Thomas Rewe, Pera Herold, Hans-Peter Piepho, A.K. Kahi, Anne Valle Zárate:
Institutional Framework and Farm Types Characterising the Kenya Boran Cattle Breeding Programme


1University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
2University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Crop Production and Grassland Research, Germany
3Egerton University, Department of Animal Sciences, Kenya

Structured breeding programmes have three core platforms: performance recording, planned mating and genetic evaluation, performed either by government or non-governmental organisations. The organisational structure supporting the breeding of Kenya Boran cattle is presented here. The organisational players range from government institutions, national agricultural research systems to cattle keepers. The structure is not exclusive to Boran cattle (other cattle breeds also benefit from these institutions), nonetheless, the Boran breeders are considered one of the most active breeders' associations. The roles of the stakeholder institutions are described. These institutions include: The National Beef Research Centre, the Central Artificial Insemination Station, the Livestock Recording Centre and the National Agricultural Research Systems. The organisational structure also depicts the informal interactions between interest groups such as Animal production Society of Kenya and also between the different farm types keeping Boran cattle. Since 1951, Kenya Boran cattle has undergone some level of organised management and strategic breeding under the Boran Cattle Breeders' Society. Today, there are five main categories of commercial beef ranches in Kenya (approximately 454 ranches in number) sub"=divided on the basis of ownership as: group ranches (321), private company ranches (84), cooperative ranches (17), public company ranches (2) and government ranches (30), a majority of which are group ranches and private ranches. The institutional framework presents possibilities for the establishment of sustainable long term breeding programmes for the Kenya Boran cattle. As the breeding organisation changes from government driven to farmer driven, the role of the Boran Cattle Breeders Society will change from just information users to decision makers matching animal mating decisions with information from genetic evaluation.

Keywords: Breeding organisation, Boran cattle, breeding programme, Kenya

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Contact Address: Thomas Rewe, University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Animal Production in the Tropics and SubtropicsGarbenstrasse 17, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, November 2008