhances livestock producers’ livelihoods and the stewardship of the ecosystems thus reducing pastoralists’ vulnerability to ecological climate variability associated with range lands.

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