Institut für Ernährungswirtschaft und Verbrauchslehre

Economic valuation of phenotypic cattle trait preferences in trypanosomosis prevalent production systems of Eastern Africa: Implications for sustainable cattle breeding programs

There is an urgent need to improve livestock productivity in sub–Saharan Africa in order to keep pace with expected increases in demand for meat and milk. Breed improvement provides key entry points for increasing productivity in cattle populations especially those susceptible to animal diseases such as trypanosomosis.

However, there are tendencies for breed improvement programs to focus on single, market driven traits such as milk or meat production in isolation of broader livestock system functions and constraints. Some of the benefits and traits realized from livestock production systems do not have market values. Consequently, relying solely on market-driven traits potentially leads to genotypes not well adapted to the environment and not capable of performing the multiple roles that cattle assume in production systems of developing countries.

The broad objective of the study is to assess the contribution of economic valuation of cattle keepers’ trait preferences for design of sustainable cattle breeding programs in pastoral and crop-livestock systems in selected sites in Eastern Africa. This project is being carried out together with the Statistical Animal Genetics group of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.