Deliberate efforts have been made by the government of Uganda to commercialize agriculture through market and trade liberalisation. However, marketed livestock offtake has remained low contributing to the existing per capita meat deficit. A survey was conducted by way of personal interviews with 180 respondents in selected central and western pastoral districts of Uganda. The study was initiated with the overall purpose of assessing the factors that influence cattle keepers‘ participation in commercialization of livestock production in the pastoral communities and to establish the factors affecting cattle keepers‘ decision to sell cattle. Descriptive statistical analysis and Tobit model were used to answer the study objectives. The average household size was 10 members and 8 years of formal education an equivalent of secondary school was the household heads‘ average level of education. The average household grazing land owned was 157 hectares with some households owning as small as 2.3 hectares due to increasing land pressure and few others owned as large as 301 hectares. Results revealed that the majority of the cattle keepers (51%) kept indigenous breeds mostly Ankole cattle with an average herd size of 57 heads of cattle followed by cross breed keepers (45%) with an average of 35 heads of cattle and the exotic breed cattle keepers who consisted of a dismal 1% with an average of 3 heads of exotic cattle. The herds were dominated by female cows constituting 50.4 %, heifers (24.3%), calves (15.8%), and mature bulls (1.5%). A sales rate of 17.6% was recorded close to the 18% typical of other grasslands. Cattle were kept as a form of insurance and store of wealth rather than for commercial purposes. Selling cattle was made to satisfy cattle keepers‘ specific cash needs and was not driven by the market demand, a pattern that negatively affected their cattle sales rates. Livestock markets operated on a four tier system; farm gate, primary market, secondary market and terminal markets. Abattoir dealers were the major market outlet and cattle markets played a facilitative role to increase cattle keepers‘ sales rates. Culled cows dominated the sold cattle because they were most available in the herd followed by immature bulls to reduce competition with the female reproductive cattle for pastures and water. Cattle keepers‘ sales rate were positively influenced by sex of the household head (5%), access to market information (5%), distance to the nearest livestock market (10%), value of the milk sold (5%), cattle prices (5%); while road condition (5%) and access to alternative sources of income (10%) negatively affected the cattle keepers‘ sales rate. Essentially, pastoral cattle keepers were willing to sell their cattle despite the encountered marketing constraints. Hence improving market information access and flow as well as upgrading of physical infrastructure would potentially increase pastoral cattle keepers‘ sales rates and consequently improve their participation in livestock commercialisation.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-26

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