International Journal of
Livestock Production

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Livest. Prod.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2448
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 287

Article in Press

Role of dairy goat keeping towards improvement of rural livelihoods in Kitui central sub county of Kitui County, Kenya

Stephen M. Musyoka, Titus I. Kanui, Simon Nguluu

A survey was carried out in Kitui Central Sub County to assess the role played by dairy goat keeping towards improvement of rural livelihoods. Household interviews were conducted on 90 households selected from two AEZ within the survey area. The data collected was on household characteristics, social and economic activities of the household keeping dairy goats. Sixty two percent of the households had less than five family members headed by men with basic primary education. Majority of the household heads (57.25%) had more than 5 years of experience in goat keeping. The study showed that household incomes were significantly improved through goat keeping. They were increased through sale of live animals (culls and off springs), milk, meat, manure, skins, cheese, and sale of buck service. Seventy two and half percent of farmers in sub humid and 49% in semi-arid areas frequently used income to purchase food and pay school fees. There was a significant (p<0.001) relationship between the amount of goat milk produced and the improvement of household nutrition levels within the study area. Approximately 96.1% exotic goat keepers who produced less than 2 L per day used less than 0.5 L of milk for consumption by old and children while in 72.5% of households the milk was used by other family members. Goat keeping improved soil fertility in 89.2% households. This meant that there was improved crop and pasture yields which directly translated to increased food security and improved living standards.

Keywords: Dairy goat keeping, milk production, increased income levels, better nutrition levels.