An Analysis of Veterinary Service Delivery in Western Kenya: A Case Study of Kakamega County
Tobias Onyango K'oloo1, Evans D. Ilatsia1, John Ilukor2, Regina Birner2
1Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), National Animal Husbandry Research Centre, Kenya
Liberalisation of both animal health and related services in the early 1990s allowed many players into the livestock service sector. Much has been written on the effects of privatisation of animal health in the high potential areas and the pastoral areas in Kenya. However, the fate of the small scale dairy farmers in the medium potential areas remains largely unclear. This study aims to contribute to this knowledge gap by identifying the key actors in the livestock service sector in medium potential areas of Kakamega County and the factors that influence the demand for veterinary services in the area. Socio-economic data was collected through a household survey of 128 randomly selected households and 30 purposively selected service providers. The descriptive statistics revealed that 59% of all cases attended to by animal health assistants, with private animal health assistants attending to 38% of all the cases. The results of multinomial logit econometric model estimated with self treatment as the base category a negative relationship between distance and the choice of government service providers but a positive relationship with tropical livestock unit, treatment cost and education level of the farmer. The treatment cost and nature of the disease had a positive influence on the choice of private service providers, which is a clear indication that the farmers are willing to pay. Improving education to enhance the farmer's knowledge base and the need for a better herd health service for their livestock would be instrumental in increasing demand for animal health and related services.
Keywords: Animal health, liberalisation, smallholder dairy, western Kenya
Contact Address: Tobias Onyango K'oloo, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), National Animal Husbandry Research Centre, P. O. Box 25, 20117 Naivasha, Kenya, e-mail: koltobayasyahoo.com