Livestock Market Improvement with Anthropological Approach in Drought Resilience Project in Northern Kenya

  • Fumiaki MurakamiEmail author
  • Monicah Kinuthia
Living reference work entry


One of the key challenges for pastoralist communities of Marsabit County in Northern Kenya was that livestock markets have not been used actively due to social constraints. Pastoralists, in general, are reluctant to sell their cattle, sheep, and goats and want to keep their livestock unless there is an urgent need for food, education, etc., which often results in much lower sales price. Therefore, improvement of livestock market activity and its value chains is crucially important to increase income in pastoralist communities and to contribute to enhancing drought resilience.

A prime example of one of the innovative approaches of this project is the “Heifer Exchange Program” which was implemented as a pilot to address the imbalance between supply and demand at livestock markets. Heifers are scarce in pastoralist communities, and this program aimed to create an enabling environment so that pastoralists would sell their old livestock in exchange for heifers provided by the project at market price.

The purposes of the program were, therefore, set as follows:
  1. (i)

    To verify the assumptions in the program. That is, to confirm the actual pastoralists’ attitudes and whether they sell livestock to obtain cash and buy heifers/young female animals when heifers are actually available in their local market

  2. (ii)

    To check and verify whether such system could contribute to vitalize livestock markets


Finally, as a result, it was proved that the Heifer Exchange Program could induce the pastoralists who wanted to have heifers to sell 670 shoats in the market and vitalize the livestock market at 1.88 times of the traded livestock number without contradiction of their traditional culture and mind-sets.


Drought Resilience Pastoralist Livestock Value chain Northern Kenya Dry land Horn of Africa 


  1. JICA Study Team (2015) Final report of enhancing community resilience against draught in Northern Kenya & Guideline for enhancement of pastoralists communities’ resilience to drought through community based drought management. Japan International Cooperation Agency, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  2. Konaka S (2002) Seigyo-bokuchiku to shijo keizai wo musubu chiiki network in book of Yuuboku min no sekai by S.Sato. Kyoto University Press, KyotoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rural & Agriculture DepartmentNippon Koei Co., LtdTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Ministry of Devolution and PlanningNairobiKenya

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