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Livestock production, age, and gender among the Keiyo of Kenya

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This article is based on a study of time allocation and decision making patterns among the Keiyo in three ecological zones of Elgeyo-Marakvet District, Kenya. It finds that age and gender are important factors to consider when examining livestock production among African smallholder farmers. This is especially true where males are absent from home for wage labor. In these situations women, young males between the ages of 6–15, and persons of both sexes aged 65 and over spend considerable amounts of time engaged in livestock-related activities. These women are also more actively involved in decision making concerning the marketing of milk. The results indicate that there is a definite need to consider the contributions of these other persons when efforts are being made to improve elements of the livestock sector.

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This manuscript was originally prepared for the invited session “Livestock and Gender in African Production Systems,” Rebecca Huss-Ashmore and John Curry, co-organizers, at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, California, December 3, 1992.

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Roberts, B.D. Livestock production, age, and gender among the Keiyo of Kenya. Hum Ecol 24, 215–230 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02169127

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Key words

  • livestock
  • gender
  • age
  • Africa
  • Kenya