This study is funded by BBSRC-NRF and aims to generate the basic knowledge on the current level of the reproduction performance indicators for different sheep and goat herds, which could then be used as a reference to identify those pastoralists more at risk of losing their animals and those better performing. This will be done through scanning of the available literature, interview with key experts and interviews with pastoralists. The researchers will test if climate change factors (such as large mobility of animals, poor access to water or fresh pastures or conflicts), socio-economic factors, type of advice channels used by pastoralists, presence of infections or existing innovations have the capacity to influence the level of these reproduction indicators. They will test for six major diseases that affect sheep and goats' reproduction capacity, but that can also infect and cause illnesses in humans. Economic models will be developed to assess the gain or losses of being an efficient or a poor performer, and determine the economic efficiency of strategies that can be used to improve performance.
The results of the study will therefore generate a baseline knowledge to indicate possible areas of interventions or research that could help pastoralists to improve the reproduction capacity of their sheep or goats.
The project represents a multi-disciplinary collaboration between researchers and students of the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom.
ILRI: Dr. Barabra Wieland