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Pastoralist Livestock Marketing Behavior in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia: An Analysis of Constraints Limiting Off-take Rates

37 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2004  

Christopher B. Barrett

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management

John G. McPeak

Syracuse University - Department of Economics

Winnie Luseno

RTI International

Peter D. Little

University of Kentucky - Department of Anthropology

Sharon M. Osterloh

Cornell University

Hussein Mahmoud

University of Kentucky

Getachu Gebru

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); Utah State University - College of Natural Resources

Abstract

Pastoralists in East Africa's arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) regularly confront climatic shocks that plunge them into massive herd die-offs and loss of scarce wealth. One of the most puzzling features of pastoralist behavior in times of stress has been their relatively low and non-responsive rate of marketed off-take of animals when faced with likely losses to herd mortality. As Figure 1, from Desta (1999), finds in 17-year herd history data from Borana pastoralists in southern Ethiopia, mortality always exceeds net sales as a share of beginning period herd size, with the latter never exceeding three percent and moving hardly at all in response to shocks to rangeland carrying capacity that cause regular spikes in mortality rates. This case might be more pronounced than others, but the basic pattern is widely believed representative of herd dynamics and marketing patterns among east African ASAL pastoralists.

Suggested Citation

Barrett, Christopher B. and McPeak, John G. and Luseno, Winnie and Little, Peter D. and Osterloh, Sharon M. and Mahmoud, Hussein and Gebru, Getachu, Pastoralist Livestock Marketing Behavior in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia: An Analysis of Constraints Limiting Off-take Rates. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=611064 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.611064

Christopher B. Barrett (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management ( email )

315 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7801
United States
607-255-4489 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aem.cornell.edu/faculty_sites/cbb2/

John G. McPeak

Syracuse University - Department of Economics ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States

Winnie Luseno

RTI International ( email )

3040 Cornwallis Road
PO Box 12194
RTP, NC 27709-2194
United States
9195416000 (Phone)
9194855555 (Fax)

Peter D. Little

University of Kentucky - Department of Anthropology ( email )

202 Lafferty Hall 0024
Lexington, KY 40506
United States
859-257-6923 (Phone)
859-323-1959 (Fax)

Sharon M. Osterloh

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Hussein Mahmoud

University of Kentucky ( email )

Lexington, KY 40546
United States

Getachu Gebru

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) ( email )

P.O. Box 30709
Nairobi 00100
Kenya

Utah State University - College of Natural Resources

Logan, UT 84322
United States

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