Livestock marketing in Samburuland, Kenya: an investigation of the sociocultural context of marketing behavior
Perlov, Diane Catherine
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The proposed research is an anthropological study of the factors affecting the marketing of live stock among the pastoral, semi-nomadic Samburu, with particular emphasis on the social and cultural factors which inhibit or stimulate the flow of stock from the pastoral sector. The field study, to be conducted for an eighteen month period, will focus on the pastoral household as well as on the relationships between pastoral households in order to examine the motivations for the alternative uses of livestock; what is the socio-cultural context of the household strategy to market particular animals commercially or to dispose of stock within the traditional pastoral economy (such as in trade, gifts, loans, feasts or bride-price). The proposed research is fundamentally an investigation of: 1) the existing opportunities for the commercial sale of livestock, 2) the alternative uses of livestock within the traditional pastoral sector, and 3) the social differentiation among herd owners with respect to ownership and control of livestock and the effect that social differentiation has on participation in the commercial (external) market and in the traditional (internal) market. This study is intended as a contribution to the on-going research in Kenya concerned with increasing the productivity of pastoral lands and encouraging the integration of the pastoral areas into the national market economy. By looking at differentiation within a pastoral society, we can better understand the rationale behind different marketing behavior, enabling development inputs to be more appropriately designed and focused within a pastoral society.