Accepted 23rd July, 2081
Goats serve important roles of food provision, income generation and socio-cultural functions among the Rendille pastoralists of Northern Kenya. Because of their small size, early maturity and high prolificacy, they can meet household cash and food needs efficiently. Sustainable goat production in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) is howeverconstrained by frequent droughts that influence goat population dynamics. The objective of the current study was to determine the factors affecting markets and prices of goats among the Rendille pastoralists of Northern Kenya. The study was conducted through administration of structured and semi structured questionnaires to 82 households and the data collected were those of sales and purchases, markets and prices of different age groups and sex classes of goats in different seasons of the year. The results were presented in descriptive statistics. The results showed that most of the respondents used Ilaut market to sell goats. Ilaut serves as a market for livestock and other goods and services and hence it is termed “Nairobi One Day”. A few of the respondents sold their goats in Korr because they had a wider range of traders from which to choose from and who could offer better prices. Rendille pastoralists sold goats during the short dry season and the majority of sales were male goats of 7-12 months old and castrates of four years where prices ranged from KES 1000-1600 and 2000-4000 respectively (1 US $=KES 83). Majority of female goats purchased were mainly for breeding and herd build up. Young goats were sold to cater for goods and services that require little amount of cash while castrates are sold when substantial amount of money is required to serve specific purpose. The reasons for goats purchased were home and ceremonial slaughters, breeding and fattening. Due to active participation in markets by pastoralists there should exist efficient market structures and communication network and marketing cooperatives be formed to allow selling of goats to a wider range of traders who could offer better prices and avoid exploitation by middlemen. Financial institutions where pastoralist could save money from goat sales should also be established at strategic places to salvage the value of goats that could otherwise be lost through deaths during drought.
Keywords: Goats, sales, purchases, markets, prices, seasons, Northern Kenya