Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 40, Issue 8, pp 615–626 | Cite as

Economic valuation of sheep genetic resources: implications for sustainable utilization in the Kenyan semi-arid tropics

  • I. OmondiEmail author
  • I. Baltenweck
  • A. G. Drucker
  • G. Obare
  • K. K. Zander
Original Paper


Sheep, recognised as one of the important livestock species especially in the semi-arid tropics with high genetic resource potentials, can be exploited through sustainable utilization in order to improve livestock keepers’ livelihoods. This study presents the evaluation of the economic values of sheep genetic resources (SGR) in terms of the important non-market traits embedded in sheep and how this information can be utilised to improve livelihoods in semi-arid regions. The results obtained from mixed logit models results derived from stated choice data collected from 157 respondents in the semi-arid Marsabit district of Kenya reveal that disease resistance is the most highly valued trait whose resultant increment results into a welfare improvement of up to KShs.1537. Drought tolerance and fat deposition traits were found to be implicitly valued at KShs.694 and 738 respectively. The results further point out that for livestock stakeholders to effectively improve the livelihoods of poor livestock-keepers, development strategies for improving the management and/or utilisation of SGR in terms of drought tolerance, should not only be tailor made to target regions that are frequently devastated by drought but should also succeed other strategies or efforts that would first lead to the improvement of producers’ economic status.


Choice experiments Stated preference method Sheep genetic resources Traits Economic valuation 



animal genetic resources


Arid and Semi-Arid lands


choice experiment


ceteris paribus


Geographic Information System


mixed logit


sheep genetic resources



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance provided by the ILRI/BMZ (International Livestock Research Institute/German Ministry of Economic Cooperation) collaborative project based at ILRI, Nairobi. The contributions of Prof. Brigitte Kauffman, Dr. Eric Ruto, Dr. Samuel Mwakubo, Dr. Isaac S. Kosgey and Mr. Harun Warui are also greatly acknowledged as is the fieldwork logistical assistance provided by Messrs. Haro Guyo, Mamo Sora and Edward Leteror.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Omondi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • I. Baltenweck
    • 2
  • A. G. Drucker
    • 3
  • G. Obare
    • 1
  • K. K. Zander
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics and Business ManagementEgerton UniversityNjoroKenya
  2. 2.International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)NairobiKenya
  3. 3.School for Environmental ResearchCharles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia

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