Conserving what's important: Using choice model scenarios to value local cattle breeds in East Africa

Kerstin Zander, Adam Drucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Borana cattle in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya have unique traits that make them suitable for the harsh environment in the lowlands and have long formed a part of their livestock-keepers' cultural identity. However, genetic erosion of this important cattle breed has been occurring at an accelerating rate for the last few decades. Conservation initiatives for the Borana breed are required and in this context, this study provides empirical evidence for the high economic value of the Borana breed and its different subtypes, measured by their distinct attributes. This evaluation, firstly, strengthens conservation justification and provides guidance regarding cost-efficient conservation approaches and, secondly, provides a better understanding of breeding values. The analysis presented is based on a choice model (CM) with 370 local livestock-keepers. The results of the CM indicate that the preferences for some cattle attributes (in particular for cultural traits such as body size and horn conditions) and Borana subtypes vary largely between Kenya and Ethiopia and that high monetary values are placed on adaptive traits, fertility and traction suitability. We further conclude that it is most cost-effective to conserve in-situ the Ethiopian Borana subtype in Ethiopia and the Somali Borana subtype in Kenya. � 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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