Mapping of beef, sheep and goat food systems in Nairobi: A framework for policy making and the identification of structural vulneralbilities and deficiencies
In this article (PDF) in the journal Agricultural Systems the authors map the Nairobi beef, sheep and goat systems structure and flows to identify deficiencies and vulnerabilities to shocks. Nairobi is a large rapidly-growing city whose demand for beef, mutton and goat products is expected to double by 2030. A mapping analysis was done in three different dimensions: people and product profiling (interactions of people and products), geographical (routes of animals and products) and temporal mapping (seasonal fluctuations). Results for the beef food system showed that 44–55% of the city’s beef supply flows through the ‘local terminal markets’, but that 54–64% of total supply is controlled by one ‘meat market’. Numerous informal chains were identified, with independent livestock and meat traders playing a pivotal role in the functionality of these systems, and where most activities are conducted with inefficient quality control and under scarce and inadequate infrastructure and organisation, generating wastage and potential food safety risks in low quality meat products. Large processing companies, partly integrated, operate with high quality infrastructures, but with up to 60% of their beef supply depending on similar routes as the informal markets. For the small ruminant food system, 73% of the low season supply flows through a single large informal market, where no grading is done for these animals or the meat produced. Lack of traceability and control of animal production was a common feature in all chains. The mapping provides a framework for policy makers and institutions to understand and design improvement plans for the Nairobi ruminant food system. The structural deficiencies and vulnerabilities identified here indicate the areas for intervention.