Original Research

Economic assessment of the performance of trypanotolerant cattle breeds in a pastoral production system in Kenya

M.W. Maichomo, W.O. Kosura, J.M. Gathuma, G.K. Gitau, J.M. Ndung'u, S.O. Nyamwaro
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 80, No 3 | a194 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v80i3.194 | © 2009 M.W. Maichomo, W.O. Kosura, J.M. Gathuma, G.K. Gitau, J.M. Ndung'u, S.O. Nyamwaro | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 May 2009 | Published: 23 May 2009

About the author(s)

M.W. Maichomo,
W.O. Kosura,
J.M. Gathuma,
G.K. Gitau,
J.M. Ndung'u,
S.O. Nyamwaro,

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Cattle are the major source of food security and income for pastoral farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. However, infectious and parasitic diseases remain a major constraint to improved cattle productivity in the region. The use of animal health economics to support decision-making on cost-effective disease control options is increasingly becoming important in the developing world. Trypano-tolerant indigenous Orma / zebu cattle in a trypanosomosis-endemic area of Kenya were evaluated for economic performance using gross-margin analysis and partial-farm budgeting. Orma / zebu and Sahiwal / zebu cross-bred cattle were exposed to similar husbandry practices and monitored for growth rate, incidence of common infections (trypanosomosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, East Coast Fever and helminthosis) and the cost of treatment assessed. Interview questionnaires were also used to assess the preference rating of the 2 breeds. Results indicated that incidence of infection was trypanosomosis 3 %, anaplasmosis 58 %, babesiosis 11 %, East Coast Fever 22 % and helminthosis 28 %, with no significant difference between breeds. The Orma / zebu and Sahiwal / zebu breeds had comparable economic benefits, hence a pastoralist in Magadi division is likely to get similar returns from both breeds. This study therefore recommends adoption of not only the Sahiwal / zebu but also the Orma / zebu breed for cattle improvement in trypanosomosis endemic areas and conservation of indigenous genetic resources.


agro-pastoralists; gross-margin analysis; Orma/zebu; partial-farmbudget analysis; Sahiwal/zebu; trypanotolerance


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