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Open Access Elusive profits: understanding economic performance of local traders in the pastoral small ruminant value chain in Northern Kenya

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Traders tend to be regarded as exploitative towards producers even without knowledge of their businesses. This study examines marketing costs, net-profits and return to invested capital of small ruminant traders from Marsabit County. Based on 84 transactions made between 2014 and 2016, we found low average profits and a high risk of economic losses among local long-distance traders. For traders working in partnerships of two or more, the profits and losses over the study period amounted to incomes barely exceeding Kenya's minimum wage. Although traders play an important role in linking pastoralists to markets, the precariousness they face hinders the sustainability of pastoral small ruminant value chains in Kenya
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Keywords: Kenya; Pastoral production; Rendille; Small ruminants; Traders; Value chain

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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